A man who played a very significant role in my formative years and remained a close confidant, spiritual mentor, financial adviser,all around be there for me kind of guy has gone on to be with his heavenly Father. He was my own father's best friend and since I was raised by my dad we spent a lot of time together with his family. He was a rare gem and he will be missed.
Some of my favorite memories are meeting for coffee. J.C. had a sweet tooth and he loved his treats. Donuts were definitely a treat and he always made sure he had one and me too! He knew my favorite kind and I knew his. In addition whenever we were at his house there was ALWAYS, always, always candy, usually boxed Russell Stovers. The chocolate with nuts or caramel were my favorite and he always knew which ones those were and would tell me which one to pick. He also always had divinity candy at Christmas too. The kind with walnuts or pecans were my favorite. His sister made it, it was the best! I also remember many a chicken dinner with him, he loved chicken, especially fried. Yep, we shared many a meal over the years.
J.C. was NOT just about food, oh my no. He was about life. He was a real guy who lived through some struggles, he was genuine and honest. He told you like it was but with so much love and compassion. He was truly one of a kind. His wife often said they broke the mold after J was born. He served in WWII, didn't talk about it much, but MiB did some research and helped locate some of his citations and awards, he had the purple heart. He flew over 30 combat missions, he was a belly gunner, that's no easy job and many did not come home! We made him a shadow box with his military items, it hung in his room in the Good Samaritan home! He was very humble about his military service.
When we were in Italy, he would say if you ever get to Foggia look up my laundry lady and tell her hi! He and A had hope to make it to Italy to visit us but their health was declining at that time and it just didn't work out. He was a character for sure! He was also a vocalist. Yes, he could sing and sing well. He was the song leader in my childhood church for many years and no one could lead the song service quite like he did. The two I remember the most that he really brought it for were Victory in Jesus and Up from the Grave He Arose. Those two songs hold incredible memories for me! I know he is singing them still. In fact he was singing still last time we visited him all from memory! Truly a joy to hear!
R. I. P. my friend...
There is so much more I could say, in fact I could go on and on and on about this man...he was truly a man like no other and we lost a good one when we lost J.C. I'm saddened beyond measure but also rest in the assurance of knowing we will meet again someday and oh what a day that will be!