Jerry Jack 1962 - 2011

Jerry Jack 1962-2011


The following is the text of the eulogy for my cousin as I had originally prepared to deliver it . At the actual service, there was some editing due to the fact that so many people expressed similar sentiments,  which only attested to the type of man that Jerry was...

This is always a strange time, the time right after the passing of a loved one. It is a transitional place, not for the departed one, but for us. Kind of like the first couple of weeks in the New Year, when you write the wrong year down, it is a time of adjustment…
It is that time when we use was and is interchangeably when we speak of our loved one.
“She is, I mean was…” 
We’ve all done it.

I heard it the other night, as I had the pleasure, the honor of listening to Toni, Jene, Lona and Terry talk about Jerry, the is’ and was’ flowing together in a conversation that became a frenzy, a whirlwind of Love.

Love For Jerry, for who he was, and Who he is

I want to share the frenzy of Love as best I can with you all…

I listened as they described Jerry’s love for His Family, His love for his community.
How he loved building community, building bridges, between people, divided by generation, ethnicity, culture. Because of this love he moved between groups of people effortlessly...

Jerry: a people person, with a magnetic personality and that famous smile, once you were in, you were in forever.

Jerry: Selfless, generous... Doing what was right, because it was right, and for no other reason…, (we’re going to come back to that) his ability to find good in everyone, he could always find something beautiful wonderful and pure in everyone. As such he was quick to forgive, and he didn’t look down on anyone. (We’re going to come back to that too). 

This is the reason that he excelled in his art, his craft. You see, what He saw was colored by what was in his mind, and that was conditioned by what was in is heart. He saw beauty, he saw potential, he saw adventure, he saw possibilities, in every person and every thing…

Because of the way that He saw his craft, his goals, there was a seriousness that he approached them with, If there was anything that he couldn’t take, it was mediocrity.

This is because mediocrity stifles potential, wastes energy and kills creativity…

Jerry. Non conformist, trend setter, life of the party, who’s also a loving husband, a soulmate, a devoted father, and the primary caregiver for his parents. It seems almost paradoxical, and yet makes perfect sense, because that’s Jerry.

And probably because of the way that he saw the world, he understood that we are all, much like diamonds.
We have many facets, each reflecting the light its own way, but all beautiful in their own right, provided we take the time to polish them. Many times people just concentrate on one facet and give that all of the attention, never realizing that it is only when the whole diamond is polished that it truly shines.

The scriptures record Jesus as saying that you either do what you do so that people will be impressed with you, or you do what you do because it’s right. If you do it to be recognized, you’ll get that from people, and it’ll be short lived, but if you do it because it’s right, you’ll get recognition from God, and that is eternal. Jerry did what was right because it was right…

The scriptures also record Jesus as saying that how you treat the very least of the society would have eternal implications for you. Jesus didn’t look down on anyone because he knew that just as much time went into making each person, so no one was greater than the other.

You see, there are no extra people.

In our society we gauge people’s importance by their accomplishments, their talents, their circles and their achievements. But God looks at our hearts.
Jesus also said that if one wanted to be considered great in the Kingdom of God, they achieved greatness by serving their brethren.

Clearly, as I listen to the words spoken tonight, this was something that Jerry lived out.

If I may, I’d to read to you a portion of an old letter, that a man named Paul wrote to a church that he has started, when they were getting a bit out of hand. He wrote to them about how to handle their business, how to run the church, and about how to treat one another. He said:


What if I could speak all languages of humans and of angels? If I did not love others, I would be nothing more than a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.


What if I could prophesy and understand all secrets and all knowledge? And what if I had faith that moved mountains? I would be nothing, unless I loved others.


What if I gave away all that I owned and let myself be burned alive? I would gain nothing, unless I loved others.


Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love isn't selfish or quick tempered. It doesn't keep a record of wrongs that others do.
Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting. Love never fails!


Our talents skills, abilities, all the things that men take pride in will cease…
All that we know will be forgotten. We don't know everything, and even what we do know is incomplete.
But what is perfect will someday appear, and what isn't perfect will then disappear.
When we were children, we thought and reasoned as children do. But when we grew up, we quit our childish ways. Now all we can see of God is like a cloudy picture in a mirror.


Later we will see him face to face. We don't know everything, but then we will, just as God completely understands us. For now there are Faith, hope, and love. But of these three, the greatest is love. – (1st Corinthians 13:1-13)

That word love, in the original language is Agape. It is a word that I heard during the frenzy, used to describe the love that Jerry had for people…

Bottom line, the most important one to know is GOD,
and the most important thing that we can do is to LOVE.

You see family, Jerry is loved, because Jerry Loved.
He is cared for because he cared, and he will be missed because, because He’s Jerry!

When people die, when they leave us, we automatically begin to think of the things that they did, what they are known for, what they will be remembered for, and we begin think about their legacy…

What is a Legacy? A legacy is something left by an individual, usually, but not always, after death or the end of a career. Legacy can also refer to a part of history and describe what one generation leaves to the next.

Jerry’s legacy wasn’t the pictures he took, it is the impact on each of you here.

His legacy sits before you here, Jene’, JahKari and JahKiya,

His legacy is the Agape that you have each experienced. I have heard it in the words spoken tonight, seen it in the eyes, the faces, and in the nods of assent.


Jesus said that only what is done for God will last.
What does that mean in terms that are applicable here?

Firstly: Who you know matters, especially when it comes to forever, more importantly who knows you…

Secondly: Consider it the compiling of a portfolio. A collection of our life’s work.
There will be a final exhibition, a retrospective, if you will. Jerry’s portfolio is complete, you are still compiling yours. What will last? The things that you do for God.

What will stand the test of time? Pictures fade, the edges yellow, the colors fade, the lines blur and soften, as our memories do…

But what we do for God will last, stand the test of time.

What things are those?
Love, joy, peace, grace, care, charity, kindness, service, selflessness, and mercy. Those are the things that the Scriptures say will last, you know that innately to be true as well.
You, when you take the time to look at the world, know that this is not all there is, and this is not enough. What will you leave here? What is your legacy?
All the things that you are amassing which society says are the proofs of a life well lived are in fact pointless and short lived, chaff to be burned…

What will you leave here? What is your legacy?
Jerry’s portfolio is complete, yours is still being compiled. What will it say? And when the final gallery showing takes place, what will the main critic say? At the end of the day,
His is the ONLY opinion that matters…

Amen.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Even as it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - (Romans 8:35-39)


Jerry's work is on display on his website: Jerry Jack Photography





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