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Steve Vitto In tribute to David Jones


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My life long friend , David Jones, passed away this week. A man who faced the demons of schizophrenia for a life time has finally been set free. Peace to you David. May you never experience fear again and find the eternal happiness you so deserve!
We love you David!!

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Steve Vitto In tribute to David Jones

  1. 1. In Tribute to David JonesJanuary, 2011It is with great sadness that I communicate the passing of my lifelong friend, David Jones. David passed away unexpectedly this weekend.David’s life was an adventure, and he overcame many obstacles. He wasborn in Pullman, Michigan, and was discovered with his siblings by aPS worker over 40 years ago. He was living in a shack with dirtfloors, no electricity, no running water, and experiencing signs ofhunger and neglect. David and his brothers became wards of the stateand lived at the Muskegon Regional Center for several years. In hisyounger years, David was a student at Wesley School. I met David whenhe was 12 years old and we became fast friends. My classroom wasacross from the barbershop in the activities building and David wouldfrequently come down and visit, I subsequently became David’s specialfriend and then his guardian. David became part of our family andspent holidays with us until a few years ago when his schizophreniamade traveling extremely difficult. With the closing of the regionalcenter, David and his brothers returned to the county of their birthand became residents of group homes in Allegan County and students atAllegan Developmental Center. David and I have remained friends; andhe has been a part of our family for over thirty years. David wasknown for his sense of humor and love of music. David’s laugh wasinfectious and he loved to kid around with others. He also was a greatsinger. He loved R&B and popular music and once he heard a song hewould remember it. David always enjoyed playing his guitar. One of myfavorite memories of David will be the times we got to play ourguitars and sing together. David also loved animals, cooking, bowling,dancing, Special Olympics, and spending time with his family andfriends. David was continually active in his church, appreciatedgospel music, always knew the words, and was usually the one singingthe loudest. As David went through life he had increasing problemswith schizophrenia and severe paranoid and psychotic episodes. Duringthe last few years David had to frequently be hospitalized and wasoften heavily medicated or in need of intensive psychiatricinvolvement. During this time, David was often in a highly anxiousstate and was to the point where he was increasingly paralyzed by fearand paranoia. But, there were still days when the old David wouldsurface, and the jokes, laughter, and music could be heard. We talkedby phone a few month ago and I could hear the David I remember in hisvoice. I will never forget David’s friendship, the times he spent withour family, and the positive impact he had on our children, I pray
  2. 2. that his demons are gone, that he is no longer afraid, and that he hasfound the happiness that he so richly deserved. If you knew David, I’msure you will remember him. If you didn’t, know David, know that hewas one of those people who always gave more than he took and whosespirit will never die. My family will miss David. Keep him in yourprayers. Always your friend Steve