We're Always With You, You're Always With Us

We’re Always With You, You’re Always With Us

The family and friends of Jon Sharp gathered in Zuma Beach on Sunday for a traditional paddle out.

The touching memorial service was held just before sunset on a glorious fall evening as the sun was setting over the Pacific Ocean for a husband, father, son, brother, teammate, friend, mentor, co-worker and neighbor loved by everyone he encountered. His touch, his charisma and his positive energy were remarkably unique.

A Chicago native, a Yale graduate, a life-long swimmer, a surfer, father of two young girls and husband to another life-long swimmer, Jon was a gentleman held in the highest esteem by those around him. Strong as a bull, gentle as a lamb, he related to jocks and artisans as well as he did to children and intellectuals. The twinkle in his eye, his infectious smile, his laugh and his kind touch of the shoulder always done at precisely the right moment, he brought light and inspiration to those around him, especially those with whom he swam, trained and surfed.

As is traditional in the surfing world, Jon was fondly remembered as his fellow swimmers from coast to coast paddled out on their surfboards and long boards 200 meters from the shoreline with leis around their necks and flowers in their hands.

Neighbors from his days in Chicago, teammates from the pool decks around the Ivy League and friends up and down the coastline of California paddled in a circular formation, held hands, and silently prayed as the swells rose and fell with every tear drop. They all said their good-byes to Jon and tossed their leis into the center of the ring as the sun fell beyond the horizon.

With the rest of his family and friends onshore, his legacy will always be remembered.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source