BSBD, John Appleton...

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What can I even say. My heart breaks for his wonderfull wife and children. He is everything that others have been saying about him on this thread.
Losing another highly experienced and current jumper this year really puts this sport into perspective for me.

fly free..........
derka jerka bukkake jihad

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John Appleton: Philanthropist, 55, who led an active life

11:37 PM CDT on Monday, May 2, 2005

By GRETEL C. KOVACH / The Dallas Morning News

John Appleton played golf, scuba dived, jumped from the skies and ran long and hard. After he took part in 21 marathons and nearly 4,000 parachute jumps, the life of the 55-year-old Park Cities investor and philanthropist was cut short Sunday afternoon in a skydiving accident.

Mr. Appleton fell to his death near Whitewright, Texas, when his main parachute tangled with the reserve parachute, Skydive Dallas officials said.

"Obviously that's very hard," daughter Katie Appleton said of losing her father. "But we don't blame the sport. ... He really loved it and enjoyed it, and we all supported him."

Services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, 408 Park Ave.

John Stephen Appleton Jr. said he and his father started skydiving together 10 years ago. John Appleton had 72 hours of free fall experience. His son racked up 2,000 jumps, his daughter Tracy Appleton 100 and daughter Katie about 50.

The Appletons said skydiving is a safe sport and no one ever asked Mr. Appleton to stop.

"That would have been like asking someone to not go outside for fear of being struck by lightning," his son said.

The Fannin County Sheriff's Department is investigating the death, WFAA-TV (Channel 8) reported. Skydive Dallas officials said they have not determined why the parachutes malfunctioned.

"My father was one of the genuine lovers of life," John Appleton Jr. said. "He was more than anything a friend to all those around him. While we're obviously heartbroken that he has died so young, I feel there are so many people that benefited from his life."

Born in Evanston, Ill., Mr. Appleton graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1972 and earned a master's in business administration from the school in 1973.

He was president of Chicago-based Appleton Electric Co. and a board member of Emerson Electric Co., which bought the family-owned company. He returned to Dallas in 1983 and invested in his own company and the renovation of the Granada Theater on Greenville Avenue, among other ventures.

Mr. Appleton was banned for a year as a Southern Methodist University Mustang booster in 1985 and was cited, along with eight others, by NCAA officials who later suspended the SMU football program.

He had donated about $200,000 to SMU, but it was $900 for car repairs that he gave to an athlete that got him into trouble. Mr. Appleton had witnessed the accident and said he wanted to help the athlete but later apologized.

In addition to his three children, Mr. Appleton is survived by his wife of 31 years, Deborah Appleton; father Arthur Appleton; sister Linda Potter; brothers Tom Appleton, Arthur Appleton Jr., Billy Appleton and Jim Appleton, and their spouses and children.

Memorials may be made to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

Staff writer Katie Fairbank contributed to this report.

The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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I’m just back from the service for John this afternoon. Hundreds of people attended, including at least a hundred skydivers, some that flew in from around the country. The service was deeply touching with his closest friends and family members sharing stories of his generosity.

His daughter mentioned when she was speaking, in the most well intentioned and touching way, that John must have ordered up a cloudy and rainy day so his skydiver friends would not miss anything.

There was a touching poem in the service guide that I thought I would share. It brought tears to everyone when it was read.

High Flight
By John Gillespie Magee

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds…and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of…wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence, Hov’ring there
I’ve chased the shouting wind along and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air,
Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
Where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Blue Skies John,


"We've been looking for the enemy for some time now. We've finally found him. We're surrounded. That simplifies things." CP

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