Steve Vitto My tribute to david


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This is a tribute to my life long friend, David Jones, David died at the age of 44. He spent his life making others smile while he battled the demons of schizophrenia. May he rest in peace!
We love you David!!!

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Steve Vitto My tribute to david

  1. 1. My Tribute to David Jones •With Special thanks to Beth Edmonds and the Woodlea HomeI met David 32 years ago, I was teaching atthe Muskegon Regional Center. David livedat the Center for several years. In hisyounger years, David was a student atWesley School. I met David when he was12 years old and we became fast friends.My classroom was across from thebarbershop in the activities building andDavid would frequently come down andvisit, I subsequently became David’sspecial friend and then his guardian. Davidbecame part of our family and spentholidays with us until a few years ago whenhis schizophrenia made traveling extremelydifficult. With the closing of the regionalcenter, David and his brothers returned tothe county of their birth and became
  2. 2. residents of group homes in Allegan Countyand students at Allegan DevelopmentalCenter. We have remained friends withDavid; and he has been a part of our familyfor over thirty years. David was known forhis sense of humor and love of music.David’s laugh was infectious and he lovedto kid around with others. He also was agreat singer. He loved R&B and popularmusic and once he heard a song he wouldremember it. David always enjoyed playinghis guitar. One of my favorite memories ofDavid will be the times we got to playguitars and sing together. David also lovedanimals, cooking, bowling, dancing, SpecialOlympics, and spending time with hisfamily and friends. David was continuallyactive in his church, appreciated gospelmusic, always knew the words, and wasusually the one singing the loudest. Davidalways gave more than her tookHe enjoyed being with others so much.David liked to go out to eat but he wouldnever tell us where he wanted to go.
  3. 3. We would ask him and he would say “ Itdoesn’t matter to me or it up to you guys?At the holidays, would ask him what hewanted for a gift? It” doesn’t matter it isup to you guys? He was one of thosepeople who got more excited about givinga gift than he did receiving one. We stillhave a painting that David gave us hangingon our wall. It shows a summer day withbirds flying, the sun shining, and not acloud in the sky. I don’t pretend tounderstand the fears that David faced orwhy someone with such a kind heart wouldhave to face them, I once heard a personsay to him to stop being afraid like it was achoice that David had made... What struckme was that there is no doubt in my mindthat David would have always chosenlaughter over fear, freedom or darkness.David needed more courage than most of ishave to face every day.I will never forget David’s laugh or hissmile.
  4. 4. My prayer is that he knows how much weloved him and that we will never forgethim.My prayer is that he is running free,dancing singing, filled with happinessDavid was one of those people who liftedthose around him and made them better. We will never forget David’s friendship, thetimes he spent with our family, and thepositive impact he had on our children, Wepray that his demons are gone, that he isno longer afraid, and that he has found thehappiness that he so richly deserved.Our family will miss David but his spirit willalways be with us. Steven Vitto