Our beloved John died early on the morning of January 30th, after many years of suffering the ravages of muscular dystrophy. He accepted the downhill journey without complaint or anger, though being something of an inventor, he never stopped devising new exercises, new ways of doing things, to attempt to slow the cruel disease's progression. All to no avail.

But don't feel sorry for John. He considered himself a fortunate person: he enjoyed (well, most days) his position with the University of Florida as a Senior Computer Programmer Analyst (a title that impressed his family, though we begged him not to attempt to explain his duties!). When muscular dystrophy took away his ability to drive and he became wheelchair-bound, UF installed all the necessary computer equipment in his home, and he continued to work full-time until the day before he died.

John had no dread of death: on the contrary, he looked forward to the next life with a sense of adventure and excitement. A few years ago, he was privileged to experience what he termed "a visit from God." John was a man of few (but choice!) words, something of a cynic, with an offbeat, subtle sense of humor, but not when he talked (which was only rarely) about that visitation, during which he was surrounded by light, enveloped in love, and knew with an absolute certainty of the existence of God.

So we must rejoice with him-not an easy assignment because we're devastated by our loss. We miss you, John! We love you, John! We're glad you're released from that broken earthly body! Enjoy your heavenly life!

We hope John's friends will join with his family to console each other and to celebrate his courageous life at 3:00 p.m., on Sunday, February 10th at Ingvar and Jenny's place, 2717 N.W. 162nd Street, Newberry.

Arrangements are under the care of MILAM FUNERAL AND CREMATION SERVICES, 22405 W. Newberry Rd., Newberry, FL., 32669. (352) 472-5361.

Published in Gainesville Sun from Feb. 3 to Feb. 6, 2013