Sunday, March 23, 2014

The World Has Lost a Loyal, Strong & True BYU Fan . . .

This will be an unusual post, but I want to pay tribute to a dear friend of mine. John Coons was one of my loyal blog followers. I've mentioned him several times on this site as the suggester of certain topics, and he is also the only person (so far at least) to write a guest post for me (and the content of that post shows just a little bit of how big John's heart was).

John Coons and his friend Bryan Byrge were killed on Wednesday March 12, when they were hit by a truck while biking to work. I worked with John at HotDocs for a little over a year-- our cubicles were right across from each other. John's friendship meant a lot to me-- probably more than he ever knew. He was always happy and could make me laugh when I was having a bad day. Sometimes, he'd try to scare me (and usually succeed) by popping his head up over the top of my cubicle and throwing an inflatable football at me . . . and of course, I would retaliate in kind.

John actually attended the University of Utah, but he definitely bled blue and was a great BYU sports fan. At John's funeral this past Wednesday, I heard several fun stories about him, but I think this one was my favorite. Apparently it's his story of how he "became a BYU fan." While John was a student at the U, he attended a sporting event where the Utes were playing against the Cougars. He was all decked out in red and cheering for the Utes. But at one point, BYU scored, and John inadvertently jumped up and cheered. All the Ute fans around him glared at him and asked him what was going on. He responded, "I'm sorry! I didn't know!" So that's when he "came out" and was a BYU fan from that point on. :) I'm not sure if this story is 100% true, but it definitely fits his personality, and he's obviously not around to correct it, so I'll choose to believe. He was always so much fun and had a great sense of humor.

I know John read my BYU sports blog and left comments, and he would check on me to make sure everything was ok if I hadn't posted in awhile. On my last day at HotDocs, John even gave me a "Y" statue he kept on his desk because he knew I would appreciate it, and I definitely have.

John is truly one of the most genuinely kind people I have ever met. I loved his sense of humor and big heart. He treated everyone with respect and kindness. My heart was broken when I heard about John's passing. I hope his family and friends will be able to find comfort and peace in this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers are with them, and John will always have a special place in my memories.

Despite leaving this earth all too soon, I know John will continue to cheer on the Cougars. I miss you, friend!

Donations can be made to John's family (which includes a wife and 3 kids, ages 10, 7, and 5) at Wells Fargo Bank or here.

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