Tea Time With Jos: When I was living in England, Jack and Diane and their three sons came to Cambridge in 1979 for a Sabbatical. I remember the date well because I was then pregnant with my first son Ross. I remember knitting constantly and wondering what it would be like to have a son too. I observed Diane and her interactions with her sons very carefully, since she seemed to me an expert on the subject. I think Jos was about 5 years old at the time with brown sparkling eyes and a big engaging smile. I remember that Jos loved to talk even then. One thing that highly impressed me was that Diane and Jos would go out to tea together. Now this isn't any old tea were talking about here, but high tea in England where everyone has to be on their best behavior and hold their cups just right! It was and still is delightful to think of the two of them having tea and chatting away together. Diane and Jos always had a very special relationship.
Support in dark days: My dear nephew Jos, 20, took me on an adventure that helped me and my mom survive one of the darkest days of my life, the day my father was buried. The rest of his family was out of the country and Jos came to represent them at the funeral of his grandfather, John Claerbout.
It was a bitterly cold March day in Wisconsin four years ago when Jos arrived at Pine Haven, the nursing home where my mother (his grandmother) lives. He entered with a flourish wearing a scarf but no coat and put his big arms around us -- my mom, my two young sons and me -- and began to warm us all.
When breakfast was delivered on trays to my mom's room, Jos set up the card table (where my father once did his business correspondence, his so-called "play work") and began to lovingly arrange the food on the table, as though it were an elegant banquet. He sat us all around the table and began telling stories of fighting Dutch Elm disease and fishing in Alaska and the delicious Pine Haven food. Jos got my mom and me to smile and eat and to somehow survive that terrible day.
Yes, I too feel blessed to have known such an extraordinary young man, who even in this bleakest of times could bring laughter and joy.
Uncle Cahir: I believe I met him five times. I remember him as an individual full of a love of life. I also remember him as having a wonderful relationship with language. I believe, and believe strongly, that a part of us lives on after death and that the spirit of Johannes will be very much with us in our thoughts and memories in the days ahead.
great aunt Beverly:
What a delightful young man Jos was!
I have this memory, having met him only once, for just such a short time at the cottage this summer -- When he found out I was a relative he said, "Then we'll have to have a hug."
great aunt Hazel: "I recalled how quickly he got all the family pictures and information on the internet." (Jos had insisted on making a trip to Milwaukee to purchase a scanner and doing so even though the only one available had the old style computer connection. -dad)