Hello everybody. My name is Dr. David Daverio.
I am John’s cousin. I am very sorry I cannot be with all of
you on this special day [May 2003 Memorial Service]. But, I did
not want this event to pass without a part of John’s “Family
from Sharon” being present in some way with his “Family
from Boston.” I want to thank all of you for caring for my
cousin all these years. As you know, John was simply an amazing
I never saw him angry. I never saw
him become frustrated in any situation. I never heard him speak
ill of anyone. I never heard him complain about the rigors of his
job or the twists and turns that each new day brings. He was the
consummate gentleman, a magical inspiration and one of my heroes.
The things that I remember most about
John were his smile and his laugh. He would always greet me with
both of them. It didn’t matter if I had not seen him for two
days or for two years—John always laughed and smiled. I also
have fond memories of him taking care of my older brother and me
when my parents were at work. We would play endless games of Scrabble
and Monopoly, drink ginger ale and talk or take a walk to the library
(John’s favorite place) in downtown Sharon.
John was GREAT with kids! He naturally
understood them. He was one at heart. His kind and gentle ways are
legendary (I am sure many of you know). There was no four-year-old
child he could not tame. I was a perfect example. I REALLY put him
to the test with running, jumping, screaming, climbing, wrestling,
throwing and flipping—John earned his wings a thousand times
over with me. Somehow, to his credit, while earning his wings he
never earned any stitches although there were some close calls.
John did all this with a smile and a laugh.
As the years went by, I unfortunately saw less and less of my beloved
cousin. John was in Boston while I went to Penn State and then to
Penn in Philadelphia to Veterinary School. So, academics kept both
of us very busy. We would talk on the phone and send e-mails and
see each other occasionally at holidays if our schedules matched.
But, John never failed to give me a hug, tell me a joke or have
me laughing at something.
So, even though I write this with tears
in my eyes, I can still hear John’s laugh and see his smiling,
mustachioed face. There is more, of course. I could not possibly
tell all the stories or jot down the specifics of all the adventures
I shared with him. But, they all ended the same way—with laughing
and a hug.
I am not sure why God took John from
us so soon. My guess is he needed help devising a plan to cheer
somebody up and wanted a second opinion from a specialist. He could
not have done a better job than requesting a consult from John.
John was incredible—he was a
tremendous and innovative scholar, an enchanting teacher, a prolific
writer and a wonderful person. So often I am reminded “…
the men who hold high places must be the ones to start, to mold
a new reality, closer to the heart…” ** and that is
EXACTLY what John did.
But, to me, John was my friend and my cousin who always smiled and
said, “I love you” no matter if two days or two years
had gone by.
Thank you so much for your time and caring for my cousin John.
Sincerely, with much love
—Dr. David V. Daverio
**RUSH- Lee, Lifeson, Peart, Talbot 1977 – A Farewell to