We lost our former IAS Vice President and dear friend John “JJ” Johnson on January 31st. Click on this link to see his online obituary with details regarding his funeral this Friday, February 12th at 1 pm in Suffolk.
Our IAS Irish Honor Guard will be participating in the graveside service for JJ as will several of our local Celtic musicians. Fiddling prodigy and composer Sean Healy wrote a tune for JJ called “Sailor Jack’s Farewell”. It is a reel, not a lament, because Sean wanted to celebrate JJ’s joyful personality, but, as Sean said, “it’s a reel with feels”. Sean cannot be at the funeral, but several of our other local Celtic musicans have been learning the tune and will debut it there in JJ’s honor.
After the funeral, JJ’s son Justin, daughters Lindsey and Carrie, five siblings, and girlfriend Debra invite everyone to come give JJ the festive send off he deserves with an Irish Wake at one of his favorite places, O’Connors Brewing Company, 211 W. 24th Street Norfolk VA 23517.
Justin emphasizes this will be done in best “JJ Style” with laughter and some pints because “My father always said he didn’t want anyone to mourn for him when he was gone but rather to drink and be merry! Come celebrate the life of a great man who everyone loved but also loved everyone as well!”
Donna Looney-McGlynn has reserved the “lounge” area at O’Connors for JJ’s Wake. That is the area beside the band area where they sometimes have private parties. We have it from 4 pm – 9 pm. Come stop by to raise a glass and share a happy memory of JJ even if you can’t stay the whole time. Prepare a toast, funny JJ story, or party piece to share with the group!
IAS soda bread bakers, SST short bread bakers, and anyone else with skills in the kitchen is invited to bring something to share in the pot luck for JJ’s Wake. Our JJ had a sweet tooth, so food should definitely be part of this celebration of his life. Please remember to bring whatever serving utencils are necessary for your dish. We will also need paper plates, napkins, plastic cutlery, and trash bags for clean up, so please bring these types of items if you cannot bring food.
Current IAS Vice President Jackie Trudell is putting together a slide show of pictures of JJ for his Wake. If you have any pix to be included, please send them to her at firstname.lastname@example.org . This will be projected on the wall at O’Connors during his Wake.
Musicians, bring your instruments in case you can jam. Dancers, be prepared to dance if the music moves you. Kids and dogs welcome at O’Connors, so no need for babysitters.