Our hearts go out to the family of Heather Ito - she has been my collaborator and more importantly my dear friend at Original Productions for over the last 11 years. Heather’s husband, Jonas Neubauer, passed away from a sudden medical emergency on Tuesday January 5, 2021. While nothing will be able to replace Jonas or the joy he brought into her and all of our lives, one thing I know to be true... Love eases pain, it softens the harsh corners of life and sharing it with each other is what will help us all get by. This is a place to show and share your love for Jonas and with Heather.
Jonas was a master of Tetris, a denim enthusiast, an ambassador to Albacete, Spain, and an expert food try-er in the house of Ravenclaw. His enthusiasm for everything was contagious and inspiring, and he always found ways to make any situation incredibly fun.
Jonas spent an idyllic childhood playing little league and sailing with his father, Ed (deceased). He went to Redondo Beach High School and, after a few semesters at Virginia Tech, graduated from Long Beach State University.
With a combination of strong work ethic and masterful social stamina, Jonas was an easy fit for a small startup brewery called Strand. Joining the Strand Family went from figurative to literal when owner Rich Marcello introduced Jonas to his sister-in-law, Heather Ito.
When two people with such specific interests are paired together so wonderfully, they cast a spell across everyone they meet. Jonas and Heather connected instantly over their mutual interest in all things Harry Potter, all kinds of games, and travel. Over complex cocktails at eastside establishments, they would plot adventures whilst trying to outwit each other. Three years after they met, they were married in Hawaii. Well-rounded in all the best directions, they shared a love of fine whiskeys, bad movies, hot sauce, and, of course, video games.
Jonas was the 7-time World Champion of Tetris, a feat that garnered him admiration throughout the world and set up a near-certain future as an esports commentator. His Tetris skills took him and Heather to exotic locations where he was greeted by fans young and old. True to his playful participation in life, after a misprint describing him as a 60-year-old from Albacete, Spain, Jonas played along, tweeting his love for his newfound homeland. Soon, residents of the Spanish city started following him, cheering on their newest citizen. Eventually beloved citywide, the Mayor invited he and Heather to visit, bestowing Jonas with the Knife to the City (their incredible version of our “key to the city”).
Humble through and through, despite his many accomplishments, Jonas never let any of it get ahead of himself. Throughout his 39 years the only thing he ever boasted about was being a 12-pound baby and how much coffee he could consume.
Over the last few years, Jonas and Heather started a Twitch channel. He, the future esports hall-of-famer and she, the Dr. Mario champion, were followed by thousands. Their daily magic was authentic and lovely and broadcast into homes and phones across the planet.
Just weeks ago, they decided to uproot their life, and in the spirit of adventure, move to Kaaawa, Hawaii. They were excited for this next chapter and thrilled to take on a new landscape for the new year.
It goes without saying that Jonas’ life was cut far too short. Let’s take some time to remember his laugh and how lucky we were to know him, and then take his lead by trying everything, seeking out the best, and leaning into the beauty and absurdity of life.
Jonas is survived by his wife Heather Ito, his mom Sharry Neubauer, his brothers Jason and Justin, and his 6 nephews. In lieu of flowers, please open your heart and share a memory or story with Jonas’ family at: [email redacted]
Physical mail can be sent to:
C/O Julie Hayman
P.O. Box 6069
San Pedro, CA 90734
***NOTE: It MUST be marked C/O Julie Hayman***
We are all saddened by this sudden and tragic loss and while we don't have all the answers why, we do know we can support our dear friend Heather and their family as they grieve. We understand that this is an incredibly challenging time for us all. If you are able to make a financial contribution, funds raised will go directly to Heather and help cover funeral costs and any other immediate needs of the family.
Thank you for your consideration.
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