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Beachbum

John Choate has passed away

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John passed late this evening (around 10 pm) at home. He had been battling lung cancer for quite a while, and had outlived his initial prognosis by about 5 years!! He did not want to be in the hospital when he died, so was at home under hospice care.

He had asked me to come up today and drive him into town to do a few errands and such ... well, I got up there this morning to find his wife still home, and John not doing well at all. He had a lot of fluid on his lungs and sounded very raspy when he breathed. The docs had called in some new drugs that his wife went to pick up while I stayed with John, that they thought might help with the fluid. He seemed to be breathing a little easier before I left, but I got a call from his wife around 9:45 or so that the noise was back full force, and that she couldn't get him to stay awake long enough to take his meds.

John is the person who got me started skydiving, and I was lucky enough to do several long trips with him, including 3 times up to the Lost Prairie Boogie in Montana (the last time, we went on up to Alaska to fish for salmon). He has been very much like a brother to me since we met, and I'll miss him tremendously. I do not know details yet, but do know he wanted an ash jump done.

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Gary,

Thank you for posting here, since no one posted to the A&M list.[:/]

John was a very special guy, having known him for only about 4 years, it wasn't long enough.

Well, that Marine is now standing guard at the gates to heaven.
--"When I die, may I be surrounded by scattered chrome and burning gasoline."

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Thanks for posting.
*Sigh* John was an inspiration to so many. He will truly be missed.
He can fly free now

Kay, Our thoughts and our prayers are with you.
I'm not usually into the whole 3-way thing, but you got me a little excited with that. - Skymama
BTR #1 / OTB^5 Official #2 / Hellfish #408 / VSCR #108/Tortuga/Orfun

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First ... thanks everyone ... I'll pass the sentiments on to Kay if she doesn't read out here.

Dave ... I don't have access to post out there ... but I figured one of the other Ags would handle it?

I've got a little more info to pass on ...

A viewing of John will be held tomorrow, Thursday, July 1, 2004 from 12:00 pm to 8:00pm at the Nobles Funeral Chapel in Navasota. Their address is 402 E. Blackshear. Telephone number is 936-825-7776. The family will be there from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

A memorial service will be held sometime next week in College Station after which the Ash Dive/Missing Man Formation will take place at Coulter Airport in Bryan ... date/time undecided as of when I got the info.

I'm trying like heck to get hold of a doc that knows enough about both aspects (pulmonary and aviation) to find out if I'll be able to participate ... but will be up there for it either way. I HOPE I'll be able to make my return to the air and join in ... sure been missing it.
As long as you are happy with yourself ... who cares what the rest of the world thinks?

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Quote

John passed late this evening...



A photo of John is attached, taken at a birthday party for him, done just a few months ago near Skydive Houston.

These birthday parties were special, because quite a few years ago the doctors told him he only had a year to live. But he kept proving them wrong, and every year he would throw these parties to celebrate another year of life, which the doctors didn't expect him to have.

John has always been good to me, as a fellow Marine, and because I once followed him down into the brush after he had a malfunction and cutaway. I'll miss him.

And my thoughts are with Kay, his beautiful and wonderful wife.

Semper Fi, John.

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Hey Gary, how ya doing? Even though I don't know you, I'm truly sorry to hear of your loss of such a good friend who meant so much to you. It sucks. I know what you are going through right now, believe me. CANCER SUCKS!! I could go on about this for days. Long story short, I watched BOTH of my parents pass away right before my very eyes from cancer. My thoughts are with you & John's family right now!! Don
Don

Here's to friends!

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Thanks Don ... I will relay the sentiment onward for you.

and yes ... it DOES suck. It is nowhere near as tough as losing both your parents, no doubt ... but besides John, I also lost another friend to a brain tumor earlier this month. I've been participating in the ACS Walk-for-Life
each year now with a group in John's honor (team is named "Trackin' for the pond", and is composed mostly of skydivers) ... anyone who wants to help out, please check into joining in on this in your area ... it is done nationwide.

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:(

A lot of us will be there in spirit for the ash dive. I wish we could make it down from NH, but it was much better for us to come down while he was still with us.

I remember when he was diagnosed and given 3-9 months. He asked Mark Woodings to handle his ash dive. It hit us all so hard when Mark died in the plane crash shortly after that. I bet John has already hopped on a few loads with Mark and Jonathan with Rob flying the plane.

~Cindy~

~Cindy~
Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?
Spelling and grammar errors are left as an exercise for the reader.

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Well, it's been just over 5 years now since John left us. This time of year his absence is brought home to me even more so than the rest of the year, since we had developed the habit of loading up his truck to fish our way to Lost Prairie and back for a bit of an escape from the Texas summer heat. Each year since then, mid July rolls around and I feel like something is wrong because I'm not packing up skydiving and trout fishing gear for that trip with him. Missing you John.
As long as you are happy with yourself ... who cares what the rest of the world thinks?

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