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They're treasures who need to be treasured


Last updated 11/18/2020 at 9:50am

I cried today —

Friends and family of John Coykendall will understand. A more genuine and dear soul you would not find. I enjoyed conversation with him over the great little things and the little big things. (To clarify: he recognized the daily little things were the really important stuff life was made of, more so than the bigger world stuff). He was interesting and spoke with a twinkle in his eye. He was both lighthearted and deep —eager to share his experiences, but never pushy.

I cried today, realizing I would no more hear his stories of fishing @ Omak Lake or of the bear he perplexed by putting his trash can in his covered truck “to keep that rascal out.” I never knew his age, he was youthful and full of vim. He thought he was so clever, slipping holiday greetings under the Elmer City Post Office door after hours for me, signed “Cheers” from Santa, the Hoppy Bunny and Tom the Turkey. I never told him I knew his handwriting.

John took an interest in others, always asking me how my children were doing. He listened to my stories of family life — hunting, high school sports, college — even boy/girl drama. We talked of fixing world problems (if only the world would listen), what a mess politicians had made, great films and especially the beauty of God’s creation. John loved the outdoors!

I cried today, when I realized in all those years of precious, light-hearted and important conversations, I forgot they could end someday … I lacked one thing — I didn’t ask him the most important question of all. Another great chat to have: “John, do you know Jesus?” Suddenly, I ran out of time. I just did not know my last conversation with him was literally my last conversation with him!

My cry today is that you all recognize the “Johns” you have in your lives. Special people — Treasures who need to be treasured. Give them and yourselves those special chats, the gift of time and the acknowledgement of how valuable they are. The important talks … I will miss his optimism, that twinkle, the friendly face popping in just to say hello. The world needs more people like him. I wish I could tell him “Thank you, I am richer for knowing you.” 

Friends and family of John Coykendall will understand when I say goodbye to a wonderful human being and great friend, by saying “CHEERS.”


Kris Piccolo


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