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John Oury

My Brother, John
John was the second child in our family, but certainly not without importance in the family dynamics.

I can remember the day of his birth. I was solidly sleeping on our maternal grandparents’ living room sofa, when I was abruptly wakened and informed that I had a baby brother. At that moment I was unaware of the significance of that information.

This amazingly small creature was brought from the hospital to a small bassinet. A small girl, I looked over the side and into the bassinet and spied my sibling. I was surprised that he looked like a small, wizened, old man.

Fortunately he grew to a baby with the most sparkling eyes I have ever in my life seen. He had chubby cheeks and apparently knew some secret joke for he had an ever-present large smile.
As a toddler he was always happy and content. My new family member seemed to be able to entertain himself with absolutely no assistance. He developed yellow, curly hair and a wobbly gait. He loved to prove that he could walk and stand without the aid of anyone else.

He was so intense and like his brother after him, could see a bobby pin on the carpet from across the room. He would make for any object of this size and carefully lift it with his small fingers. He would turn the object over and over trying to discover it secrets; not finding any, he would return it to its original position.

I remember pulling him around in his little red “Flyer” wagon through our neighborhood with his blue “blankie.”  If I wanted to play with the local children, there he was under my watchful eyes. I loved my little, happy brother and did not mind taking him along. By the way, the eventually tired, blue “blankie” went the way of my other siblings’ “blankies”…”oh, whoops, left it at grandma and grandpa’s.”

All of a sudden he had many little friends with which to play. He no longer needed my assistance, so I was no longer watching his every move.  Besides, our other siblings arrived; and as it is in life, it was someone else’s turn as the new baby.

One summer was just not John’s summer.  He was about six years old.  His head happened to meet with a baseball bat; two days after his scalp stitches were removed, he fell backward from a school yard swing and broke both arms; and two weeks after his arm casts were removed, he was hit by a car while cycling through a crosswalk.  His young body was thrown high and back and he suffered a compound fracture of his leg, plus various other contusions and abrasions.  The point of this tale is that he was in the hospital for, oh so long.  And once again I was able to help him by phoning his room to read him about his favorite character, Uncle Wiggly.

As a little boy, he was so eager for adventure.  He completed his boyhood years into his teen years.  Building his own telescope and grinding its lenses, he would often be found watching the night skies.
I know his most enjoyable summer was spent with cousin, Blaine Beaudin.  The two of them stayed with grandma and grandpa Kuiper to paint, complete some odd jobs and spend some much needed cousin time. He and Blaine spent much time in their kitchen, patiently talking with grandpa.

Then he entered a world I could not share. And as such it was when he graduated high school he became a solid Christian and joined the submariners to sail underneath the seas on the skate class, nuclear submarine, USS Sargo.

I’m sorry I could not be there to hold his hand as I did when he was young, but my heart was always with him.

Linda Oury Rogers

My Nephew, John

I thought of this poem when I heard of John’s passing. It’s a poem I read long ago. I love John and he meant a great deal to me in my life. I will miss him.

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf a flower,
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief.
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing Gold can stay.
…Robert Frost

Robert C. Oury

The sons of thunder;

Mark 3:13-17
And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those He Himself wanted. And they came to Him. 14 Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, 15 and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons: 16 Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter; 17 James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, “Sons of Thunder”;

John often quoted this passage to me saying the he and I were like James and John two former sailors (although not fishermen) “Son’s of Thunder” rough around the edges but still called by Jesus for his own purposes.

John and I shared many common experiences in our lives but him being the older brother he would get the opportunities to experience them before me but once I got my turn we would then have similar point on which to converse in quiet times of reflection over coffee or an adult beverage.

We both shared honor, duty & service for our county in Uncle Sam’s Canoe Club, although he having served in submarines and I in the surface fleet John would be quick to point out that he served in real ships and I only in targets.

We shared opportunities to travel the globe and see and experience the many and diverse peoples and places but always knew where home was and we would rather be here in America than anywhere else.

We shared a life’s work in the computer industry. Both taking advantage of the training and experience we gained from our time in the Navy.  If John and I wanted to turn the conversation to just him and I we only had to start talking computer geek and we could lose most everyone else in the room.

We both shared love. Love found, then lost, then found again. 

We both shared the Joy and heartache of being a Husband and Father.


We shared loss, the loss of our grandparents and the loss of our Father.

But John had to endure so much more the loss of his son which he prayed was an experience that I would not share with him.


One other thing we shared was a relationship with Jesus Christ.  John and I talked much about our faith, about why a couple of sons of a son of a sailor would be of any concern of God.  We would pose questions about God’s plans for our lives our past failures and triumphs. What was God going to do next? And when would he come back to take up his thrown. 

We often could only speculate on the true answers, but John once again gets to now know all the answers first, from the Lord himself no less, and I will have to wait for my turn, but we both know that we will be together again to share our experiences only this time in the presence of the creator of the universe and maybe that cup of coffee.

Revelation 21:4-5

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
5Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”

I am going to miss my brother very much.  I had hope that he would be able to give me pointers on being a father with my own kids but I will now just have to remember his last words to me on that – “Just love them” he said to me & you’ll learn – You’ll learn.

Paul Oury


Grandma Was Quite
A Lady As Told by Grandma Herself


Katie Kuiper
Alice DeJong
Arnold DeJong


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