to a Friend
just arrived home from Branford, CT., where I attended Jeff “Kuhn Jebree”
Lewis's Memorial Service. There were five of us from Jeff's extended ISB
family in attendance, Bob Athearn, Mark Brandes, Diane Curtis-Bull, Deb
Twing-Thomson and myself. It was of course a celebration of life but
nonetheless a sad time as well.
is a beautiful town just outside of New Heaven and the weather could not
have been nicer. The flowers and trees were in full bloom, and the sun was
shining with the temperature in the upper 60’s; it was a glorious day to
pay tribute to our dearly departed friend.
had struggled with health problems over the past five years or so, but the
unexpected and sudden departure last Monday afternoon came as shock to us
met many of his local friends and of course his entire immediate family.
In interacting with them we were able to share much of what we knew of
Jeff and they with us. By all accounts he was loved by many and in talking
with his closest friend and college roommate John Kingsbury, I learned
that Jeff had talked of his ISB friends and experiences many times. In
fact John said, "Dave I've heard all of your names so many, many
times over the years. The stories of Thailand and ISB used to amaze me.
Those first years in college, Jeff would go on and on with the stories of
Thailand and ISB. I thought he would never stop and believe me he never
brothers, Mark, Eric and Steve said, "When Jeff found out about the
ISB Network and attended his first reunion, he came home bouncing off of
the walls. He just went on and on about the reunion and the people he saw
there. Jeff was always excited about the prospects of every reunion. We
never could fully understand his feelings but now after seeing you guys
come all the way up here to honor him, meeting and talking with you, we
think we now understand his strong connection with all of you."
think we all found comfort in Jeff’s uncle, Richard “Uncle Dick”
Wiberg, a retired minister, whose stories of Jeff’s life mixed with the
words of his faith were refreshingly appropriate.
niece, Josie Lewis spoke of her love for her Uncle Jeff, revealing his
love for children and the patience and limitless time he gave to them all.
Josie’s words were those of someone far beyond her years.
youngest cousin, David Wiberg, portrayed the yearly gatherings at the
family cottage in New Hampshire. Jeff was the one who taught them all how
to water ski and David took pride in being the last of the cousins that
was taught to ski by Jeff. His words painted a very clear picture of who
per Jeff’s wishes he was cremated and the family has asked that
donations be sent to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society-Greater CT.
Chapter, 705 North Mountain Road, Suite G102, Newington, CT. 06111-1411.
brothers, Mark, Eric and Steve; and his wife Jane, are all planning to
attend the St. Petersburg reunion. We plan to toast his life at 12:00
Midnight on Friday, August 13th. I think it only appropriate that we do so
on the beach, with bare feet in the sand.
were many, many stories and anecdotes that were both funny and sad but
unlike last week, the raining in my heart has slowed and the sun has begun
to peek through the clouds.
his sweet wife Jane, Jeff was blessed to have you and I feel very
fortunate to call you my friend.
hope all of you that were close to Jeff will find comfort in knowing that
he loved his ISB friends and family but has gone on to greater rewards.
we meet again, Sawaddi old friend.