Just two days after the loss of my grandmother, we were sad to learn of the passing of our friend Jack Caleb Hill. He and David had worked together in the tech department at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, and the three of us spent a lot of time hanging out after work. Jack had a great sense of humor and he and David kept each other laughing. I have a permanent visual etched in my memory of Jack hunched over his wheelchair shaking with laughter at the crazy scenarios they spun.
We spent muggy summer evenings (and many icy winter ones) driving through Kansas City in search of good food. He loved D’Bronx and Rosati’s pizza, Jack Stack, Arthur Bryant’s, Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ, and random hole-in-the-wall hamburger joints.
We even spent our first wedding anniversary eating dinner with Jack after work, since we were happy to hang out with him and too hungry to make other plans. I remember the look of horror on his face when he found out we were sharing our anniversary evening with him, LOL.
When I was five months pregnant with Zia, we went on a cruise to the Virgin Islands with Jack. This picture was taken when we docked in Barbados. You might notice Jack and David were just a tiny bit excited about getting off the ship.
Just after Zia was born, David and Jack traveled to Europe and installed servers in Paris, London, and Madrid. Here they are posing (all cool, tough, and macho-like) with the London Eye.
And here, in the pyramid building in front of the Louvre.
This view of Jack is crystal clear in my memory. He would sit out there in front of the IHOP missions base every day in the summer, working on his computer, and look up with a smile and wave when you walked by.
It’s hard to believe he’s gone.
Jack was a thoughtful, kind and loving friend. He gave honest feedback and encouraged those around him to pursue their dreams. He would puzzle over the meanings of movies we watched and sometimes talked with me about artworks we looked at–sure there was a deeper meaning than met the eye.
Although Jack spent more than half his life with the use of less than half his body, he didn’t bring attention to his own hardship. He felt deeply for others and cherished close friendships. One of my favorite memories with Jack was when he asked me to help him paint and decorate his new office. He so appreciated my help and was thrilled with how it turned out.
Jack would have been 52 this December 27th. He spent 30 years setting his face against hardship and discouragement in order to live a vibrant and meaningful life. His life has touched many, and I am so honored to have been a part of it.
We miss you so much, Jack.