From Dean on June 4th, 2009 in CalFinder News
Pardon us while we break away from our normal remodeling program. A member of the CalFinder family recently lost a friend and asked that we pass on this short note.
You listened intently and offered sage advice; your encouragement was so sincere; you led with a kind hand and constructive criticism; your praise was reflective and meaningful; you were unassuming but the first most of us turned to; you led by example; your medical suggestions and advice were spot-on; your home so warm. . . always available; your gardens so inviting; the meals you and Jacqui prepared so interesting; your desires for a better world so well thought-out; your political commitments clear; I learned about silent films from you; we hunted, skiied, dived, hiked and flew together; I ran in the Oakland and Berkeley hills with you; you jumped in at mile 16 to help me finish my first marathon; you insisted I read your selection of books for my own good. . . and you were right; you loved my mother and always asked about her. . . you consoled me when I traveled west to eulogize her in January; we flew many places together in your plane. . . Zion and Bryce at sunset were surreal when we flew to Boulder from Santa Monica; I remember when you rented a small office in Berkeley in 1982 and told me about the lady who transcribed your dictation. . . with her you swapped audio tapes, books and notes; one day the two of you met and several years later you married Jacqui; many–like I–continue to marvel at your 60th birthday celebration on the ranch in Boulder; how I longed for your 65th; abalone, Chardonnay, and squash blossoms; cappucino in the morning at Ross Street; your patients at Rockridge revered you, the staff looked to you for leadership; my children looked up to you; every friend I introduced was mesmerized by the stories, the comments, the observations, the wit, the wry humor; you made each whom you touched better; we met in 1976 but it seems as though it was only yesterday and there are so many more questions I have that I wish for you to answer; you made each of us feel special, but it was clear the person whom you sought out was Jacqui; so often you’d call home when we traveled and the affection was so evident, the connection was so clear. John, you were a best friend, a mentor, a confidante, a role model, a constructive critic and a big brother. The hole you have left is immense, but I feel so fortunate to have known you, learned from you, and loved you. You taught us well, and if permitted, we shall all endeavor to help Miss Jacqui, your “Sweety”. Godspeed to you John. There’s lots already. Thanks, David Willson
Visit John Austin’s Memorial website to read more stories.