In Memoriam : Jack Jones

I learned that my cousin Jack passed away this past week. Jack led an amazing life. He was the first son of my dad's sister Pat. He was born with a condition that left his heart and lungs too small for his body. He was unable to exert himself much without exhausting his body's oxygen supply. His organs just could not keep up. When he was eighteen, he had a heart and lung transplant. This was an amazing procedure that, if successful, would give Jack a new lease on life. Without the transplant, Jack would have had little chance of surviving. The 24-hour surgery was a success. Jack had to take anti-rejection medication religiously to ensure that his body would continue to accept the new organs. The operation gave him the opportunity to do some things that he previously couldn't dream of. Jack was able to take a hike up a mountain, ride a bike, and be about as active as a normal twenty-something.

Unfortunately, time caught up with Jack again. His health had been deteriorating over the past few months, and rather than spend his last moments wasting away in hospital, he decided to take one last trip. He had been living on the west coast near his parents. His older sister lived in Colorado, near where he was born. They made it as far as his sister's home before Jack passed away. From what I heard, it was a peaceful passing. I know that Jack is now in a better place. He was 31 years old, 13 years older than anyone would have suspected he might live.

Jack grew up in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington state. He and his family would often make trips back to Delphi to visit with the Jones clan. It helped, too, that several of the children attended Purdue University. I knew Jack only for a short while, but I have very fond memories of him. I remember that he had an easy going nature, a quick laugh, and a good spirit. He watched Travis and I a couple of times when we were younger, along with his sister Anna. I remember going on a trip to Union Station in Indianapolis with him. Jack was a terrific man, and I will cherish all of the memories that I have of him and of our time together.


Judy Hutchison said...

Jack indeed was a blessing... he and I were friends in high school in Oregon. The sweetest and nicest person I will ever know, Jack meant a lot to me. Just this past June, our class dedicated a bench to him on our school campus and many of us gathered to bless it and remember Jack. It's nice to know I have Jack up there looking out for me.

Jade Mason