We recently lost our dear dear family friend, Javelin, to cancer (read his obituary below.)
Today should have been his 63rd birthday.
Instead, yesterday we celebrated his life with over five hundred of his closest friends and family. Javelin has had a baseball field, community center and now scholarship fund named after him, but we are all still at a loss for how we can honor the incredible spirit that he embodied.
Feeling like one of his many daughters, I felt called to speak at his service. I sobbed through most of it, so I thought that I would share what I had prepared:
When I think of Javelin, I will forever have a feeling of overflowing joy and gushing love.
Since before we were born, our families were the definition of best friends. Some of my first memories were when Shyela was just a babe, as they first moved to Milo. With their radiant smiles, open hearts, and easy-going vibe, we were instantaneous friends. We felt like we had hit the friend jackpot when we first started spending nearly every afternoon at the river together, along with the Silvas and the rest of the South Umpqua tribe. In the early days, there were years where we literally saw each other every day, and yet we still greeted each other like long lost friends. There were never enough hugs to go around and we had the most amazing laughs. And every few years Jav and Sue would bless us with another beautiful blond babe. We felt so lucky to be their big sisters. We were like cousins by choice, and Javelin was like another Dad.
The truth is that Javelin was like a father to many of us, just as he was like a brother to everyone. Javelin had an unbelievable way of making you feel special, like the Universe centered around you. Now I realize that he made everyone feel that way, not just his beautiful family, but all of those who were lucky enough to call Javelin a friend.
Our Mom worked at Promise after school for a few seasons, and we were the first to grow out of the playpen. We babysat the kids often, and planned our family camping trips together. Like any daughter figure, we idolized Javelin. And rightly so. I remember feeling so proud as Javelin became the most generous community leader, especially as a hippie in a hick town. After moving away from home, I always tried to time my trips back home with visiting Javelin at the store. His offer of lifelong free cookies, didn’t hurt our bond either. And I loved how Javelin would beam with pride as he shared updates about all the kiddos and grandkids.
It can feel like genuine injustice that Javelin’s life has ended so soon, just as his next chapter should have begun. Yet, I deeply feel that his life is a lesson for all of us who had the blessing of knowing Javelin. We all have the opportunity to learn from how he lived his life. How his presence lit us up, and made us feel special and loved. His memories will always remind us to watch for rainbows, create our own silver lining and to always always share our love. I love you Sue, I love to Shy, I love you Javelin…
The service was truly moving, and I cried the whole time. As sad as it was, it felt good to feel the ached of loss with friends who loved him and understand what a loss this truly is.
P.S. Miel and Adam are donating an InStove in Javelin’s name, and cooked a huge pot of minestrone at the service. 🙂
Javelin Ormond’s Obituary
After a two year battle with cancer, Javelin James Ormond died on Friday, April 22, 2016, surrounded by his family, at the age of 62. He leaves behind his daughters Shyela and Alese; and his sons Wyatt and Tanner.
Javelin was born on May 2, 1953, in Monrovia, California, to father John Kelso Ormond (97 years old) and mother Jeanne Marie Mc Reynolds (deceased). He grew up in a large, loving family with one sister and three brothers. He was the youngest of five children. He graduated from Monrovia High School in 1971. He found his love for cooking early on in life and seemed to belong in the kitchen. In 1974, he accepted a Swiss baking apprenticeship at Cherry Blossom Bakery in Eureka, CA.
Javelin married Sue Ann Lake in 1980 and the couple raised their four children in Tiller, Oregon. He planted trees and hung drywall for a living before purchasing Promise Natural Foods and Bakery, where he ran a thriving health food store for the last 29 years.
Javelin was an active community member involved in associations such as The Canyonville Oregon Chamber of Commerce, South County YMCA, and a Coach for the Days Creek Girls Softball Team, among many other things. He was always the first person to volunteer to help and helped accomplish many projects in the area.
When diagnosed with cancer in 2014, he remained dedicated in his business and in his will to fight his illness. He remained positive, hopeful, strong, and loving, even throughout his final months.
Javelin is survived by four children; his father; Sue Ann Lake; six grandkids; as well as his sister, Judy Champagne; his brothers Joseph, John, and Jerry Ormond; and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his mother.
A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, May 1, 2016, at 1 p.m., at the Days Creek High School. There will be a pot luck following.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to The Javelin Ormond Memorial Account set up at Umpqua Bank in Canyonville, Oregon.