This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, John Gracy, 50, born on October 12, 1966 and passed away on January 10, 2017. We are devastated by the loss of such a beautiful soul.

Jennifer Candotti, John's sister

Doris Gracy, John's mother

Posted by Denise Valentin on October 12, 2018
Today is your birthday and there are many people who love and miss you. I wish I had the chance to talk with you before you left us. Happy Birthday John.
Posted by Doris Gracy on January 17, 2018
To My Son

My heart still aches for you, my son.
The tears still fall each day.
The kaleidoscope that was my life
Has turned to shades of gray.

My heart still aches for memories past
And my dreams for you I’ll never see,
But my heart will always hold secure
The boundless love you gave yo me.
Posted by Doris Gracy on January 12, 2018
On January 29, 2017, an all-day musical memorial celebration was held for John, arranged by Danny Moore. A Youtube recording is available at this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwJQeRbVCACjvHyEH4xFdcg
At the end of the event, the following beautiful eulogy was delivered by John's friend, Dylan Osborne.

John "Suntiger" Gracy

Every now and then in this thing called life, we come across a person that we feel an instant connection to, someone you feel as though you have known forever. Call it a kindred spirit, a synchronized partner in crime, call it what you will, but the day that I had my first conversation with John Suntiger, I immediately tuned right into him. It was love at first laugh.

So many times, so many fun times spent with John throughout the years are gems in my mind that I will forever hold onto and hang onto and cherish. The places that he's taken me, the things that he showed me in those places. Sometimes words just fall short, but I'm gonna do my best to come up with a tribute that would make John smile.

My friend, my brother, my teacher--a cut above the rest. John left this mortal coil in much the same fashion that he lived his life--on his own terms. Life, little more than a spiritual schoolhouse maybe--a place to learn, a place to study, a place to grow, and yet, so very much more. John shined his light on our community, literally and figuratively, for some of the greatest years, finest moments of our lives, making each second richer, fuller, and just plain awesome simply with his presence. Kick back, smiling, hat pulled down. Even now in his physical absence, his light still shines brilliantly through the sadness and loss of each of us who had the privilege of knowing him. We are all forever changed by the solid, unwavering spirit that he embodied. He was a beacon of love within our loving community, a brother of mine, within a family of like-minded brothers and sisters. The walking, talking, laughing, dancing, shining personification of love itself. That's who he was. That's who he is now. Leaving this physical realm. Timeless. Infinite. Back up into the whole of everything, his spirit sailing through the cosmos.

John was a well of knowledge, a beacon of insight, and a master of good conversation. A dull word I never heard pass through his lips. When he spoke, it burned a hole straight through all the bullshit, through all ego and all fear, and got right down to the heart of things. Injustice trembled in the presence of his logic, and all things genuine and pure were immediately finer in his company.

John had a way of recognizing the pain, insecurity, and uncertainty in others, and whether knowingly or not, comforted them with exactly what needed to be heard at precisely the right moment and presented in the perfect context that each situation demanded. This wasn't just because John understood the trials and joys of others--he literally felt them and shared them.

As I sit here thinking of John a flood of memories come rolling in. I see him on stage. It's a bright, sunny Thursday morning in West Virginia. The festival is kicking off--that familiar frenzy of red, yellow, blue, and green tents and canopies popping up--cars pulling in. John hops off the ladder and rushes back stage in a flash. He is back in 3 seconds with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, and back up the ladder he goes. He's hanging a huge, white owl above the center of the stage to light up with his visuals once the sun goes down. It looks amazing--and it's not even dark yet--no lights--not yet--just that owl. Wings stretched, eyes wide, that owl that he designed, that he cut, that he put together, that he brought right here for all of us to see.

To call John an old soul is like accusing the sky of being big. You could just tell this wasn't his first time around this place. I only recently learned that John was 50 years old--50 years. He didn't show it. That's half a century. A half century of ups and downs, lessons learned, battles fought, sparks struck, and fires lit. And the fires he lit were many. They dot the festival grounds of our memories and light up the foggy twilight of this new dawn that we all must face without him.

It's up to each of us now to carry on for him, to be the bearers of his torch, the keepers of his flame, the heirs to that magnificent love and light that he shared with all of us all so graciously.

John loved words. Some of the last words he sent my way are even more powerful now in his absence:
"I'm gonna continue to believe in the impracticality that love exists in everyone's locality. Seek that out, and embolden it. I'm with you in spirit..."

And he most certainly is and always will be. So long, Brother. We love you!
Posted by Denise Valentin on January 11, 2018
For some reason today, I decided to try to find John to see how he was doing and came across the articles about his death. He was the love of my life back in the late 80's. I am so heartbroken to hear about his death. Some of the pictures shown were from when I knew him and it makes me happy to have known him but sad to know he is gone. I have posted a few pictures I had kept of him.
Posted by Dhyani Stiefel on October 26, 2017
On John’s birthday, October 12, I and other devotees of the Lord had a little celebration for the appearance of Radha-kunda, at New Vrindavan Radha-kunda. Each year on the day of Radha-kunda I will celebrate having the love of John in my life.
Posted by Deborah Martin on February 22, 2017
I did not know John very well but I have known Doris his mother for many years since I was a little girl living in Vietnam. Doris cared for me and my siblings for a few weeks in Vietnam and she was such a loving caring parent. I saw the way she cared for her two children John and Jenny when I visited them in Iran many years later. John was very young then. With the upbringing he had from his mother and dad I am sure he was a very compassionate loving man in his adult years. My heart breaks for the loss of John for his mother and sister Jenny.I can only pray for them and for John's peace. I draw most of my comfort from Psalms and the writings of Jesus. I pray this for them. I love you so much Doris. You have been like a second mother to me and I'm sure you were the best ever for John. My love and continued prayers. Deb Spohr Martin
Posted by Dhyani Stiefel on February 19, 2017
It was always a pleasure to see or receive contact from John. His fine speech and intelligence, and spiritual assets are remembered dearly. I am now separated from my friend and well wisher. He has left my sight and therefore there is every reason to be sorry, The feeling of separation is very painful. John and I have a relationship based on spiritual ideals and soul realization that transcends the physical, therefore my mind and heart are pacified and my soul is blessed by my eternal association with John. The preliminary instruction in the Bhagavad-gita is that one should know that the identity of the living entity is not lost even at the end of the present body. John used his intelligence for artistic and philosophical pursuits, John is more spiritual energy then material energy, a sign of his progress on the path of the realization of Self. I celebrate his ideals, dreams, and accomplishments. In a peaceful place I have a constant spiritual reminder. In the peace of my heart our relationship continues. John Suntiger Gracy is still with me as the presence of goodness, gratefulness, gentleness, and loveliness.
Posted by Jennifer Candotti on January 28, 2017
Tribute posted by Martha Holt on January 22, 2017

"John was the son of my long time high school friend, Doris. The last time I saw John was at Doris' birthday celebration in 2010. She has been such a comfort and support for me during my husband's long term illness and passing recently. She spoke of John frequently during this time. Doris and I have shared many losses during our journey but the loss of a child is unimaginable. My heart aches for Doris and Jenny. May family and friends give them comfort and our Heavenly father give them peace.
My love to you. Martha"
Posted by Jackie Sines on January 27, 2017
When John presented the eulogy for my Mom, he referred to "a tapestry of love" that a family weaves. I have never forgotten those words, and I will never forget John's many kindnesses and the laughs and tears we shared in the weaving of our family tapestry. Thoughts and prayers for his Mom and sister now, and in the days to come. ❤
Posted by Dhyani Stiefel on January 25, 2017
The Jiva, known as John Patrick Suntiger Gracy is eternal. John's pursuit of self-realization in his last reincarnation will serve him well. He is in the presence of God. His desire to pursue a life of truth, awareness, and bliss endeared him to all. His last words to me I give to you - love love love.
Posted by Angie C on January 19, 2017
Jenny and Doris, my thoughts and prayers are with you now and in the future as you contemplate the loss of a brother and son.
Posted by Kelly Edmonds on January 18, 2017
John was immensely talented, undeniably smart and funny, and more importantly kind. I don't know that he ever met a stranger. From the moment I met him, I felt like I'd know him forever. That was John. We met as the result of both of us having Lyme disease. John was active in local Lyme awareness from doing the light show at Bless the Woods to running the reel of a Lyme doc-short at Shepherd. Our paths didn't cross very frequently, but I was always glad when they did. Lyme disease sucks. It can be unrelenting and painful and lonely. It can destroy lives. It definitely is a disease you don't "get" until you get it. Rest in peace, John
Posted by Donna Stephen on January 17, 2017
Such a beautiful soul gone way to soon I have thought of
you everyday since you left may all the angels be with you on
your journey❤❤❤
Posted by Lisa Duff Craft on January 17, 2017
John, May You Shine On, as your light brightened many here on this Journey! Peace ✌Love
Posted by Mieke Van Heusden on January 16, 2017
I am a very close friend of Doris for more than 20 years even though I am across the ocean. I have never met John, but feel I know him because of all that Doris had told and shown me of his. I feel so saddenend and so heartbroken for Doris who lost her beautiful, special son. I also really feel for his sister and nephew. Rest in peace John
Posted by Michael Bruso on January 16, 2017
See you on the other side John. You will not be forgotten!
Posted by Krista Youtz on January 16, 2017
I am laying a flower in memory of you John and the greatness you shared with everyone you encountered, stranger or friend. John didn't have enemies, everyone was a friend to him and he accepted you regardless of who you were or your story. He was open to all different walks of life. John and I shared in that we have both suffered from Lyme disease for a large portion of our lives. We shared in the pain that is causes emotionally and physically. My heart goes out to Sara and Doris and all of Johns friends and family. My hope and prayers is that we all find comfort in the memories we have of John and the way he enlightened the world with his spirit. He lives on yet not in this world, his spirit is with us always.
Posted by Richard Brandeis on January 15, 2017
Though I had never had the pleasure of meeting John, I have been friends with his mother Doris for many years. At times like this in our lives, we seek answers and yet they are never to be found. Sadly enough, the most painful goodbyes are the ones that are left unsaid and never explained and it is the sorrow we feel when we lose a loved one as the price we pay to have had them in our lives. John touched many lives and now he rests eternal, never far away from our thoughts as well as our hearts.
Posted by Donna Schmader on January 15, 2017
I only met John once but remember him fondly.  I was Facebook friends and enjoyed our communications and exchange of ideas. My condolences to John's Mom, family and friends.
Posted by John Bijarney on January 15, 2017
John was a swirling center of creative energy and a good friend. I know this from his visuals and conversations about our spiritual paths. We haven't seen each other since 2009 when I left Charles Town but have kept in touch on Facebook. I was hoping for a visit and some fishing. John is in a place we spoke of often, one of presence spawning love and union with all that is. I will miss knowing you are there, John.
Posted by Brent Graham on January 15, 2017
John was my neighbor for several years and he was a great neighbor. He was friendly, always willing to help, and great to talk to. He would do magnificent things for Halloween and all the neighborhood kid's would love it. He would also set up his elaborate lights several times a year and let the kids dance in front of them. He would just sit there and smile and you could tell that he really loved making people happy. My kids will never forget "The light man" as they called him, and neither will I. You could tell that John took great joy in life by making others happy, and that is an admirable trait that gets rarer by the day. John and I weren't super close but we had plenty of friendly chats and his death has affected me deeply. He was just too good of a man to deserve this kind of ending, and it saddens me to think about it. He was a very spiritual man and I hope that his spirit lives on and that he knows that his spirit effected my spirit in a very positive manner and that I will always think of him with fondness and good memories.
Posted by Walter Jackson III on January 15, 2017
I was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of John's death. We met only when we worked together on the project of sending water to the Charleston area and became friends on Facebook. He often forwarded me information on train videos and railroad history. Rest in Peace John. I pray that His family will find comfort and strength. Rev. Walter A. Jackson, III
Posted by Jeanne Sines on January 14, 2017
There are no words for the loss of the man I shared over 20 years of my life and who forever changed it in the process. He played a major role in raising my 3 boys and loved them as his own. He was there for me through the loss of both my parents and even presented the eulogy at my mom's service. The experiences and memories we shared are forever a part of me. I have been blessed to have a few people in my life that I know would always be there if I needed them, no matter the time or distance, and John was one them.
Posted by Tracy Gentry on January 13, 2017
Although I did not get to spend much time with John but I know he was an exceptional individual. He will be missed greatly by all of his loved ones. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who knew and loved him.
May your angelic spirit be with us all as we continue our journeys.
Tracy
Posted by CJ Broschart on January 13, 2017
January 10th is date that will stick with me for the rest of my existence. I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of this man who provided me with so many enjoyable times as a child. He was a father figure to me and I loved him as such. There were many times where we did not see eye to eye...But I was a teenager then and I needed tough love at times instead of a friend. However, when I did need a friend he was there. John, I will always live with the life lessons you taught me and I will always regret the fact that we didn't keep in touch these last few years...I love you. Grandmother Gracy and Jenny, I am so sorry for your loss of a son and a brother. I miss you both and hope that you know that I have always considered you family. Just remember, time heals all even though there are moments you still feel the pain. I love you guys!!!

-C.J.
Posted by Joe Gray on January 13, 2017
John, you are greatly missed. A brilliant mind, someone who cared deeply about injustice and longed for a more perfect world. He had a great laugh. I will miss his writings, a unique man. He saw things that few have seen and expressed himself beautifully. Much love brother John.
Posted by Terri Moose on January 13, 2017
Cousin John John....I have always loved you. I remember our times at the lake and you being the ringbearer in my wedding. You have always been so handsome, intelligent and vibrant. I cannot believe you are gone. You will never be forgotten. Fly with the Angels my dear cousin.
Posted by Jan Sines-Sisson on January 13, 2017
The handsome young man I met in 1992 ,when he accompanied my sister to a family wedding, entered our lives, hearts and family forever.  My heart is so heavy for his family today . Especially so for his Mother and Sister. There are no words to adequately express my sorrow over this tragic loss.. I pray for comfort that can come only from Heaven as you walk through this very difficult time.
Posted by Dawn Crock on January 13, 2017
Our small world has been shattered by the loss of such a creative and poetic genius. Our hearts have been shattered by the loss of a very dear friend. Rest easy John. Be at peace.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Denise Valentin on October 12, 2018
Today is your birthday and there are many people who love and miss you. I wish I had the chance to talk with you before you left us. Happy Birthday John.
Posted by Doris Gracy on January 17, 2018
To My Son

My heart still aches for you, my son.
The tears still fall each day.
The kaleidoscope that was my life
Has turned to shades of gray.

My heart still aches for memories past
And my dreams for you I’ll never see,
But my heart will always hold secure
The boundless love you gave yo me.
Posted by Doris Gracy on January 12, 2018
On January 29, 2017, an all-day musical memorial celebration was held for John, arranged by Danny Moore. A Youtube recording is available at this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwJQeRbVCACjvHyEH4xFdcg
At the end of the event, the following beautiful eulogy was delivered by John's friend, Dylan Osborne.

John "Suntiger" Gracy

Every now and then in this thing called life, we come across a person that we feel an instant connection to, someone you feel as though you have known forever. Call it a kindred spirit, a synchronized partner in crime, call it what you will, but the day that I had my first conversation with John Suntiger, I immediately tuned right into him. It was love at first laugh.

So many times, so many fun times spent with John throughout the years are gems in my mind that I will forever hold onto and hang onto and cherish. The places that he's taken me, the things that he showed me in those places. Sometimes words just fall short, but I'm gonna do my best to come up with a tribute that would make John smile.

My friend, my brother, my teacher--a cut above the rest. John left this mortal coil in much the same fashion that he lived his life--on his own terms. Life, little more than a spiritual schoolhouse maybe--a place to learn, a place to study, a place to grow, and yet, so very much more. John shined his light on our community, literally and figuratively, for some of the greatest years, finest moments of our lives, making each second richer, fuller, and just plain awesome simply with his presence. Kick back, smiling, hat pulled down. Even now in his physical absence, his light still shines brilliantly through the sadness and loss of each of us who had the privilege of knowing him. We are all forever changed by the solid, unwavering spirit that he embodied. He was a beacon of love within our loving community, a brother of mine, within a family of like-minded brothers and sisters. The walking, talking, laughing, dancing, shining personification of love itself. That's who he was. That's who he is now. Leaving this physical realm. Timeless. Infinite. Back up into the whole of everything, his spirit sailing through the cosmos.

John was a well of knowledge, a beacon of insight, and a master of good conversation. A dull word I never heard pass through his lips. When he spoke, it burned a hole straight through all the bullshit, through all ego and all fear, and got right down to the heart of things. Injustice trembled in the presence of his logic, and all things genuine and pure were immediately finer in his company.

John had a way of recognizing the pain, insecurity, and uncertainty in others, and whether knowingly or not, comforted them with exactly what needed to be heard at precisely the right moment and presented in the perfect context that each situation demanded. This wasn't just because John understood the trials and joys of others--he literally felt them and shared them.

As I sit here thinking of John a flood of memories come rolling in. I see him on stage. It's a bright, sunny Thursday morning in West Virginia. The festival is kicking off--that familiar frenzy of red, yellow, blue, and green tents and canopies popping up--cars pulling in. John hops off the ladder and rushes back stage in a flash. He is back in 3 seconds with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, and back up the ladder he goes. He's hanging a huge, white owl above the center of the stage to light up with his visuals once the sun goes down. It looks amazing--and it's not even dark yet--no lights--not yet--just that owl. Wings stretched, eyes wide, that owl that he designed, that he cut, that he put together, that he brought right here for all of us to see.

To call John an old soul is like accusing the sky of being big. You could just tell this wasn't his first time around this place. I only recently learned that John was 50 years old--50 years. He didn't show it. That's half a century. A half century of ups and downs, lessons learned, battles fought, sparks struck, and fires lit. And the fires he lit were many. They dot the festival grounds of our memories and light up the foggy twilight of this new dawn that we all must face without him.

It's up to each of us now to carry on for him, to be the bearers of his torch, the keepers of his flame, the heirs to that magnificent love and light that he shared with all of us all so graciously.

John loved words. Some of the last words he sent my way are even more powerful now in his absence:
"I'm gonna continue to believe in the impracticality that love exists in everyone's locality. Seek that out, and embolden it. I'm with you in spirit..."

And he most certainly is and always will be. So long, Brother. We love you!
Recent stories
Shared by Denise Valentin on January 12, 2018

I met John back in 1985 and fell in love with him instantly.  He was 19 years old and I was 21.  We were so young and in those days, everyone hung out at the clubs and danced the night away.  Everyone loved him ... of course he was the cutest guy we had every seen and was very nice and caring to boot.  I even lived with him and his mom for a year.  When we split in 1989 I was crushed but it was obvious to the both of us that it wasn't  meant to be.  

John shared some wonderful things with me later on in our relationship ... horseback riding, hang gliding, rock climbing and riding in a glider plane.  He loved the outdoors. 

I did not know about his health getting so bad and am so glad he had friends and family to help him both physically, mentally and spiritually.  I did not know the John in the 2000's and wish I had.  

I am very sad that we stopped staying in touch.  There is nothing more heartbreaking to search for someone with the intent to find out how they are doing and find out they passed away.  I will love him always.   He will always be in my thoughts when I hear Nights in White Satin by the Moody Blues.  


A Mother's Perspective

Shared by Doris Gracy on February 12, 2017

 
 

John and His Mother, Doris. 1990

(Shared first by Doris Gracy on 01/14/2017)

As John's mother, I would like the world to know of the profound love that John and I shared, that will live on in my heart forever. Even when he was a toddler, I still remember the day when I was sitting on the floor with him, and he walked over to me, hugged me, and said, " I uv ooh, Mutter. I 'ike oor bwoo eyes." Neither of us ever had to doubt that love.

Another special moment I remember was many years later when I had surgery for colon cancer. He was holding my hand when I went into the operating room. And hours later, when I awoke in the recovery room, he was still holding my hand, as if he never had let go.

And through all the struggles he had to endure in life, he never let go of the strong bond between us. He was always there if I needed him. There was a real depth to our relationship, and a real depth to the spiritual values we shared that we so easily could discuss and ponder.

John had so many good qualities that I could write about--his brilliant mind, his creativity, his empathy and generosity, his kindness, and his witty remarks--but most of all, there was the love we shared. And even though there is now a deep, dark, empty hole in my heart, the love is still there, where it will remain forever.

The last time I saw John was on Christmas Day, when he came to have Christmas dinner with me. The last words he spoke to me on that day, after he hugged and kissed me goodbye, were, "I love you, Mamma," a name he called me when he was feeling especially affectionate.

John's Speech at his Sister's Wedding. 1997

Shared by Doris Gracy on February 12, 2017

To find one’s  place in this world?

To find one’s calling?

To find one’s life passion?

Do we not all seek to find these things?

I say YES!; if not for anyone else, I say it is true for me!

Then, if so….and we find  “THE” person we love,

Do we not all seek to find someone with whom to share this inner calling?

In truth, after a long and weary search,  we may find our Love.

I have in my life!

I indeed have found it in my life!

One of the most bold  and courageous steps  you can make in this life is this!

To intertwine two lives together in LOVE!

To make music you need to create a chord!

We all search for the perfect chord, a lost chord…..

This Chord is,  a perfect combination of notes….

A chord, nothing on its own, but.

Combine with love, and it is the most majestic symphony of all!

In this life you can listen to this concert  on your own,  if you so choose!--

“The Concert Of Life”

Pleasing to the ear…

Pleasing to the eye…

Pleasing to the mind…

Pleasing to the heart…

Pleasing to the soul…

But, if you hear life’s rich song and find yourself alone,

You will pray for deliverance from this kind of solitude.

Because in Love you wish only to SHARE…

In love, you only wish to give the beauty you find in life to another.

For, if you can’t give of yourself and the beauty you find,  you  will  feel incomplete

When you share your entire being with another,

To be able to share all of this in total love.

All beauty is for NOT unless you can give of yourself.

This total love is to be able to  grasp the hand of God!

In this holy union,  when two people hold  God’s hand as one,

It creates more than the two notes of the chord.The chord becomes one and is harmonious with life’s symphony.

We learn more than  just what is an individual--

We learn the greater lesson….

We learn how to become students….

We learn how to become teachers….

We learn how to become closer to the spirit….

We learn what our place in the world truly is…We learn our calling…

We find our passion….

We find the lost chord—LOVE.

These are my  thoughts as far as a comparatively small  part of life goes; I give them to my Sister  and to her new Husband.  I pondered how to express my feelings to my Sister  over the last few months--it  somehow echoed the many years in which I never expressed all of my love to her, because of  youth and life’s little circumstances.   SO NOW THAT I SHALL HAVE ALL HER ATTENTION ON THIS THE MOST IMPORTANT  DAY OF HER LIFE!!!!,  I would like to take this opportunity to DECLARE AND EXPRESS my great admiration of her; my heart could not contain anymore love for her; my heart would surely burst should I love her anymore. And it is my solemn wish that you take all the love that I have tried to place in these words I have and place it in both of your hearts.  This advice I give to my new brother and to my little sister!

I am sad today for I have lost my little sister.

I am glad today for my sister  has grown up.

I am glad today for I have a new brother.

I am glad today for now I may become an Uncle.

I am glad today for now I can always offer my help.

I am glad today for my sister and her new husband.

My heart has become light and roams the sky--

It soars like the eagle for your happiness.

I love you, Jenny. Fabio.