- 24 years old
- Date of birth: Apr 12, 1989
- Date of passing: Feb 18, 2014
|For we grieve, but not as those without hope...|
Dear family and friends,
As we mark the second anniversary of Jason's passing, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all of you for sustaining us with your kind words, prayers and encouragement. You keep Jason's memory alive in so many ways.
After much prayer and consideration, we have identified two organizations to support with funds raised in Jason's memory. To honor Jason's love of music, we are establishing a fund through the Reservoir High School Music Boosters to provide private music lesson scholarships to deserving students. To honor Jason's passion for creating equal access to justice for Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing individuals, we are also establishing a special fund through HEARD (Helping Educate to Advance the Rights of the Deaf), to help create a universally accessible justice system.
We are requesting that any future donations* be sent directly to these organizations:
Reservoir High School
11550 Scaggsville Rd.
Fulton, MD 20759
P.O. Box 1160
Washington, D.C. 20013
Or click the "donate" button at http://www.behearddc.org/
For both organizations, please indicate that your donation is in honor of Jason Mastroianni.
*All donations are tax deductible.
We continue to meet people who knew and loved Jason. Thank you all for remembering and sharing his life, humor and compassion.
With much love,
Rick & Laura and Andrew Mastroianni
"I can't believe it has been three years. I remember your smiling face, your excitement about what was going on in your life as we had brunch together at Grandma's house. Little did I know that as we made plans to see you again very soon, that would be the last time I'd see you. I think of you often, especially when I see an amazing percussion video. My heart goes out to your mom, dad and Andrew. May they find comfort in knowing how much you are loved and missed by so many. That you continue to make a difference in people's lives, just in a different way. Love- Aunt Carol"
"J - I was honored to preach at Son of David congregation today ... They prayed the ancient Jewish prayer (Kaddish) for those who are mourning, and asked anyone to stand who was missing someone today. It took me about a nanosecond to jump to my feet as I thought of you and your Mom, Dad, and Andrew. The prayer is full of hope as it reminds of the goodness of God. Today, we are three years closer to when we see you again. Hope the telemarketers are chasing you past the pearly gates laughing all the way."
"Dear Laura, Rick and Andrew, Our prayers are with you as you so lovingly celebrate Jason's life and legacy. Thank you for shining Jesus' and Jason's light! Blessings, The Rhoad Family"
"Jason I miss hearing you play guitar and the way you'd laugh at funny things. I hope it's warm up there because I know how much you loved the sun.
I'll remember you always
- love Tica"
"I still see you up there on stage with Andrew, your mom and dad when they are worshiping with all of us at BCC. Hope heaven is all we imagine it to be:) We will all see you soon. Hugs!"
"Three years ago today was a shocking and incredibly sad day. We miss you Jason."
"I was Jason's professor in Deaf Studies at Towson, and I will never forget him. He was a warm, caring soul who was passionate about the Deaf community. I'm so thrilled to see that donations in his memory will go to two wonderful causes representing his interests. Sending strength and love to his family and friends on the anniversary of his passing."
"A random memory came to my mind the other day about a night when Jason had accidentally locked his keys inside his car at the Baskin Robbins down the street from RHS. Took a group of six of us 20 minutes of trying to jimmy locks and crawling around looking for a spare key or another way in to realize that the sunroof was open just enough to fit a hand in. Jason reached in flipped the switch and somehow shimmied head first down into the car through the sunroof. By the end of it we were all laughing hysterically. If Jason was there, you were always in store for a fun night with great friends and plenty of laughter."
"Thinking of you Laura & Rick! ((((HUGS)))) may God continue to bless you every minute."
"Jason I appreciate life everyday as you come to mind
- Tica Gaitor
"Hugs to your mom & dad! I can't imagine the strength & faith they have to face each day missing you! I'm sure there's a big party in heaven & you're the life of the party. :) Til we join you & our creator one day.....happy birthday jason!"
"Remembering you on your birthday, Jason <3, and always."
"Happy birthday J!
We miss you so much - but the impact of your life resounds in those you love. We all can't wait til we see you again.
I hope the flat spot on the side of your head is all fixed now. ;-)
We all miss you and there is not a church service where I don't think of you. If you would use the Lord's power to give your mom, dad and Andrew special hugs and love to lift them up, that would be great. As you would expect, they are carrying on as strong disciples in Christ but they hurt every day from missing you. But not without hope...we are Bethany strong:)"
It has been a year since we lost you. I think about you often and remember the strong presence you were in our family. I think about how losing you has affected my brothers. I think about how losing you has affected me. All I know is that we are all blessed for having you in our lives.
Jason, a few months ago I cried because I saw a beautiful article about a restaurant in Canada who employees only deaf servers, and I couldn't physically share it with you. They use menus that teach hearing people to sign their order and the servers help them to learn signs. I thought that this was such a wonderful business! We need these in the U.S.
A few months after that my family lined up their LLBean moccasins under the Christmas tree in remembrance of you and the necessity of these shoe/slipper combo in our family. We all miss you dearly.
Thank you for sharing your love and happiness with me and my family. You will always be in our hearts.
"In loving memory of you, Jason. You are in my thoughts quite a bit, little big guy. You, your presence, your wit, your smile ... still very much missed."
This morning, as it happened, you were in my waking thoughts!!! You must have been tapping me on the shoulder. I want to thank you for leaving that sweet video of yourself signing your desire to work with Deaf prisoners. It really touched me and I will never forget it. I know it will make you and your family happy that because of this you will be remembered in our community -- you'll see!!
Thinking of you, missing you, and sending a hug.
"I will never hear the song 'Cornerstone' & not think of Jason! His memorial service was beautiful & uplifting as was his life. Hugs to Laura Rick & Andrew. Such a big loss.......such a big life he lived. God bless."
Today is December 18, 2014, which marks ten months since you left us. It also means that it is six days until Christmas Eve, which means one thing- STEW. I so badly want to text you the countdown daily, I want to see your emojis back of stew, I want you to say how excited you are, I want you to tell the infamous Christmas Eve story, which you bring up every year… But I can’t text you and you won’t be there to bring up the story.
Jason, I’m mad at you because you went ahead of us. Why did you have to do that? There is so much stew to be eaten.
I have struggled to write this letter, because I don’t want to say goodbye. In fact, I have refused to finish this letter, until now. So I am sorry that it is long overdue, but cut me some slack, you were always late for church.
I refused to finish this letter because it symbolized that you were actually gone and meant that I had nothing left to hold onto to keep you alive. I know it sounds silly, but it’s true. Though, I have finished this letter, I do not accept your death. I do not accept your death because death has no hold over you - Christ defeated the grave and so one day we will laugh together over a bowl of Christmas Eve Stew and celebrate Jesus’s birth and victory.
I write this letter with tears streaming down my face, like the Coldplay song, and I want you to know that I love you. I miss you more than words can say. But I am not without hope and look forward to the day when Jesus returns and we will be reunited. I love you Robin, Jay, Older Brother, Mr. Taylor Swift (haha remember that time you wanted to marry her…. you were always too good for her), CareBear (as Bryden liked to call you), and Jason Nicholas Mastroianni-McGhee.
Kelsey- your little sister
P.S. I feel I must be honest with you. You will probably learn anyways if you are looking down on us and hear our conversations. There might have been a time when I was in elementary/middle school when I had a crush on you. Don’t worry I got over it quickly and only ever saw you as a brother… But I cannot deny that it happened. Ask Bryden if you don’t believe me."
"Dearest Jason, it is August 18, 2014 – 6 months since you left us. Here’s what’s on my mind:
I have often heard people say that God never gives us more than we can handle. I must disagree. I think we are given things that ARE too hard for us to handle alone for the simple reason that we were never meant to go through this life alone. How does one “handle” the death of a son (or anyone) alone?
On February 18, as I sat in my principal’s office waiting for the detectives who needed to talk to me, I cried out, “Lord, catch my heart”. I made a couple of phone calls and sent a text message, barely able to get out the words, “SOS, please pray! Detectives from Baltimore are on their way to see me. This can’t be good!” And while I was the only one sitting in that office for quite some time, I was never alone. Friends were lifting up prayers even as Rick and dear friends were driving to get to that office… driving to get to me.
I heard the news that you, my dear Jason, had died before anyone could get to my school. Yet I still wasn't alone. In that instant, as my heart shattered, God was already providing this friend to hold this piece over here and that friend to hold that little piece. Each piece gently held and lovingly tended to by family and friends as God held and holds us all because quite honestly this is just too much to hold and “handle” alone.
I still have days when I am very angry, very sad and very shattered. (Contrary to science, it really is possible to walk around with your heart not working and when the pain is so bad the air is literally sucked out of you.) Yet God in His love and mercy hasn't left me to handle this alone. I love you bud!"
Your birthday was just this past weekend, and I have to say, Saturday was one of the most beautiful days of weather that we've had so far this year. The sun was out and it warmed us under the blue skies as we gathered throughout the day at your parent's house to be together and remember you. It would only have been more perfect with you there to blow out candles or release balloons. But then again, I know you were there. Right as we released our balloons, a gust of wind took them straight into the trees. We all had a laugh and a few small tears as we watched the balloons drift and get stuck in the trees. When each one finally wiggled it's way out one at a time and went on to fly as high as they could toward the Heavens, we cheered. Those were cheers in your honor, cheers for a wonderful laughter and love filled life. Cheers that we know where you are, and Who you are with. We'll be here, missing and remembering you...until we meet again."
"Happy Birthday Jason - beautiful spring day and a pleasure to spend some time with you parents recalling and celebrating your life's accomplishments."
"A Party for Jason
When: Saturday, April 12, 2:00pm - 6:00pm
Where: The Mastroianni Home, 9407 Mayflower Ct., Laurel, MD 20723
Please join us as we gather Jason Mastroianni’s family and friends to remember him on his 25th birthday.
We will provide snacks, soft drinks, beer and wine. Feel free to bring snacks or drinks to share if you wish.
Drop in when you can and enjoy this time to remember and celebrate Jason's life, love and laughter.
All who knew and loved Jason are welcome to stop by, so you're welcome to pass this invitation along.
We look forward to meeting some of you for the first time.
RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org or
or (301) 906-0015 by Thurs. Apr. 10th if possible."
"I met Jason just a few months ago at our training class for work (LRA Worldwide). Although I did not get to know him well, I'm glad we were able to have a few whiskeys and a few laughs together. He is loved by many and will be missed."
"I wanted to share my remembrance speech from the service yesterday in case it was a little bit hard to make out. A huge thank you to Rick, Laura, & Andrew for the opportunity to share with everyone a little bit of what Jason meant to me and all of our friends from high school. The service yesterday was absolutely perfect and I know Jason loved it.
"Hi. My name is Jake Sherry. I first met Jason in 2005 in our sophomore year of High School. One of my very first memories of befriending Jason happened one of the first nights he came over to my house. Jason had recently acquired a new MacBook and as we all know, Jason loved having the latest and greatest technology especially when it meant giving all his money to Steve Jobs. Now, the first thing anyone does when they first use a Mac is take a bunch of crazy pictures in the photo booth program using all the funky filters. Matt Donnelly, Jason, and I stayed up all night taking hundreds of photos until we couldn’t breathe anymore. We were laughing so hard after capturing every single picture that I remember having to leave the room multiple times just to keep from passing out. It seems really juvenile and cheesy but I have never laughed that hard in my entire life. There have been multiple times when Jason made me laugh harder than anyone has ever been able to make me laugh. That’s the Jason I will always remember. He had such wit and grace with his humor to get anyone in the room to laugh. He would always find the ‘funny’ in any situation. Through various nights like these, Jason grew to be one of my absolute best friends in life.
Jason and I had such a close relationship that we didn’t hesitate to tell each other how much we meant to one another. This was a trait that I believe Jason passed on to me early on; the ability to step back from situations and cherish the beauty in them. We constantly had conversations about the things we valued in life. We regularly reminisced on our high school days and the incredible peers who surrounded us. We would talk about how great it was that 5 years after high school graduation we still kept in touch with a great group of friends who genuinely love and care for each other. We would also discuss how fortunate we were to have such a phenomenal music department, with directors and teachers who we quickly began calling our ‘friends.’ We had such a unique and positive high school experience and he never wanted to take that for granted. These traits he instilled in me cause me to be thankful everyday. I am extremely fortunate and grateful to have had someone like him in my life. He was someone I could always turn to for absolutely anything. I know I speak for everyone when I say that he will be beyond missed. But I know when I need to turn to him he will always be listening with a big smile on his face.""
"Dear Laura, Rick and Andrew, We are holding you close in prayer right now. You are not alone in your grief as so many family and friends loved your son and brother. Brendan was deeply sorry that he could not attend yesterday's service as he is out of the country but he would have loved to have been there for you. We first met Jason through RHS's marching band and, then, as he and Brendan became friends, he was often at our home for birthday and graduation parties. Jason and Brendan shared similar musical interests and we once took them to see a concert at Rams Head Live in Annapolis. I can't remember the artist but he signed their t-shirts! He also helped Brendan pick out a computer when he worked at Best Buy. He was a warm, loving and cheerful person--the kind that Jesus uses to draw others to Himself. God has a special place in heaven for him just as all of us hold a special place for Jason in our hearts. May your strong faith and the love of family and friends comfort you, knowing that you will be reunited for all eternity. Your friends in Christ, John, Debbie and Brendan Rhoad"
"I loved Jason's impish grin from his early days and since! In more recent years, I so loved when he played percussion during our worship services and am so glad I was able to tell him so. When I heard the thunder (in the winter!) the day after he left this life, my first thought was that it was for him!
I am so saddened by how short his time with us all was but as was so clearly shared at his memorial today, we grieve but not without hope. We look forward to the day when we will see him again in heaven.
Thank you to Rick, Laura and and Andrew, family and friends who bravely shared your stories and music and food and support for each other today. You helped me know and love Jason more...and my LORD more as well."
"Miss you already brother. A childhood full of memories can be summed up by one story from a long time ago.
We we're playing catch in the park by your parents house. Those older kids stole the tennis ball we had and when I got it back, one pulled a knife on me.
And you sprinted in the other direction!
But you weren't abandoning me, you were getting help as soon as you could. Your first instinct was to protect me as best as you could. You are a fiercely loyal friend and brother. And my life is better for having time with you on this planet.
Can't wait to hang more on the other side, love you brother."
"It has taken me awhile to do this because I haven't been able to come to register that he really isn't here anymore. The service is the only thing that made it really sink in.
I will never forget the first time I met him, he helped me pick out a new laptop while he was working at best buy, the same one I am on right now. I thought he was so cute and I came back twice because he wasn't there the first time.
Jason taught me so much about family, church, music, happiness and my new favorite skill, drums. He used to teach me something new on my brother's drum set every time he came over.
Jason was such a wonderfully sweet, honest, and lovable person. An all around stand up guy. This world has taken a loss with your passing but I know you were greeted with open arms by the big guys upstairs and watching, guiding, and taking care of us from above. I love you, Jason. You will be forever missed."
"I just do not know what to say. The spark relit in me in the kitchen at church on the day Jason told me to just come to practice one evening if I wanted to get involved with music at BCC. I did not know Jason well, but he inspired me and got me one step closer to God. You are misse, Jason..."
"The Columbia Association Finance Service Bureau also extends our deepest sympathy to our colleague and friend, Andrew, and his family, in the loss of your brother and son. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this very difficult time."
"I didn't know Jason well since he graduated before my son, Kyle, entered RHS, but Jason's legend lives on at RHS Music Department. My son, Kyle Pompei (graduated 2012) and I would like to let you know that Kyle and I are holding your family up in prayer through this difficult time."
"The Columbia Association Aquatics Department wishes to extend deepest sympathy for you in your loss. And hoping, too, that comfort and peace may come to you."
"This post was composed by Ann McGhee
It has taken me awhile to write to you here, because as a Second Mom to you, my heart just feels broken. Until I catch up to you on the other side, we have this temporary wrenching separation of the physical and spiritual, and frankly buddy, it sucks. To not get to see you again walk in my front-side door with a Starbucks in one hand, that incredibly contagious, broad, “I’m up to no good,” smile stretched across those forever ruddy cheeks of yours, and hear your low, oft gravelly voice boom, “Hi, how’s it going?” well, it’s just tearing me up. So, to tide me over till I see you again, I’m just going to steady my heart with these memories . . .
From the moment you entered this world you epitomized the classic phrase: Beautiful Bouncing Baby Boy! From infancy to adulthood, though you were small in physical stature, your zest and zeal for life kept us all chasing after you like a wild hopping infield hit off Chris Davis’ bat.
Your frolicking, belly laughing, pranking, engaging in deep conversations, creating music, playing baseball, watching your beloved Orioles, playing with Andrew, Bryden, Kelsey, Lauren, Mara, Jana, Kelly, Matt, Erik, the Giroux boys, The Fraser girls, the Moran and Cutler kids, and so many other buddies . . . in sandboxes, pools, baseball diamonds, forts in basements, snow sledding hills, birthday parties of all sorts, concerts, band and choir performances, feasting together at our extended family gatherings, plays, graduations, proms, retreats and Bible studies, Collage Christmas parties with singing and clapping monkeys, first loves, learning to drive, first cars, second cars, worship band, so many beautiful scenes in my mind go on and on and on and . . . but here a couple particularly favorite ones . . .
24 Christmas Eve’s (I guess 25 really since we had 2 the year Bryden was in NZ.) enjoying stew, and hearing you kids marking off the days . . . “364 . . . 213 . . . 106 . . . 55 . . . 1 . . . more day till we get to eat stew!” Beautiful.
I love that our two families are so inextricably linked. I know you and Andrew, Bryden and Kelsey, had no say in it, but when God forged your folks and Kevin and I into the core team to build His Body in Laurel, He gave us the most precious of gifts; next to the Gift of His Son, none sweeter. And I don’t know if I ever told you this in person, but I am so deeply grateful for the many sacrifices you and your “siblings” have made through the years. There were many times when we asked all you kids to give up time with us, or share your toys and life experiences with strangers, while the four parents ministered Jesus' love to others. "Thank you" seems so ridiculously inadequate, but Bud, it’s all I got . . . so “thanks J.” Beautiful.
I am also so deeply grateful that your sacrifice did not chase you away from enjoying and knowing our great God. One of my most cherished set of memories is seeing you and Andrew by yourselves and sometimes with your folks helping to lead us all in worship on Sunday mornings. Your worship was genuine and sweet, a true reflection of your faith. No obligation or “forced” feel to it, but rather a heartfelt love for God and his people. Beautiful.
I loved that our joined “family” includes so many others too, and that many of our times together are “book ended” by the great celebrations of our faith: The Incarnation – Christmas, and the hope of all hope, the defeat of death at the Resurrection of Jesus – Easter. Worship celebrations followed by family-friend gatherings filled with feasts and games (parent’s verses kids) and music, laughter and love! Beautiful.
The day I was doing PTA stuff at Reservoir and I was walking down the hall and a door was open, and you were in practice with your drum line, and we shared a moment, winking at each other, you beaming - loving being in the line, and me beaming back at you, filled so full because I saw your joy, the exuberance you had for all things musical, especially those drums. And I remember thinking, “Thank You God for J and for helping him find his sweet spot,” and I walked away so full that day . . . Beautiful.
So, for all these, and all the other beautiful memories too many to list, I say “Thank You God for J and thank you J for allowing me to be a second mom to you.” From this mother’s heart (and on behalf of all the other extended “mom’s and dad’s” who are on this side of heaven), I say for us,
“Thank You Heavenly Father for . . . The gift of life you brought to our lives in J. for letting us snuggle and cuddle and giggle with him, for letting us read him Good Night Moon and Alexander and Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and Harold and the Purple Crayon (who I swear was created based on you J), and change his diapers, and cut his hot dogs into little pieces, and throw a baseball to, and take trips together, and see his faith begin and grow in You, and watch him discover the creative, compassionate, passionate man you created him to be. Thank You Father for J.”
I was hoping I could pen a song for you, but I’m not quite able to yet; so for now, I will borrow the words of another and the creative staging of this song from others too. It seems fitting as it blends both of your great passions, music and love for the deaf; I offer you these words from John Lennon and Yoko Ono and the scene from the end of the movie “Mr. Holland’s Opus.” From the moment I heard you left us, I have been hearing the song and seeing the scene. So with apologies to John and Yoko, for changing the name at the end . . .
I am standing, looking at you now with tears streaming down my cheeks, singing and signing simultaneously, to you “Beautiful Boy:”
Close your eyes
Have no fear
The monster's gone
He's on the run and your daddy's here
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Before you go to sleep
Say a little prayer
Every day in every way
It's getting better and better
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Out on the ocean sailing away
I can hardly wait to see you come of age
But I guess, we'll both just have to be patient
'Cause it's a long way to go, a hard row to hoe
Yes, it's a long way to go but in the meantime
Before you cross the street
Take my hand
Life is what happens to you
While you're busy making other plans
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Before you go to sleep
Say a little prayer
Every day in every way
It's getting better and better
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful
Darling, darling, darling
Good night Jason
See you in the morning
See you, when I see you. I love you J.
"I always liked hearing what Jason had to say about the Orioles. I remember being happily surprised when he told me he was becoming a fellow member of the deaf community. I'm bummed we never got to go to a game or sign with each other. You'll be missed."
"While youth and adulthood memories with J abound, for some reason, the first thing that popped into my head was little me "instructing" little toddler Jason in an important life lesson: "We don't hit!" (SMACK). Very helpful, I know. Somehow J put up with that same crazy girl for 20+ more years of friendship, so go figure! :)
Bryden and I have always said that Jason was like our little brother. From toddlerhood to adulthood, he never failed to make us laugh... and his presence made any social event twice as fun! It won't be the same without him.
Gonna miss you, lil bro. See you on the other side."
"I have been thinking about Jason (and his family) since I found out about his death a few days ago and I am still at a loss for words. I never got to know Jason well but he was always kind to me, and always seemed to have a smile on his face and was always making whoever was around laugh, including me. I am deeply saddened that he wont be there to give me a hug the next time I am home visiting. I am even more sad for those that were closest to him and I so wish I could be there for his memorial to hear all the great stories everyone will tell about him. Jason, you will be missed. Laura, Rick, Andrew, and countless friends mourning this loss my heart is there with you and I am sending you all cyber hugs."
"Jason was a great drummer in the world of sound, but he made room in his life for Deaf friends, as well. He worked with Deaf inmates, and became a great signer. I loved signing with him. I will miss our conversations, his smile and hugs."
"Two days ago I received news that I did not want to believe. A dear friend of mine and the Sherry household had passed away. It crushed me knowing that someone who had been around my family for so many years and a best friend to my brother was gone so soon. In the past couple of years my encounters with Jason were brief and did not come often since I've been away at school, but I cherished those short periods of time where we got to chat and catch up. He always managed to get me smiling by cracking a joke or doing something ridiculous. It felt like only yesterday my parents left Jason in charge of me for weekends they went out of town. How could I forget the crazy photos and videos we took on his laptop or both of us goofing off instead of doing school work. Or the times he would mess with me while playing video games, begging me to dance to different music while recording it all of course. It was never a dull moment when we got to hang out and spend time together. And what was a day working at Merriweather without texting Jason to find out what stand or beer cart he was working at so we could have a conversation and joke around before things got too busy.
This world has lost a great person that I will miss and never forget about. You taught me to always be my goofy self and I will cherish all of the moments we had together. I first knew you just as one of my brother's friend but I'm glad we were able to get to know each other and become as close as we were. Rest in Peace Jason"
"We had some fun times on those Andros trips. Even after long, hot days, when everyone was tired, Jason could crack a joke and make everyone laugh. He was always joking, laughing, and having fun. He had that crazy grin on his face. I'll never forget that. He will be so missed, but a blessing he was to so many."
"I have two wonderful grandsons that I love very much. I was able to visit them often when I left California and returned to Pennsylvania.
Andrew seemed very serious and controlled. Jason was a free spirit with an easy smile and willing to give you a hug. He was also
The Great Negotiator. I present the following pieces of evidence.
I took the boys to the dairy section of the supermarket and told them to each pick a gallon of their favorite ice cream. Andrew picked his.
He asked, "Can I pick three?"
"Pick a gallon, Jason"
"Can I have two?"
"One gallon, Jason."
He picked his gallon and was quite happy about it.
The boys were into a series of books about youngsters who could morph into animals I took them to the bookstore and gave each twenty dollars. Jason went to the tables of books.
He smiled and said, "If I had twenty-THREE dollars I could buy something really nice."
"You have twenty dollars, Jason"
He turned and skipped off to find his treasure.
Jason was always a joy to be around. The picture of him with his many friends tells the whole story.
Thank you, Lord for giving all of us the gift that was Jason.
"I met Jason as a young boy in Cooperstown, the Baseball Hall of Fame, when his grandfather George and I and other colleagues were presenting a paper to a Symposium on Baseball & American Culture on baseball and film. Rick and Laura and their young family drove up from the D.C. area to visit and enjoy the experience -- and they did! In a touch of irony, I and a few others had a short visit with Rick at the Newseum last week, a couple days before the tragic news of Jason's passing, and Rick spoke of him and his new job with a giant smile on his face, his pride as evident as his love. It's the memory I'll hold in my own: the happiness Jason brought to his Dad, and all his family . . . I'm sure he and George are catching up now, and planning some fun together . . . L'chaim."
"http://youtu.be/fTsSnU55xzI, Simple Plan's song "Gone Too Soon." You'll be sorely missed, dude."
"Jason had inherited his mother's wit and sense of humor, he was one of the funniest people I knew. I have many memories of him when he was little and I was living at the Mastroianni home. I cannot get the pictures out of my head spunky Jason singing "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast or doing his best genie imitation from Aladdin. What I would give to have the purple oatmeal bowl that turned pink when you microwaved it and to see the the look on Andrew and Jason's face one more time, like you expect me to eat this. The oatmeal would be the consistency of wallpaper paste.
Jason you will be missed more than you know!"
"We've missed Jason at Andros Bible Camp the last few years as he had other opportunities to pursue. It is certainly with sadness that we will continue to miss him until we get together again in glory. Praise God for peace that passes understanding."
"Jason was one of my daughter's friends. While we met only a few times, I will always remember him as a warm, funny, kind and engaging young man. I was so impressed by him, his sense of humor, and his obvious love of and talent with food. I hope that Jason's parents, family and loved ones find comfort in knowing that Jason was respected by so many of the people he met."
"I had the true pleasure to be Jason's percussion teacher for a few years while he was in high school. He was a wonderful student, musician, and person. What I remember most is the joy that he brought to his own learning. We were able to discuss so much more than just the notes and rhythms. He considered things like how music could make people feel and he always played with passion and intensity. Jason was a most remarkable young man and I'll dearly miss him."
"Jason has always been a special part of the Sherry family. Not only was he my son Jake's best friend, he touched all our lives in various ways. His infectious laugh would fill the house and always put a smile on my face. Ah and the many memories of how he would take over my kitchen to cook special meals for all his friends.
Jason was always our "go to guy" when we needed someone to watch over Luke when we went out of town and he always was willing to be there. Jason was a master at encouraging Luke to express his musical talents and I can just imagine what went on in the house when we left those two alone!
When I reflect and think about the type of friendship that Jake and Jason shared I think of the word "unconditional" and that is a true testament to his character. Watching the enjoyment and listening to the experiences they shared as the friendship grew from young high school buddies to young adults was a true pleasure. Jason's commitment to Jake as well as Tim and all his special friends was something special for sure.
Jason you have enriched all our lives for the better and you will be missed. This however is not good bye - it's till we meet again!"
"I have many fond memories of Jason on my trips to Andros...I will never forget the time he came to the airport (before dawn, thanks Tim Quigg) and found out that his passport was expired. We were all so upset but somehow he was able to pull off getting a new one and joined us a day or two later! I also remember him tapping out a melody on a piano app on his phone that was one of my favorite songs "Falling Slowly" from the movie "Once". I was impressed that he even knew the song since it wasn't very mainstream. He loved all music and was so talented. I thank him for sharing it with all of us on the worship stage and many other venues. Farewell Jason."
"My heart is broken by the thought of never running into Jason M again. He was always smiling and brightened my days with RHS Music. Sending hugs to his lovely parents and I'm encouraged to know he's with our Lord and Savior. But all too soon.........simply devastated......I will pray for the family. God Bless."
"I didn't know him personnally, but we shared a class at Towson University. Everytime he came to class he had something funn to say!!! Thank you for making me laugh!! My prayers and condolences to the family."
"I wasn't close to Jason, but he was one of the only people in school who treated me like a normal person, and he was always incredibly genuine and friendly to me. I'm really sad to hear about his untimely passing. My condolences to those who were close to him."
"A guy I never knew to cause anyone an ounce of heartache. Spent a little time together with Jason in music classes. Greatest memory is when he introduced me to Dane Cook's comedy bit about kool-aid. I cried because I was laughing so hard and Jason just kept feeding me more. To this day I think of that very moment whenever I hear it. My regards to Jason's family."
"You never consider what life will be like without one of your absolute best friends. Waking up and realizing that you can’t call or text someone that you did every single day for the past 9 years. When a funny news article surfaces and you are awaiting Jason’s goofy and incredibly witty response. When you need to vent to someone after a bad day. When you need advice on other friendships and relationships. When you need someone to tell you that you are doing the right or wrong thing. Whether or not you needed someone to brighten your day, Jason was there doing it.
He knew me better than any person in the world. There was no filter or fake-ness to our relationship. We told each other everything whether we thought the other would like what they were hearing or not. We didn’t care because we cared that much. Jason has such an infectious personality and good people gravitated to him. One of my favorite things about him was how excited he would get to tell us when he has met someone new, whether it be a roommate, a classmate, a girl. And how excited he was for us to meet this person. If something brought joy to him he wanted to share it with all around him. He never held back his excitement about the good people he met. We would always joke that Jason would always set out to meet new people and accidentally fall into a life-long relationship. That’s exactly what I did shortly after meeting Jason over 9 years ago. Remembering all the way back to him getting his first Mac and staying up until the wee-hours of the morning with him and Donnelly playing with all the goofy photo booth features. To multiple band trips and high school drumline. To taking Tim under his wing on the Disney spring trip. To his many cars and spray painting 'the Piece' in the RHS parking lot. To Proms and Homecomings. To Senior week 08 and 09. To trips to New York, Rothbury, University of Michigan, Massachusetts. To him tearing his ACL at University of Maryland and him visiting me in the hospital with a collapsed lung and hurting me by making me laugh too much. To him visiting Donnelly and I at VT every year multiple times. To Punch Brothers, Ben Folds, and Uhh Yeah Dude shows. To late nights driving around HoCo and late nights hanging out in basement watching ESPN just talking about nothing important. Just sharing joy and happiness and life.
Needless to say I would be no where in life without Jason Mastroianni. It almost seems impossible that we have to go on without him here with us. But something I have learned over the last two days is that Jason surrounded himself with some of the greatest people in the world. People of all different shapes and sizes. He cared about everyone so much and in return they cared about him so much. The greatest thing he leaves us is all the support and love of each other. It’s incredible seeing the lives he has impacted and though it seems way to soon for him to be leaving us, he lives larger than ever in this community he has built. Jason has helped guide me through every single step of my life since 2005 and I know he isn’t going to stop now.
Thank you so much, Jason, for EVERYTHING! You have made me such a better person in this crazy world. I love you so much. - Jake"
"Jason and the Mahler Hammer will always be one of my favorite memories. At the time, I couldn't figure out why Colin suddenly looked so panicked... And then I saw the video and burst out laughing. I must've watched it dozens of times... In the midst of the grieving, there is laughter in his memory, just as there was in his life.
"1 Samuel 16:12 - "Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance."
You know, it's late and I can't sleep of thinking of you, Jason. I'll tell you, Bryan, Nicholas, and I were so dang messed up after Tim called us the other night. Nicholas was reminiscing about how you never lost your patience with him and how you always endured with him. Bryan's been speechless, but not tear-less. You've turned my big strong hubby into a weepy mess!
Tuesday, the day you entered God's presence, I was staring out the window of my bedroom. The weather here in California has been quite beautiful the past couple of days and I was marveling at the bright sunshine. But for whatever reason, my thoughts turned to you, Zach, and Andrew pitching snowballs against the window of our apartment in Silver Spring when Nick was 5. Splosh! Laughter...drip. Plop. Splosh! Laughter...drip. Plop. That was the repetition we heard and watched until we finally said, "Okay, we'll let you in!" And you know, we've been aching for you - to see you and all our friends in Maryland again and for that moment of me staring out the window, I just laughed out loud remembering you, Andrew, and Zach on that snowy day. And by Tuesday evening, as we got ready to get into the car for a family outing, Tim called with your news. Oh wow.
And I've never been able to make a batch of lumpia without thinking, 'I need to set some aside for Jason.' In our little kitchen on Grant Avenue in Laurel, I see you sitting at my ridiculously huge table, elbows up, just totally enjoying the lumpia - or as you renamed it, "The Oompah Loompahs." And I see you at your mom & dad's on New Year's - just that big ol' grin because you knew I had saved a special portion for you. I close my eyes and see you playing the drums, telling me crazy jokes to test them out on an adult, telling me about your brand new iPhone in crazy detail, sharing the pizellas that your mom had made and agreeing they were awesome, and talking with you about just about everything in between.
When the day came for us to leave Maryland for California, you were pretty mad at me. You hugged me for a long time, but you didn't speak to me. I said to you, "If you make it to the West Coast, you will always have a home with us."
I think the realm of Heaven just expanded - kind of exponentially - while the joy levels here below on earth just contracted a lot. I so miss you and I so love you - we all do - the whole Gold family. You were my friend - kind of that dream little brother - for everyday that we lived in Maryland and beyond. We are not willing and certainly not ready to say goodbye. And so I won't. I'm gonna look out my window in the morning and thank God for you and His promise that we will meet again."
"Two days ago, this world lost an amazing person, Jason. He entered my life as my brother's best friend, but he was more than that to my family. He was the kid who would be cooking in our kitchen, sitting on our couch, making us laugh, scaring the dog, playing our guitar. I will forever be grateful for the truly genuine friendship he gave Jake. He didn't stop at only being friends with Jake, but he was an amazing role model to Luke. Jason brought our family together in so many different ways, and truly was a blessing to each and everyone one of us. As much as my heart hurts over this loss for his family, my brothers, and everyone who knew him, my heart is also warmed by how many people he touched during his lifetime.
Thank you Jason for always being there for Jake, for looking out for Luke, and for always being so loving and including. You will be forever in our hearts and truly missed."
"A major part of my life as a teen was babysitting for families like the Mastroiannis, McGhees, Seiberts, Wheelers....The memories and stories I've heard about Jason's ability to make people laugh go right along with my favorite memory of him. As a 2 or 3 year old, Jason loved showing off his new found skill of making animal noises. If I asked him what a cow said, a pig said, a dog said, he'd make the appropriate sound. One day I asked him want a frog says. His response was to squat with his legs spread wide and jump up and down like a frog! The added bonus? He jumped up and down repeatedly from squatting to standing while saying "frog-eee, frog-eee, frog-eee!" After that it became a great trick to show off to everyone. Jason truly loved making people smile and laugh. Rest in peace "Frog-eee", until we meet again. Xoxo."
"I will forever remember Jasonbaby and the always cheerful Addiecakes response. So many hilarious memories shared on an island in the sun...and rain. Prayers and hugs for Andaroo and Laura and Rick. Jam on with Jesus and see you later!"
"Part of a madly talented musical family, I'll always admire Jason for marching to the beat of a different drum…okay, for creating that different drumbeat. I loved hearing him rock out during rehearsals, turning up the tempo to both worship and modern music. His humor, talent, and smile were a great example to all of the Nemec family."
"I'll always remember his laughter and how he was always with a smile on his face. Called Home by God all too soon. Jason, you made a huge difference in a lot of lives. Prayers and God's blessings to his loving family and friends. You are dearly missed."
"It's been years since I last spoke with or saw Jason. But I will never forget that he kept me laughing while we were in Andros. For those of you who don't know, Andros was not my thing, but Jason kept a smile on my face. In fact, it was Jason and Wrenn that somehow talked me into going back to Andros, I wouldn't trade any of that time for anything. Love you Jason!"
"I always see Jason as this feisty 18 month old with the sweetest spirit. I remember him dancing on the McGhee's picnic table with the pacifier in his mouth. He continued to have that sweet mischievous spirit (minus the pacifier) with a bright smile. Our loss is heaven's gain, we'll be seeing you special one."
"When I heard, I really couldn't even believe it. You were full of light, humor, and could make anyone's crappy day a million times better. Not to mention, you gave the best hugs ever. Rest peacefully love."
"Wow, I was shocked to see this come across my timeline this evening. I grew up with Jason in laurel! I'm saddened to hear of his passing. His family is in my prayers. May his soul rest in peace."
"Jason was one of the best men I have gotten the privilege to be friends with he always was a very uplifting person that seem to always bring a smile to everyone. Jason will be missed"
"Good memories of Jason on Andros, in the Bahamas. Like the rest, I remember him being an almost constant source of laughter but also cared so deeply for the mission of God, loving on the kids at camp and lending heart to our team. I didn't know him as well as you all did, but I know his home-going has left a significant hole. May the love of Jesus give comfort and refreshing to broken hearts. Until we meet again, Jason!"
"I have a random memory of telling Jason about how I finally figured out that in the Christmas song, "I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," 'Daddy' is actually Santa Claus. Apparently that was a lightbulb moment for him, too. Laughter ensued. Of course. :)
Also, many of you know that for years and years, I had a big crush on Matt Hoffman. (Spoiler: we got married.) The exact details of this story are a bit hazy for me, so I might need some help from Andrew, Bryden and Steph, (and others, help me remember!) but I think this is how it went down:
The gang was hanging out all together and I was in another room. I think what happened was that they noticed my dad talking to Matt outside (for some benign reason unrelated to me-after all, we weren't even close to dating at this point). Everyone who saw that thought it was pretty funny because they knew how I much I liked him. Apparently they were all giggling when my dad and Matt walked into the room so Steph said to Jason, "Please say something funny so we can legitimately start laughing!" So Jason,without missing a beat, in his grandeur proclaimed...."and THAT'S how I found out my mom was the tooth fairy!"
So random. But so Jason. Love you, buddy."
"Jason Mastroianni was truly a great friend to me for nearly the last ten years. I have countless wonderful memories with him. Here are a few. He got my first job at a Pasta Plus. We would goof off eating bread and tomato sauce at work. During shifts at work we would pass by each other (sometimes even during really busy times) and say the code word of "br-auce" (a brilliant term coined by Jason that combined of the words bread and sauce) to each other to go take a break, surreptitiously eat bread and sauce and hang out.
Jason really had such a giving heart. Here's a simple example. I didn't have a car for the longest time, but he never minded giving me a ride. All throughout high school (and even college), he would drive me all over the place and never complain. Granted, before GPS existed we would get lost just about every time we were driving somewhere new, but he made it such a good time and always an adventure.
He was always there to listen and always had something to say to make me feel appreciated and loved. He was one of the greatest friends I could've asked for. I will always remember you, Jason. Thanks for all of the good times."
"My son was one of Jason's best friends. Jason was so outgoing, such a people person whereas Tim is pretty introverted. But they must have brought out the best in each other. They mostly hung out at Jason's place. One day last fall I asked Tim where he had been that weekend. He said they were at Jason's. I asked what they had done. He said, "Jason cooked us pot roast." To me, that was Jason."
"Jason was always a deep thinker that considered every side of an issue before offering his opinion. This led him to be a cynic at times, which made him one of the only people I could truly communicate with. I always felt that my faith deepened from our conversations and so did his, because we weren't just asking and answering our own questions but instead finding comfort in the fact that we weren't alone with our questions. As such, he always filled my life with hope and no matter how long it had been since I'd seen him: we always fell right back into our rhythms as though we'd been together the whole time. He is irreplaceable in my life and many others' because he somehow managed to have the deep thoughts of a cynic while also possessing the overwhelming positivity of a child. Even in difficult times in his life I never saw him feel despair the way that other people do and that optimism was infectious at many times that I needed it most and I'm sure many others feel the same way.
Jason could always make me and everyone else laugh, and one thing that was always so wonderful was that we laughed about the same things many times over. This is a rare gift that enhances the soul. The below video is incredibly short and seemingly unfunny to many, but Jason and I spent a solid 20 minutes one day looking for it so that we could perfect our Cleveland impersonations and we quoted it to each other for years afterward.
"I can easily picture Jason on those drums -- I loved watching him. I am sorry I never had much of a chance to talk to him but I know he was so very well loved and I grieve for Laura, Rick, Andrew, and all who knew him as he grew up to be such a fine young man. How touching that Jason's fund will be for music education and for deaf prison inmates.
Go with God, Jason -- we will all look forward to seeing you again."
"I don't know why this memory keeps popping into my head, but I keep thinking about a time at church a few months ago when I was leading worship, and Jason, who was drumming, decided to click off In Christ Alone about 20 bpm faster than I was expecting and played the song with this crazy strong drum beat and kept throwing in these triplets that gave me chills. He laughed when we got off the stage and apologized for getting carried away, but I told him it was way cooler than anything I would have ever thought of myself. Worship at Bethany will not be the same without him."
"Fond memories from playing music there at BCC. A joyful young guy we all liked being around Jason"
"Jason was an exceptional drummer. I remember the first time I heard him play at church. He played with both power and emotion. I frequently look back to that performance and try to play with the same kind of power. He inspires me to be a better drummer and I wish I could have asked him for more advice.
"Jason loved GOOD music. I remember him saying how much he loved this Old Spiritual song from the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack. He had even wanted to do it together one day at church. Sorry we didn't get to do that this side of heaven Jason, but I promise we will when we're together again. Love you little bro.
"Jason and I shared similar ye different taste in music. However, we agreed on a love of Jason Mraz. This song will always make me think of you Jason. Love you big brother.
"I found this video. It really show's his good humor. I like messing with telemarketers too sometimes. http://youtu.be/bs3f-BDwv6Y
You'll be missed, Jason."
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