In Memory

John Chmela VIEW PROFILE

 

John Chmela passed away on Tuesday Nov. 23, 2010 at 1:30 am (one month to the day from his 60th birthday).  He had a stroke or an aneurysm and passed peacefully with no suffering or pain.  He lived with brain trauma caused from a robbery and assault from 30 years ago. This left him with brain stem damage, unable to walk and restricted to a wheelchair with many health problems. John was in a Board and Care facility in Pasadena California and lived near his sister (Jerry Lee, LHS 1967).  He is also survived by his two brothers who live in Michigan.   
John had been making progress with his walking in the last several months. His life of the last 30 years, (since the accident) had been very challenging yet he never complained. He is at peace now. 
His sister, Jerri Lee, said that the visits, phone calls, cards, pictures, letters and videos were very much appreciated by John and she wants to thank all of his LHS classmates who showed their concern for John. As per his wishes, he will be cremated and have his ashes thrown off the Ambassador Bridge. 
Should anyone want to contact Jerri Lee they can do it by emailing her at:  satcity@earthlink.net and putting “Personal” in the subject line. 

 

 

 

FROM LHS WEBSITE PROFILE: 
 

John's sister, Jerri, (Class of '67) composed this with John's counsel.

John went to Central University. He then worked for Chrysler as a computer programmer. He did some extensive travel for Chrysler to South America to set up their computers.

He wanted to pursue his dream of becoming an artist so he decided he needed to live in New York for awhile. He came back to MI, realizing his art career would go no where in Michigan, so he and his sister decided to move to California... he went to San Francisco and she went to Los Angeles.

Now comes the sad news... nearly 30 years ago, John was brutally assaulted by 3 men who robbed him. Their robbery motive was his Rolex watch. He ended up in the hospital in a coma for 3 months and then in Rehab for over a year. This left him with brain stem damage, unable to walk and restricted to a wheelchair with many health problems.



 
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11/27/10 07:35 AM #2    

Sue Said (Fisher)

I shed a tear today for Jonh and his family----we lived across the street from each other  growing up and we were Friends -- from the neigborhood--He will be missed. I think of him often when ever I pull in my Mom""s driveway. I can still hear the basketball bouncing --the laughther--and all the guys dropping by to pick him up for whatever was going on that day ---He will be missed --I prayed  a speacial prayer for John  today and hope all who knew him wish Him a speedy way HOME---love to all Suzanne Fisher (Said) 


11/27/10 10:09 AM #3    

Cathie Dishong

Oh my, this is so sad.  For many years we classmates believed John to be deceased and then around our Class reunion we learned he was still with us - the joy we all felt.  John was truly one of the smartest, more articulate, and witty classmate we were blessed to have.  My heart grieves for the loss we all feel, but surely for Jeri, who willingly gave so much time and love to her dear brother.  May God surround her with His healing and protective love.  I'm thankful John's passing was painless.  There really are no words to express what we classmates are feeling in our hearts right now.  Heaven has certainly received an exceptional human being.  God's Blessings to John's family - my deepest heartfelt sympathy.

With love and caring,

Cathie Dishong

I still picture John in his basketball and football uniforms !!!!


11/27/10 11:48 AM #4    

Jackie Martin (Campbell)

Jeri and Family~~I am sooooo sorry to hear of John's passing.  Blessings to you and your family for what you have all endured these past 30 years and now .... the end .... truly the beginning for John where he will no longer feel pain or frustration living the life he ended up with.  Even though John and I were not very close in school, I had the pleasure of seeing him a few short months ago.  It was a very pleasant visit and he loved my black lab Smiley (who brought lots of smiles to John's face).  I will charish that memory.  My heart is very heavy now, I am so sorry for your loss.  May God Be With You Always  Jackie, Ray & Smiley Campbell


11/27/10 09:08 PM #5    

Frank Wilk

DEAR JOHN:

I AM WRITING THIS WAY BECAUSE I KNOW YOU ARE WITH OUR LORD GOD AND SAVIOR, AND YOU'LL GET THIS MESSAGE. 

JOHN, IN SCHOOL YOU WERE ALWAYS THE EXAMPLE, THE ONE TO LOOK UP TO, SUPER SPORTSMAN, SUPERIOR STUDENT, POPULAR, AND YET ALWAYS SAID HEY IN THE HALL BETWEEN CLASS TO AN ELECTRONICS GEEK.

JOHN, AFTER GRADUATION, YOUR CLASS AND PERSONALITY WENT WITH YOU AS YOU WERE A SUCCESS. AFTER YOUR TRADGEDY, YOUR CLASS, YOUR DETERMINATION, KEPT YOU AS AN EXAMPLE UNTIL GOD CALLED YOU HOME. GREAT TO HAVE KNOWN YOU JOHN. TO YOUR FAMILY, I PRAY GOD WILL COMFORT THEM THROUGH THESE COMING DAYS.

 

YOUR CLASSMAN FROM LHS'69

FRANK WILK


11/27/10 10:57 PM #6    

Anita Miller (Matthews)

This comes as quite a shock.  I just talked to John about a week ago...must have been Monday.  I told him that I'd call him back the next day  and I didn't get around to it.   I used to live on the same street as John and his sister when we were little kids.  Sue Said lived across the street from John, and I lived down on the corner where Sam Fight  lived after my family moved out.    John  remained a charmer  until his last days.  May he rest in peace in a better place.  My heart goes out to his family- and to all his classmates from the class of 69.  

Anita Miller Matthews 


11/28/10 08:38 AM #7    

Mary Jean Andrusiak (Green)

My heatfelt sympathy goes out to Jerri and the rest of John's family.  As others have stated, John was one of those formidable characters in our lives.  His zest for all that he did was inspiring.   There is no doubt that John will remain in our memories and hearts forever.  May God eternally bless him, and may his family smile knowing that John is now without worry or pain.

Mary Green


11/29/10 11:08 AM #8    

Diane Beneteau (Attilio)

I'm so sorry to hear about John's passing. What an awful turn his life took so long ago. The way he handled his challenges should serve as an inspiration to us all. Rest in peace John.

 


11/29/10 03:07 PM #9    

Rick DeMayo

"Carm",

I am sadden by your death, but rejoice in the thought that you are no longer burdened by your physical restrictions.  Limitations, that were so wrongfully inflected upon you, many years ago.  You did not deserve such a fate.   To have your youth stolen from you, was terribly wrong.  You brought so much, love, joy, compassion, humor and friendship into our lives.

John James, many of your classmates knew you as a scholar, many as a comedian, many as a diplomat; but I had the pleasure to share your athleticism.  Though it was only football we played together - O. W. Best Jr. High & Mother Lowrey - I always marveled at your skill and determination.  "Carm", "Nips" and "Sammy"; you "white boys" have a outstanding chance at "kicking butty" in any pickup game.  I pitty the fools that challenge "The Three Musketeers".

John, our childhood and the neighborhood we grew up in was so special and unique.  That type of environment and those kind of friendships, don't exist today.  We were fortunate kids.  I think about you and our other classmates often.  I love and miss all of you.

Your sister Jerri Lee took wonderful care of you, and that is such a special family relationship to have.  We will look out for her, and keep her in our thoughts, always.

I am a richer man, because you were a part of my life.  Thank you for being a friend.

 

Talk at ya' later,

"The Mudder"


11/29/10 06:59 PM #10    

Sandra Erway (Bayless)

My prayers to the family of John.  I'll always remember the good times we had at Lowrey.   God bless you.

 

Sandy (Erway) Bayless 


12/02/10 01:56 PM #11    

Linda Niemczak (Hatch)

Sorry to hear about his recent passing.  Glad that my husband and I visited him last March.  Our sincere condolences to his family, especially Jerri Lee.  Rest in peace, John.


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