- 22 years old
- Date of birth: Jun 9, 1991
- Place of birth:
Detroit, Michigan, United States
- Date of passing: Feb 8, 2014
- Place of passing:
San Jose, California, United States
|Let the memory of Jeffrey be with us forever|
"I often think of Jeffrey and all his family, sending blessings and encouragement. May you all be well."
"Jeffrey remains in our hearts. Forever remembered and missed."
It's finally your 24th birthday. I've been working on some art for your family. Your moms, your sister, your brother in law, and your two nieces and nephew. I finally finished it. It's a beautiful water color painting when you put all 7 pieces together!! You would love it!! I know it. I will be sending it off soon!! I hope you'll be looking down to see these paintings being recieved by your family. They don't even know I've done this so it's going to be a little surprise for them!!
I remember back in high school I'd always be painting or drawing something with so many vibrant colors that you'd always tell me how I would be painting my spirit, or aura in them.
So I decided I should paint yours. This 7 piece painting is of your spirt and auras. It's always shimmering and beaming with vibrant colors and light, just like you.
I know your not physically here, but I can always sence your aura the most on a beautiful sunny day.
I do hope you love my paintings I did for your family!!! But don't tell them yet!!! It's your birthday surprise for them!!! And I want them to feel surprised!!!!
Happy 24th Birthday Jeff!!!!
Remember I'm exactly 1 month and 2 days older than you!!! hope that made you remember those days where you'd always pretend to be older than me!!"
"Remembering Jeffrey right now, how can it be one year? His family loved him so much and he gave so much back. I cannot say what I want to any better than Mike Hilton (Uncle Mike) did here:
At times someone will ask something of us, and we might hesitate to respond, thinking maybe we don’t have what it takes to help. I often have doubts about myself, and I suspect Jeffrey did too. But I am certain that if I had ever asked Jeffrey for the shirt off his back, or some equivalent of that, he would have hesitated less than a second before doing whatever he could to help me. This is a gift from him to each of us. When faced with someone’s need, Jeffrey gift will continue each time we choose to do what he would have done."
"Wherever you have traveled, wherever you go from here
may your every act of kindness by thought or word or deed
lift you to new levels of happiness and peace.
May you keep the 5 precepts, so wisely given by the Buddha.
May you continue to develop loving kindness, compassion,
joy in the goodness of others, and equanimity.
May you have every blessing.
May all the angels protect you.
By the power of all the Buddhas
by the power of all the Dhamma
by the power of all the Sangha
may you ever be well."
"I had the pleasure of meeting Jeffrey just the one time. We were visiting San Fran and came to your house. Jeffrey was just a cute 5 or 6 year old then. We played cards and Jeffrey was always winning. The refs are still out deciding if cheating was involved. May Peace and Comfort be with you Carrie and Catherine and Family."
"Jeff. Where to begin man. I met you when I was just barely 10 years old and within 2 minutes of talking to you, we instantly became best friends. The same day we were both at each other's houses and we met each other's parents and from the day forward a journey began that could fill a bookshelf. I can safely say, without a doubt, 150% that I would not be a semblance of the person I am today were you not in my life. You and I grew up together through the best and worst times, and together you and I grew up facing the trials and tribulations of growing up from boys to grown men. I don't think I could have handled it had I been on my own, and there is no one I would have rather had with me through it all. I have never once in my life not been proud to call you my best friend or refer to you as such, and I will continue to do so even long after you are gone. The memories I have with you can NEVER be substituted, and those critical times in my life can never be redone. The Stephen Guthery I am now will carry on for many years to come, shaped by your influence. You were my brother and best friend, the one person who knew me better than anybody, and the one person I literally had no hesitation telling anything to. Just looking back at some of the memories we have, I can remember
In fifth grade deciding to bike ride over to your house one day and about halfway there I saw you off in the distance on your bike already on your way over to my house and we both thought the coincidental timing was too perfect.
Me moving to Texas during fifth grade and staying in contact with you during my year and a half in Texas, and impressive feat for kids as young as we were. When I moved back to San Jose we easily picked up where we left off.
Going whale watching with you and my family in 7th grade and you getting sick and throwing up all over nearly half of the boat (although I don't blame you as I was realizing what seasickness was for the first time that day myself. We still saw whales though).
You going away for a few months to military school in San Diego and me being so happy that you finally came home and we could pick up right where we left off yet again.
I can remember in middle school and early high school that we were, sorry to put it so bluntly on your memorial page bro, but I think that if I were able to ask you for your permission, you would be totally okay with this, but we were shitheads hahaha. I can remember coming over one Friday evening and we came up with the brilliant plan to find as many flammable chemicals as possible, put it into a water bottle, use a newspaper as a fuse and see what happened. When the fuse failed to do what we had hoped, you got frustrated and poured the concoction on the ground and calmly lit the spread out puddle creating a huge blaze. We panicked because it was bigger than we thought and I remember running for our lives because we knew we screwed up hahaha.
Or the various pranks we pulled on people, construction sites and such. I remember talking with you a few months ago and we were reminiscing on some of that and we both realized we would never do what we used to do back then, because as you so eloquently put it "Not because it wouldn't be funny anymore, but because that shit has real consequences and now I know 'em."
A random memory I had was one morning we had to wake up early and you had to go to the dentist. It was a short walk away and the whole way there you kept saying "Man I hate the dentist, but I don't care what she does as long as there are NO needles. I mean NO needles. I fucking HATE needles. I'm gonna make sure to tell her NO needless." When we got there, you kept your promise to yourself and told her no needles. I was sitting in a chair a couple of feet away and she agreed and promised she wouldn't use a needle. Then she reaches over on to her tray AND PULLS OUT THE BIGGEST FREAKING NEEDLE I HAVE EVER SEEN TO DATE GOOD LORD and my jaw dropped. You must have had a sixth sense pop up because you turned your head up and said "Hey what is that?! You said no needles!" and then she said very politely, like she was talking to a little kid, in her Indian accent "OOOOHH no no no, this is a different KIND of needle, so it's okay!" and you were like "IUFRIUGFIG WHAT?? A NEEDLE IS A NEEDLE! Just look at that thing!"
Man that was funny, I remember us talking about that incident all these years later pretty recently as well.
Entering high school and staying over at your house almost every weekend throughout all four years. Those were undoubtedly the best times of my life. We went to different schools and we had our own friends at school as well, but we both were unmistakably best friends. When we needed to get around we rode our bikes, or if we had to I would ride on the pegs of your BMX while you lugged us somewhere until we switched off. Or we would just walk 4 miles to Gamestop and not even buy anything :)
Then in Sophomore year you got your license and began driving, and I was quite envious at your improved ability for transportation while I was confined to the shackles of my bike for awhile longer. For awhile I didn't care whether you were diving a Camaro or a Pinto, as long as we had a motor and 4 wheels, but the ole Camaro grew on me and I began to find your car and your moms car more fascinating. It only took a couple of small street pulls on the San Tomas Expressway or against a few Mustangs on 280 to ignite a mysterious new spark in me. At first I was clueless about cars, and you were the one to explain what headers were to me when you had looked at some for the Le Mans. I began to research cars more thoroughly (as best as I could at least) and decided I would get a Camaro too. After more thought, I decided it would be too much of a direct copycat, so I opted for the brother car of the Camaro, the Pontiac Firebird. Mine was also red, and I was secretly happy that we had them the same color, like it just further showed how much like brothers we were. The Firebird and the Camaro are literally brothers, built on the same platform, the same engine, transmission, rear end, some interior panels, but slightly different cosmetic styling differences. I always thought that represented us pretty well. There were a few differences on the surface, and some that may have seemed huge to other people, but generally you and I were extremely alike, or at the very least, we counter balanced each other nicely ("Yeah man, I'm not quite so sure that's a good idea" or "Bro I really think you should reconsider that. Consider this..."). Eventually I was the one teaching you about cars, explaining how some things worked, giving you advice, and even giving you technical support over the phone last year when you were working on the power steering pump of your car. Cars ended up playing a huge role in my life, and every mile stone I made in the industry or with my own personal endeavors I eagerly shared with you.
By the way, I'm suddenly remembering all of those times we made preparations far in advance to go fishing, we'd drive an hour or two to get to the lake, spend all morning there after staying up all night and we'd catch absolutely nothing. This happened at several lakes. We never caught a single fish. It was a blessing if we got a nibble. The only time we ever caught a fish was on the boat in Lake Tahoe, and I was the one catching fish after fish after fish, while neither you or the guide caught one. The guide looked at you at the end of it and said flat out "that boy is not destined to catch a single fish, I tell ya".
I remember when I had just moved back to Texas and had been there for a short time, only a couple of weeks after graduation and I was contemplating acting in the heat of the moment and just packing up my car and heading back to California on my own, with no plan and no money. I called you and my exact words were "Jeff listen to me here man. I can ask for other people's opinions and get their advice, but I think you and I both know that really only your opinion is what matters to me on this one. What do you think man, should I do it? Do you think it's possible? What do you think?"
And you just calmly replied "I say do it. Come home man, come home." The next thing I know, 33 hours later in one straight shot with no food or sleep, I was back in San Jose. I slept at another friend's house that night because it was so late, but I met up with you the next day and before we could come up with a plan or do anything, you had to go to the dentist's first. I don't recall exactly she had to do, but I do remember she had an excellent sense of humor and laughed very easily. I remember this because as she is doing this delicate dental work with these sharp (and some of them electrical powered as well) tools in your mouth, I was cracking jokes and she was getting tears in her eyes. I couldn't help but feel bad for making your dentist laugh so hard while she was doing such a procedure in your mouth. Especially knowing how much you hated dentists.
What I'm really going to miss especially about you though man, is our own inside jokes and quirks. We had so many just between us. Like how we called your red robe "the pimp robe", or jokes about your insatiable coffee addiction, or private jokes that were only (and in some cases unfortunately) hilarious to us, that still put us in tears with laughter 4-5-6 and even more years later. Some of these jokes and secrets we agreed we should take with us both to the grave, and as sad as it makes me to say, I suppose you've held up your end of the deal, and I will honor it the same.
It's tough sometimes man. I think about you a lot every day. A lot. Sometimes when I'm on my way home from work, I talk out loud to you. Or maybe just myself, but I'd like to think you can hear it and understand. There have been so many times now where something happens and I think "Oh dude, I have GOT to tell Jeff about this!" and then I remember... Losing you meant more than just losing my best friend. It meant losing my confidant, losing one of my best sources of advice, and even though we're guys and don't normally talk like this, losing my emotional support. Someone who grew up with me and has been through the same or similar challenges. Someone who can truly relate and knew what it took to instantly make me feel better if needed. I remember one day hanging out in your room and I had just watched the movie "I love you man" which was about a guy finding and making a best friend to be the best man at his wedding. I told you that one day, no matter what, even if by some chance we hadn't talked in years at that point, I wanted you and nobody else to be the best man at my wedding one day. If I ever had kids, I wanted you to be around to meet them and watch them grow up, you'd be Uncle Jeff and to your kids I'd be Uncle Stephen. I'd be the best man at your wedding and one day I'd point to you 40 years from now and tell people (for some reason in an old Southern drawl) "Yeeaaaupp. Known that crazy sumbitch for a little over 50 years now, he never changes!"
I guess the plan have changed quite a bit man. There was still so much we had to do, so much to catch up on. I had to rematch you in a race with my car vs your car, I had to catch up to you in the gym. You were always just a LITTLE bit ahead of me, close enough to make closing the gap very realistically possible, but I never quite did it. I wanted to teach you about cars and the things I've learned, work on our cars together, go places and do stuff, explore the world, take you to Korea with me to visit my mom and explore the country. It sucks man, it really sucks, It kills me knowing that I'm never, after so many years of getting used to it that it was almost like a habit, going to see your name pop up on my caller ID again. Never going to get another Facebook message from you, a text message, a voicemail, a late night conversation either on the phone or face to face, nothing. It's just me against the world now man, and deep inside me there is a part of me that understands why you couldn't bear to face it anymore. However, you played my hand and have now forced me to live a fulfilling life for both of us. Now I find myself wanting to do many of the things you wanted to do and achieve, and I really hope you can see me from somewhere, somehow. It's a pretty uncertain road ahead, and truth be told I'm pretty terrified to face it and you not being there just makes it that much harder, but somewhere deep down I know I will get through it all and everything will be okay. When you passed away, a part of me went with you, absolutely no doubt about that, but I'm glad it was with you. Just want to tell you one final time, I love you man, and I really truly want to thank you with everything I have for being my best friend all these years. Thank you. Just like we've done several time before, one day my time will come and I'm confident we will pick up right where we left off.
Your brother forever,
"I met Jeff as a baby. Your Mom loved you, that I could tell!!!! I studied with your Mom in college. She certainly made a happy friendly home for you and Kim. Peace be with you."
"To Catherine and Carrie, No words can ease your pain so will keep it very brief. My heart goes out to you, each and every day. I'm so deeply sad and sorry for the hold left in your lives and wish for each passing day to bring you closer to healing. Our boys created a connection in our lives that will exist forever, together but separately we each had a hand in the lives of these boys and I am forever grateful that you brought that red headed smiley faced kiddo to San Jose and gave my son his best friend; his brother. You are in my thoughts daily and again as weak as it is, I offer you my deepest sympathy.
To Jeffrey, That face, the first day Stephen brought you to our house, your smile lit up the doorway and that face is the one that will forever be embedded in my memory. Thank you for being Stephen's best friend and brother. You've been such an important part of his life for so long and I cherish that he had you in his life all those years. You are so deeply missed and loved by so many...may you be at peace and be surrounded by all the beauty the Universe can shine upon you. I love you.
Since first hearing you were gone this poem keeps coming to mind, so I'll leave a bit of it here for you.
There is a place where the sidewalk ends,
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.
― Shel Silverstein"
You were my one of my first friends I made at Mid-Pen. You then became my best friend. We did practically everything together. Remember the time we were in Nancy's class and we were both super hyper from eating too much candy from break? And she yelled out in her southern ascent, " You two now get running outside!! Two laps!!" We both thought that was hilarious!! We had so much fun running outside trying to get our energy out! Which didnt work at all.
Thats just one of my memories I have with you.
Please hug my pup Biscuit for me.
I know when the sun is out you are shining down on us. <3"
"I remember Jeff was a good guy and he drove me back to my house from Mid-Pen when I had no other friends who could drive me, and I needed a ride home otherwise I'd have to wait until 7PM to get home after school got out, and he was a good friend who always liked to laugh. A genuinely good person, he didn't deserve to pass so young,"
"I have memories of going to many games of the Shades of Blue at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco...I was visiting my son and daughter in law, Mike and Joann Hilton from my island home on Maui. This was always a special occasion for me...to watch a softball game of all girls...played in September...wearing a sweat shirt, a parka and sitting on a blanket...it was never summer at those games! Now at age 86, my most vivid memories are of Jeffrey...a little kid with red curly hair and a huge smile running all over the place having fun with the other kids...he was special. Funny, about the only thing I do remember of those games was Jeffrey....during and after the games at the Pizza joints...he was that kind of kid...one that would get your attention and one that I shall never forget. God bless."
"Thinking of you Jeffrey and holding you dearly. You left us way too soon and yet, with a great deal of positive feelings about knowing you. Maybe some day we will understand. In the meantime, you touched many in wonderful ways."
"The minute I met Jeff, I knew he as a special soul. I could almost see his heart before we said "hello". I enjoyed not only his smile, but the sincerity and warmth before I even got to know him that I could see. I immediately saw this and wanted to reach out and do everything I could to become involved, maybe take him under my wing and be a mentor or big brother to help and enjoy seeing him blossom. I guess I didn't see the challenges he faced recently and sorry we didn't become close.
I can't begin to know your grief or understand the pain from your loss, All I can do is share my heartfelt condolences to you, and in saying this this, I'm confident that everyone that knew him share in your loss and will remember him fondly, the short time we were fortunate enough to enjoy his presence and gifts. I wanted to share my thoughts, selfishly, not only for my comfort but hopefully to offer some comfort to his family. He will be missed and thought of often. I only wish for fond and happy memories in your road to overcoming his loss. Love you Jef"
"R.I.P may u light up the heavens with your beautiful smile & may you comford the pain in all your family & friends heart.I don't know you but i have a memo for my brother here David soto 8/27/60 to 5/21/92. most likely he's telling u im doing this.May you rest in peace <3"
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