Studio 512 bio picture

For the Sake of Others

My parents just celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary… which blows my mind. But in addition to their steadfast marriage, I wanted to brag about their examples of incredible selflessness. I don’t have the time to give you all the stories, so I’ll just highlight a couple.

First my dad, John. Photos of him are rare because – like me – he’s not a big a fan of having his picture taken (but he’s much worse). Ironically. Still, I’ve got a few here where he wasn’t giving the camera the Heisman.

This is him giving a heartfelt eulogy at his mom’s funeral a few months ago. He’s had the opportunity for a number of folks and always rises to the occasion. He also had the difficult task of being the executor of my Grandma’s will. With 7 siblings, he was – incredibly – able to bring the whole family to a place of reasonable harmony. Everyone was very proud of him.

I think the mic is less intrusive here

Being a retired school teacher, he’s got plenty of experience he can share with Kellye.  So he’s gone in to give some extra help to some of her students – many, many times.

At our home, he regularly finds things to help with and just makes it happen.  This patio furniture shows you a little before/after he got it in his head that he wanted to restore it.

If he’s not helping me around the house, he’s doing something for other friends and family throughout the area.  He’s practically not retired.  I’ll even catch him “secretly” working on my yard first thing in the morning.  By himself, with hired hands, or even with my mom, as in this photo.

And speaking of which, the list of stories is long that tell of my mom, Josie, likewise putting everything aside to serve others.

Here’s my whole family on our wedding day – with my bro (JJ) – on the end.  This is one the few times she wasn’t busy making sure things were running smoothly and guests were well-taken care of. (Big thanks to Deven Carter for this photo.)


Unlike the rest of us, she actually let’s me take photos of her.

Here’s a candid one I love from a few years back.

But here’s a very recent story for you.  Kellye and I came up with a fairly legitimate reason to be at the giant ICS Annual Meeting where Interfaith Community Services reports, looks forward, and celebrates all their achievements.  The main reason we were there, though, was because they were going to surprise my mom with the Saemi Lifetime Achievement Award for her almost 30 years of volunteer service.

Here she is being called up.  It took a second, but she went up reluctantly.


She was genuinely surprised and overwhelmed.


It’s easy to tell she doesn’t serve others for the recognition.

Executive Director Greg Anglea gave a beautiful tribute and recognized us too. She whispered to him on stage that she’d like to make sure to mention her dear friend, Anita, who was also in the room to celebrate her achievement.

I’ll end with this photo of my parents dancing at a wedding of a friend, which they showed at the ICS event.  It’s one of the few photos of its kind that I have.  I didn’t have to pay anything for it since I know some of the folks at Studio 512… but I would’ve gladly paid whatever they charged.