Uncle John was my son’s Godfather. When we looked for Godparents for our first born the search began and stopped at Deed and John Ames. I never heard John say a cross word about anyone. John was a gentleman who always looked to the comfort of others before himself. John was what an uncle should be. He was genuinely interested in your life and issues but never critical.
I enjoyed Johns stories about growing up in Oatman Arizona. He talked fondly of his mother, how he marveled at her ability to always cook a dinner for the family even when it was 115 degrees with no air conditioning. I loved hearing him talk about Tombstone, Bisbee and Douglas. He loved the region.
John joined the military during World War II. He told me he went to his school principal in the middle of his senior year and asked to be excused so he could join up. The principal told him if his parents agreed he would be allowed. His mom said no. He would wait until the school year ended.
John waited on the Island of Maui Hawaii with a group that was to invade and occupy Japan. The war ended before his company could embark.
John was there to serve his country.
John talked about his grandkids. He was always proud to tell his niece and I how they did in their high schools and universities, Notre Dame and Stanford. He and Deed traveled to all of their graduations. His pride for these boys was worn on his sleeve.
My younger son collects rocks. John and his Grandpa fed his collection. My sons knew that a visit to Uncle John’s house meant a trip out back where he would bring out his special stash of rocks and give the kids a few to take home. John collected rocks since his childhood days in Oatman. When John found I liked old bottles he started sending old bottles to me.
When my wife or I were in the hospital John and Deed would come by every day and say hello.
John kept an eye on his sister in law Mary. He cared about Mary as he did all of those in his reach. He was a caring husband to Deed. He was a valued neighbor. John would talk about the kids next door with glowing praise. Neighbors like John Ames are rare.
My family is better for knowing John Ames. He gave us a blueprint for gentlemanly behavior.
John Ames is the type of man I hope my sons turn out to be.
I will truly miss you John.