Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I lost my dad yesterday. It was a shock and doesn't feel real but we are dealing and we'll be ok. I wanted to share the obituary I wrote with my sister in the car this morning as we are driving to Watertown. It's not perfect, but we wanted to contribute something to his memory. I really wish I'd remembered to mention his affinity for mallow cups, Limburger cheese and peanut butter and baloney sandwiches, but i have a feeling I'll be posting about him more soon, so those tidbits won't be forgotten. No idea how this will format, it was typed on my iPhone and uploaded from the car. Anyway, please pray for my dad. I'm ok but he needs us now. xo

John C. Pike has died. He lived a too brief but adventurous and ambitious life, touching the lives and souls of many. John gave generously and compassionately, and all who felt his love were warm when he was near.  His personality was his art, much larger than his small stature, he could fill a room with his smile. He welcomed those who felt out of place, could create a poem or song on a whim, and inspired people to do great things. John was born in Watertown, NY in 1951and was blessed to have many lifelong childhood friends, from cub scouts, catholic school, football and just bombing around town, charming young and old alike. John was a member of the TKE fraternity at Eureka College, he liked to tell about sleeping in Ronald Reagan's old bed, and graduated from SUNY Brockport, not cum laude, but a gentleman and a scholar. He married Shelley Ryan in 1974 and their two daughters were born in Portland, OR, a place John loved and always called home. John was a true go-getter, no one worked harder for his family and his values. He had a long career in human resources and loved helping people in that role. He especially had a soft spot for servicemen and their families and strove to make their transitions easier. JCP's true passion was the St. Lawrence River, he spent his best days there and could always be found helping a neighbor, craftimg stories around the campfire and taking on his santa alter ego, ever the jokester. John also loved to fly, a proud event was crossing the country in a Cessna. jcpflyer was a coast guard petty officer and volunteered his time and talents protecting our borders and waterways. John was the most silly, sweet, devoted father and his daughters cherish memories of his creative games, dinner table questions and remember him as an example if character and integrity. John's bond with his daughters and sons-in-law was strong and they know he's in a better place and honor his memory. John was married to Patricia Donovan on a summer day at the River, and truly enjoyed step-grandfatherhood. John ended absolutely every phone call with God Bless; his family and friends wish the same for him.


L said...

This is beautiful.

I have wonderful memories of your father, he had a way of making those around him feel so good about themselves! It was always a treat when we got to see him, and he will always be part of the best summer I ever had.

JCP is a very special person, as are his daughters. P and I look forward to celebrating his life with you! Until then, safe travels and much love.

Jess said...

I remember your dad coming to our swim meets on occasion. He was a huge supporter in spirit if not always in person. That obituary made me cry - what a wonderful way to put such a beautiful stamp on his life. You and he are in my prayers.

Anna said...

This is an amazing tribute.

I also have so many great memories of your dad. The thought of him always brings a smile to my face. From the great times at the river to calling him after our swim meets, he always made everyone around him feel special.

He will be greatly missed, but I know he will live on through his wonderful daughters and family.

Travel safe and know how much you are loved today and always.

Zoo Keeper said...

T - I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. Your family is in our thoughts.

Kurt Hyneman said...

I must admit, when I saw first word of this on the internet, I hoped it wasn't the Johnny Pike from the old neighborhood I grew up with.

You captured the spirit of the man perfectly. A very nice tribute.

Johnny was a scrapper and never let his size get in the way of our sandlot games. He always wanted to join in, even though the rest of us were a few years older. We were never sorry we let him join in.

He was well liked in the neighborhood. I'm totally shocked.

Please accept my condolences.

larry said...

I am stunned by your passing, for it was only a couple of months ago you drove down to Sodus Point to help me with your wonderful HR skills. I will truly miss your smile, laughter, friendship and out of this world stories! I know how much you loved your wife and daughters and they will be in my heart, thoughts and prayers. I look forward to the day the winds aloft lets our paths cross again! RIP my friend! larry

Rebekah said...

You will be greatly missed. Autumn keeps wanting to talk to "Papa John". Your smile and welcoming personality made many feel welcome. I will miss you very much.

Katie & Tera, I am so, so, so very sorry. It's not fair to lose a parent. Next to losing a child and sibling, it is a nightmare. I wish I was there with you all at this time. Huge hugs from me. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

JuneBug said...

Tera and Katie -

My heart goes out to you. And you've done an amazing job writing a wonderful memory of your dad. You have both been and become amazing women whom your father will look down on proudly from above. We send much love and many hugs.

The Stanford's said...

Oh Tera, I am so sorry for your loss. But what beautiful words to honor the memory of your dad. Our prayers are coming your way.
Wishing all God's love on your family throughout this tough time...
Stacy, Philip, and Kinsley

Courtney said...


This is such a beautiful tribute to your dad.

I will never forget my wonderful memories of JCP, and the fun and excitement he brought to everything he did. Summer visits to the cottage (except when our parents pieced together all of our shenanigans...) are among my favorite memories of my childhood.

I also remember being so homesick when I moved away after college, and always looked forward to our every-few-weeks-lunches in Rochester.

I could go on and on...his service was beautiful, and I am so grateful I was able to be there to celebrate his life with you.