How do you fit someone’s life into a brief memorial?
Whether it is thirty three days, weeks,
months or years, there is just no way.
Our John was larger than life in so many ways.
He never aspired to be an astronaut,
physicist, scientist or any other great being.
He never won a Nobel Peace Prize.
John did more than some in those categories.
John won the hearts of everyone he met and
inspired people to do more and be more throughout his life.
He was kind, loving, gentle and
Many have shared their
stories over the past few weeks.
incredible how many lives he touched and changed.
We, in his family, know how big his heart was
and how much he could love, but we are strengthened even more to know how much
more love he spread throughout this world.
Thirty three years ago at ten hours old, he was in an
incubator headed in an ambulance for a Life Flight to Salt Lake City and yet,
it seems like only yesterday.
and dad had picked out a name for him before he joined his family in this
world… Jared Clayton Beverage.
born with a hole in his back and spine called Spina Bifida, which we had never
heard of before.
We were given a very
grim prognosis for his future, knowing he could be paraplegic or die
We looked at those big, broad
shoulders thinking he should be a football player and the name Jared didn’t fit
A nurse came to us and said we have
to have a name to put on his certificate since he is flying, in case he doesn’t
We were stunned!
Jackie’s mom, in her usual aggressive manner,
stepped up and said, “His name is John!
It means Gift from God!”
We found out later that the name
John actually means “God has been gracious; has shown favor.”
That is probably much more accurate in the
case of our JOHN.
He wasn’t always happy
with his name for some reason.
to be “Larry Gebhart” (the local news meteorologist and weather
If he could have gone on to
be anything more than who he was, we like to think he would have been an
outstanding vacuum sales person, meteorologist, narrator or 911
He loved these things as
would be completely evident throughout his life.
John Clayton Beverage was born December 3, 1985 in Boise,
Idaho into the family of Steve and Jackie Beverage, joining siblings, Chad,
Cherie and Andre.
His family had
migrated from Boise 20 miles southwest to Kuna three months prior to his
They moved to the country to
satiate his sister’s desire to have a horse!
Kuna would be his home for the next 33 years and color his life in so many
His life would be tough, with many
surgeries ahead for him, but he was also blessed in so many, many ways.
John was dedicated to the Lord when he was eighteen months
old by Pastor Martin Gauby in his extended family’s church, Mountain View
Church of the Brethren in Boise.
his family continued to attend there for several years until they found a
church home in Kuna, the Kuna Church of the Nazarene.
John grew up in this church, first with the
teaching of Pastor Gary Skaggerberg, and then to great friend and Pastor, Eric
All of these men and many others
helped to shape and mold John’s love for the Lord, Jesus Christ.
We know that John had it deep in his heart
before he came to be with us, but we are so very thankful also that so many
good people helped instill in him that there is a better life ahead of all of
us than the struggles of the one we face here on earth.
Pastor Skaggerberg once visited John in the
hospital and told the congregation on Sunday, “If you are down, go see
He will lift your spirits with his
love and his smile!”
baptized John on September 30
, 2001 at the age of 15.
He wanted to be bath”a”tized for a long time
and finally got his wish!
His aunt (empty)
Karen introduced him to the “new” Christian Radio Station, KTSY in 1990 and it
was a very big part of John’s life from that point on.
He loved KTSY, their staff and the music and
artists and stories and he would often share songs with others with a much
deeper understanding of the words of those songs than we could even
He went on to learn to
listen online and on his phone and he attended many concerts over the years of
his favorite Christian artists, including MercyMe.
Two of his most favorite songs were MercyMe’s
“I Can Only Imagine” and Danny Gokey’s “Tell Your Heart To Beat Again!”
Listen to these songs today and allow the
words to speak to your heart as they did to John’s.
He loved all kinds of music, Matchbox 20 was
an early part of his teen life and of course, from his childhood, songs from
all of the Disney movies, especially the Little Mermaid which he made his
sister watch with him daily and sing with him, “Part of Your World”.
Again, the words at the time did not resonate
to us, but listening now, “I want to be where the people are...I want to see,
want to see 'em dancin', Walkin' around on those (Whad'ya call 'em?) oh –
Flippin' your fins you don't get
Legs are required for jumpin',
dancin', Strollin' along down a (What's that word again?) street.
Up where they walk, Up where they run, Up
where they stay all day in the sun.
Wanderin' free, Wish I could be, Part of that world.”
This was John’s dream.
He loved all kinds of music, NSYNC, Back
Street Boys and New Kids On The Block.
His biggest love was for his family!
He loved being with his family all the
His greatest joy was any gathering
with family and friends.
He loved his
sister and brothers and nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, cousins and most
of all his mom and dad and grandmas and grandpas.
He also cherished close family friends and
sisters in law so much and he always hugged everyone and told them so.
John attended two years of preschool at Butterflies and
Bullfrogs in Kuna, graduating with his class to Kindergarten.
He attended all twelve years in the Kuna
School District and had many fond memories of teachers, aides, classmates and
friends and his very special bus drivers.
He graduated from Kuna High School in 2004.
He was blessed to attend two additional years
at Meridian Transition Program at Mountain View High School, where once again,
he made many more friends.
time at MVHS, he was able to get into the community through programs which
allowed him to further his education and growth… kind of “life college” for
He first attended Community
and became tired of the same routine, and wanted to find
something different and more challenging to his life.
That is when LIFE, Inc. became John’s life
from that point on.
faithfully every day for many years only having a brief break of six months at
Community Connections, then back to LIFE until he developed health issues in
2016 and had to stop for a while.
could not wait to get back to LIFE, Inc.
That was his goal.
He made it
once again in 2017 and then, once more in 2018, health issues stopped him
attending for the entire year.
He was so
elated this past January to once again return to his joy and do the things he
loved to do with his friends and community family at LIFE, Inc.
We know that although they had a big impact
on John, he more than likely had a greater impact on the lives there and we
know there is a super big void where John had been.
John did so many things throughout his life and found joy in
He loved camping and fishing
and boating with his family.
allowed to drive the boat one time and went in circles over and over.
Adventurous, he would sometimes take off on
his own in his wheelchair.
trip to Redfish Lake, his mom and dad and grandparents were preparing dinner
when the camp host came to ask if their son was a in a wheelchair!
He had gone wheeling down the road, went off
the road and was hanging upside down in his chair in the bushes yelling, “Help
me, help me!”
It is laughable now, but
terrifying at the time.
nothing was broken, not even his spirit!
One of his dad’s favorite stories of John is when he was
around nine or ten years old.
becoming quite independent, getting snacks for himself.
He got a cup and the milk and tried to pour
Unfortunately the carton was
heavy and the glass tipped and milk went everywhere on the counter and the
John, knowing how meticulous his
dad could be over clean counters and floors, panicked his dad would come in
from outside and have a cow.
know Steven was watching him from the window.
John went back and forth to the sink for a dishrag, then a dishtowel and
paper towels feverishly trying to clean up the milk and all the while running
through the milk on the floor with his wheels making tracks everywhere!
When his dad came in to confront him, John
pleaded, “just a little more time dad, just a little more time!”
Steven could not say anything he was laughing
His dad would make many adaptations to the home they built
for John as well as his wheelchair and vans, making accommodations like his
trapezes, ramps, lowered counters and such so John could easily access the
entire house and eventually the cabin too!
Steve and Jackie’s lives pretty much revolved around the life of John!
He attended many years of wheelchair camp at the Elk’s!
He was not happy with them when he had to
stop at age nineteen and told them so.
He did not get to attend many of the adaptive sports programs, but he
always had a fond affection for those who made life special for anyone like
John, particularly Kelly O’Dell and Emily, and of course his Aunt Karen and
cousin Christine who were his coaches for various years!
He loved to ride his adaptive bicycle when he
A stranger in Louisiana donated
this to John and shipped it to him for free!
When it came in a huge wooden box, he had no idea what was in it.
He was able to ride it right away and was ecstatic!
His bike will now be donated to the Adaptive
Sports Program in his memory!
John was larger than life, but he was never arrogant about
He had interviews with Tim Woodward
of Statesman and articles about him and his great love for others in the Kuna
His “other” mommy, Lorra
Glass wrote about him in 1998!
was in lights (at the Arctic Circle) for his 14
John loved being the center of attention and he was for the
first twelve years of his life!
nephews and nieces started to come along.
At first, John was a little bit jealous.
The camera and spotlight was no longer only focused on him.
But, he soon welcomed their attention and
devotion to him, giving them rides on his wheelchair, allowing them to fly on
his trapeze when no adults were watching and sharing videos and music with
He struggled when they pulled ALL
the toys out of his HIS closet and any time they would cry, but he loved them
all so much and it was evident in the way he held them when they were babies to
the way he hugged then when they were grown!
Everyone who knew John personally knows how much he was
fascinated with and loved vacuums!
first introduced to anyone, he would ask them what kind of vacuum they had,
where they kept it, how well it worked and why they liked it.
He owned various vacuums over the years, the
first being the family Kirby and then the Rainbow (which was his all-time
favorite and he always had to show his mom the mud in the pan when he finished
When he was about three, his
brother Andre used to teasingly chase him across the living room floor with the
vacuum and boy could John move in a combat crawl.
Whether that inspired his fascination or not,
we don’t know.
Another time, he was
helping our neighbor Steve, they were working on a vacuum together and Steve
decided it would help to spray a little W-D-40 into the motor!
Well, when turned on, the motor caught fire
and again, John was moving at lightning speed to get home!
At last count we had ten vacuums at home and
four at the cabin.
He didn’t make the
Guinness book of world records, but he had fun!
John liked swimming, playing adaptive baseball and running
wheelchair races in the Special Olympics where he earned many awards!
Some of John’s other joys in life were his fur buddies.
When John was small, his auntie Sandy gave
him a Shi Tzu puppy, Tuffy.
was the light of John’s life and they developed a deep bond.
His family had many dogs and cats throughout
his life and we have photos of him hugging them all, but his next buddy was Bart
A big, orange Tom tabby who
owned John’s family.
He was John’s best
friend for ten years until he passed.
John’s cousin Trisha felt the need to provide more fur love to the
family first in the form of Hercules.
seems everyone knew who Hercules was… the little brown Dachshund with the great
Trisha brought along
another little Dachshund, Daisy, who with Hercules produced the progeny of
Skippy (and his brothers and sisters who are all with family and friends).
John experienced death in his young life of a
beloved great aunt and then his maternal grandpa, but it was in losing Bart, Daisy,
Hercules and Ziggy that touched his heart and soul.
His Skippy was lonely and Lincoln entered our
He became John’s best friend,
sitting under his wheelchair daily whenever John was home and begging to be on
his bed each night and every morning.
They had that special bond of man and dog and Lincoln misses John so
much right now.
John had such a full and wonderful life in spite of his
disabilities and illnesses!
He had two
very devoted grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts and uncles and special friends
who all worked to help make John’s life as normal and good as possible.
His bond with his sister, Cherie was so much
that when she met the love of her life, Curtis Schmitz, John offered him money
to give Cherie back, first $5, then $10 and finally a million!
Cherie had always been MommyTwo to John from
the time he was born.
She helped her mom
and dad out watching him, feeding him, spending countless hours watching Disney
Movies like The Little Mermaid.
He developed a very special brother bond with Chad from the
day he came home!
While they were little
they were like any other brothers, laughing, playing, and fighting over
But, it was in growing up that
they became best buddies.
always do the things his brother did like sports, but he was ALWAYS there
cheering him on.
And, when that day came
that Chad met the love of his life, Ashley, John was there and jealous enough
to announce that he wanted Chad to share her with him, and so he did.
On their wedding day, John was Chad’s BEST
MAN as he had always been throughout his entire life!
Andre was his big, big brother and while not home for long
when he was young, they built a lasting friendship over the years and loved
Thanks to his two brothers, John was an entertainer!
More in the ways that they would go out of their
way to make him laugh and snort until we would have to tell him “BREATHE John,
John loved to prank or punk
someone if he could and his mom believes he is still doing that now!
It was so funny to us when he didn’t get his way, he would
cross his arms and put his chin down to his chest and give us his “Walter
When he was younger he would hold
his breath until he turned blue and sometimes passed out!
The first time this happened, it alarmed
everyone, but then we grew used to it and laughed!
His one desire in the past few years was to fall in love and
get married and have a family.
loved holding babies which is evidenced in many of his photos.
We were so busy living our lives that we weren’t
the best at taking photos and it was long before selfies, but we tried to
capture the good and bad moments of John’s life.
Mostly, there were good.
The bad came in the form of illnesses,
surgeries, ER visits, ICU and hospitalizations.
He always came back to us though and he was healing and recovering so
He fought a hard and valiant
battle his entire life and particularly over the past three years.
He was blessed to not only attend Christian concerts but
also The Blues Brothers Concert and local Shine Prom for three years and this
past February, the Tim Tebow Foundation Night To Shine Prom.
He loved dressing up and dancing any time he
John reached for the STARS and he touched them!
Through the S
huttle Amateur Radio Experiment
program his class was able
to go to the Discovery Center and speak with the Astronauts when they circled
the earth and passed over Kuna!
a question and got answers from space!
Quite an experience for a kid!
John was an honorary member of the Treasure Valley Avengers
as their Incredible Hulk!
he was incredible and secondly because he was a lovable hulk.
They showed up at St. Al’s for one of his
many surgeries and lifted his spirits as much as he lifted them!
His favorite TV shows were Full House and Home Improvement
(always laughing) and he watched Rescue 911 online, even doing a 911
performance at one of his many Talent Shows.
He loved watching people on Facebook.
He was like his Grandma Mary, always watching not commenting much… lol,
but if he wished you a Happy Birthday, you knew you were blessed!
He was preceded in death by grandparents, George and Reta
Himes, Mary Beverage, and cherished Uncle John Montoure and many great aunts
and uncles and some cousins.
He is survived by parents, Steve and Jackie, siblings,
Andre, Cherie Beverage Schmitz (Curtis), Chad (Ashley), grandpa Ray, aunts
Karen Montoure and Sandy Murray, uncles Pat Murray and William Beverage (Terrie
Havis), nephews Christian, Kyle and Mathias and nieces Gillian and Paige, as
well as great aunts, uncles, cousins and extended family and friends.
A memorial celebration of John’s life will be held on
Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at the Kuna High School Performing Arts
Center on Deer Flat Road.
A luncheon of
John’s favorite foods will follow.
memorial fund in the name of John C. Beverage has been established at Idaho
Central Credit Union, any branch.