Gone Too Soon

In 1992 I moved from Houston, TX to Powell, WY and became a single woman shortly after moving there.  This family of Rich, Jane,  and their children Jonathan and Elizabeth became my family.  They took me under their wing and we became very close friends.

Rich was a family man–family meant the world to him and I was considered family.  He and Jonathan came to mow my huge lawn when Rich discovered I was mowing with a small push mower/bagger–it took me hours to mow the grass with that silly little suburban mower.

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, sky, ocean, child, beach, outdoor and natureRich and Jane with their pride and joy–grand babies Tegan and Anders.

One day I looked out an upstairs window of my house in Powell and saw this fluffy pink stuff all over the lawn–flickers had decided to peck holes in my siding and remove the insulation.  Rich and Jonathan came to my rescue again bringing ladders and lightweight metal to cover the holes.

Jane and Rich helped me bury what seemed like miles of wire for an underground electric fence for my unruly Airedales.

Rich taught me how to refinish furniture–I still use the dining table I refinished with his instructions.  Rich worked in the lab of the hospital in Powell where I was the Director of Nursing.  At work one day he noticed all the band-aids on the ends of my fingers.  I told Rich all the sanding had really made my fingertips raw.  He had neglected to tell me he owned a drill with a small head which would have helped with that sanding! 🙂

One of my fondest memories of life in Powell was going Christmas tree hunting with Jane, Rich and the kids.  We had so much fun that day!

After I married the Cowboy and moved away from Powell we would meet Jane and Rich for dinner in various places.  Then it became our tradition to have Easter brunch in Red Lodge–this photo was taken at Rock Creek Resort and you can tell by our attire it was a chilly Easter Sunday!

Life has been unkind to this family with the loss of their son Jonathan in a car accident in 2002.  Now Rich has lost his struggle with a nasty cancer.  As our friend Geri so eloquently said, not enough life lived.  Rest in peace Rich, you will be missed so much!


24 thoughts on “Gone Too Soon

  1. The missing suffer no more. I’ve always thought that the good ones who leave too soon only leave because they earned their way out of this vail of tears with their splendid behavior.

    So we should not mourn their transition to the next and finer stage but celebrate their blessing on our own lives, and strive to Honor them with our own behavior.

    It’s not an easy task… but that focus can hold us together as we become accustomed to the pain of their absence.


  2. Sorry for your lose. This strong friendship will leave you with wonderful, lasting memories of all you good times. I’m sure Rich is in a much better place and finally free of pain. Our thoughts are with you.


  3. So sad to lose a dear friend. May God watch over you all during this sad time. And do continue to remember the good times.


  4. So sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for sharing such wonderful memories of your friendship with Rich and his family. I know you will all miss him so very much. My condolences and prayers.


  5. A beautiful tribute to your dear friend who was really family. Thank you for sharing that. His warmth and kindness radiate through your words. My sincere condolences to you and all his loved ones.


  6. Tears on my cheeks. So sad to lose friends. Sounds like you have many wonderful memories. You’re so kind–I know the family appreciated you being with them.


    1. Jane and I have a very close relationship–I had been in frequent touch with Jane but on Monday they were really on my mind–and that’s the day he died. Thanks for your kind words Bev!


  7. He sounds like a very special man and the world will be a little more empty now that he’s gone. I know he’s not in any pain, but those left behind have to deal with the pain of losing him. Hugs.


  8. It’s difficult to adjust to such a loss and to help the family deal with the acute grief at his passing. My condolences to you all.


  9. Very nice tribute Janna to two very special people. Tom said after reading this that he wished we could have known Rich when he was young and healthy. He obviously was a very special guy with many talents. We enjoyed his and Janes company in Arizona so much.


    1. At the service today Jane spoke about her husband–she is a very strong woman, I could not have done that without falling apart. The church was full of people who cherished Jane and Rich.


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