Thank you for your expressions of shared grief for us and for John.   We take a lot of comfort in knowing that this is what he wanted.  We also know, without question, that had he made it through the surgery he would have been miserable and sorry he had missed this chance to go.

In 1996 John wrote instructions to be followed for his memorial service,  which we are planning for sometime in the fall.  We will let all of you know as soon as plans have been finalized.   In Johns letter of instruction  to Thea Nietfeld,  who was minister of the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines at the time, he wrote the following:     
In a letter to the minister he wrote:
"Since I expect you to be the minister of this church as long or longer than I was, there is a
remote possibility you may have to conduct some kind of service for me when I die.  The enclosed ritual for the dead is not to be performed later than Dec. 2, 2009, without a note saying I lived too damn long".   He then listed the music he wanted played and included a few brief thoughts he wanted to share with his friends and family followed by:  "Whatever else is done, if anything, I hope it will be brief enough to prevent the affair from being tiresome.   Take your time preparing for this service.  I'm in no hurry.  I will thank you now lest I forget to do so afterward.  When the time comes, if you have any questions call me at 1-800-H-E-A-V-E-N.  If I'm not there try the hot line at 1-800-H-O-T-H-E-L-L.  Should I be lucky enough not to be there look for a mite of me the next spring among the flowers of Creeping Charlie and the next fall you may get a glimpse of another speck of me among the flowers of Golden Rods."

  You will find John alive and well at