Jude Tiner's Celebration of Life

I write with my heart so heavy with grief and with tears in my eyes.  I received the news yesterday that my uncle passed away. I am grateful that he was not alone and his wife, Kimmy.  Today is Thanksgiving and I can only think that Jude wanted to remind us about all the things we should be thankful for.  

His family and friends need a chance to celebrate his life.  Together we will get together to mourn, to lean on each other's shoulders and to remember the good times.  

This fundraiser began as a way to help offset medical costs and it now serves as a way to say "goodbye" to our friend, to our family member, to a man who spent years helping others.  

Jude's story begins when his mother, my grandmother, prayed to the Saint Jude when her third son, James, was sick.  She said many prayers and was eventually blessed with a total of 12 children.  As you can imagine, growing up in a house with so many children meant that there was more of everything: more love, more hand-me-downs, more big family meals and more focus on family.  Jude grew up to be protective of those he loved. 

Jude was a proud Vietnam Veteran.  He served his country for many reasons but while he was in Vietnam, he fell in love with the landscape and the people and he has now made Thailand his home. 

On September 14, 1982, my Uncle Jude became a father to my cousin, Brian.  Brian is currently following in the footsteps of his father and works as a Longshoreman in Bayonne.  The physical distance between Jude and his son does not impact the love between them.  With current technology, they can still be close. 

Jude has always fought for the underdog.  Whether the underdog is a family member or a complete stranger, it makes no difference.  When Jude sees someone is faced with adversity and has little chance of pushing forward, he obsessively puts all his energy into fighting for them.  Included in his long list of charitable work is his love of children.  Jude has opened his heart to a “daughter,” Meraly, and worked feverishly so that she could have a lifesaving heart operation.  That was 8 years ago.  Today she is living the happy life of a teenage girl all because Jude’s heart was big enough to give her one.  I encourage all my friends to read about the story of a Vietnam Vet and the daughter he saved. 

Jude is a long-time supporter of the Teknotropheo Mission, which is a nonprofit organization that works with the poorest children in remote, rural communicates.  It is here where part of his heart will always live.  He has raised funds for this organization on countless occasions and through his work, he has made a difference in the lives of many needy children.

Jude was a man who has spent his years paying it forward and now we need to send him off in the best way possible: together and with love.  

Please consider making a monetary donationto help us throw him a party in the States and a party in Thailand.
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    • $100 
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    • $25 
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Jesye McConnell 
Chester, NJ

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