In loving memory of Jonathon, who was born on January 18th, 1980, and departed from this world on January 21st, 2024. It was on that fateful Sunday evening, at 9:30 PM ET, that my heart shattered into a thousand pieces upon receiving the devastating news from my daughter. The unexpected and sudden loss of my firstborn left me numb, unable to find the right words to convey the depth of my emotions, except to say that my love for him knows no bounds.
Jonathon's legacy lives on through the hearts of those he touched during his 44 remarkable years on Earth. He leaves behind a profound impact on everyone fortunate enough to have known him. In his passing, he is survived by his two beloved daughters, Hannah and Kenzie, the lights of his life. He also leaves behind his siblings, Arthur and Samantha, his cherished granddaughter, Alanah; his former wife, April; myself, his father; and Kathi, his mother, who carry his memory with love and reverence.
From the very beginning, Jonathon was an extraordinary child, and his brilliance only grew with time. As a single father, he embraced the tremendous responsibility of raising his daughter Hannah with unwavering dedication, selflessly pouring his love and wisdom into her. Later on, together with April, he welcomed another precious gift into the world, Kenzie, a shining soul who mirrored her father's remarkable spirit.
Jonathon's passions were as diverse as they were captivating. He found solace and exhilaration in exploring the depths of the ocean through scuba diving, venturing into a world beneath the waves that mirrored his own adventurous nature. He also had an affinity for souped-up cars, reveling in the thrill of speed and the freedom of the open road. And in the realm of business, Jonathon possessed an innate talent for salesmanship. When I left Rochester, NY, for Utah, he chose to stay behind and embarked on a Manager In Training program at Domino's Pizza. Through sheer determination and boundless potential, he transformed a small store in the heart of the University district into the most productive pizza shop within the entire chain. Later, when he joined the family in Florida, he fearlessly embraced a new challenge and emerged as the state's number one GMC truck salesman, leaving an indelible mark on the industry. But beyond his accomplishments, Jonathon's true essence lay in his unyielding enthusiasm for life. He approached each day with an infectious zeal, always seeking new avenues for personal growth and ways to impact the world around him positively. During the challenging times of the pandemic, he rallied parents together, recognizing its profound effect on our children's development. Through his tireless efforts and the formation of a parent-led coalition, he shed light on the struggles faced by our young ones, compelling the school system to acknowledge and address the impact of stress on their growth. Jonathon's advocacy brought about meaningful change, forever altering how we perceive and support our children during times of adversity.
The stories of Jonathon's kindness and compassion and the profound connections he forged with people and communities are countless. We gather here today, hearts heavy with grief yet filled with an enduring love for the extraordinary soul that he was. Jonathon, your absence leaves an unfathomable void in our lives, but your memory will forever be etched in our hearts. As we bid you farewell, we carry your spirit forward, cherishing the lessons you taught us and vowing to honor your legacy with love, compassion, and unwavering zeal for life. Rest in peace, dear Jonathon, knowing that your light will forever guide us through the darkest days.
Mark S. Hewitt
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