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Linda
When I think of you, John:, you make me smile most of the time ...but sometimes to be honest: Sunny days seem to hurt the most.
When I think of how much I miss you not being here, I feel the pain like Iโ€™m wearing a heavy coat. Not being a skier, my memories of the happiest times with you were truly on sunny days.
I feel you everywhere I go.
For Tom, snowy โ€˜powderโ€™ days seem to hurt the most; and for your parents, I know all days must hurt the most.
The gift that I took away from knowing you, John; through good times and bad, is that:
I see your smile in happy times and I see your smile in hard times . I feel you with me all the time. John, I want you to know that I am able to get through the tough times in my own life, which in no means am I comparing to the tough times you endured, because of you. Truthfully, the tough times that life has thrown at me, were made easier for one reason and one reason alone and that is what I know to be true : YOU could do it. When times are tough, I think of you and think ; What would you do, say, and how would you cope? I have been able to take all those lessons that you taught me and cherish them, each and every day of my life. I feel that in the short time that you were here with us, that you taught us all so many lessons to be cherished and we are all so blessed to have known you. You truly have enriched so many lives.
I hear you laughing all the time and for some crazy reason, especially in the rain. (I remember when you were in the hospital for that whole first year, you use to tell me that you didn't mind being in there as much on the rainy days)
I still can't believe youโ€™re really gone in the physical sense. The truth is that itโ€™s just not fair that you died so young. It feels like the story of your beautiful and fulfilling life had really just begun, and then death tore all the pages away of what would have come.
God knows how we all miss you, John
Your parents, Cynthia, Tom, your family, T Bone, (maybe even Jake) and all of your friends especially Phil. Even the Potomac River's Wide water and nature misses you. (Maybe you would have even saved the snake-heads? Nahhhhhh ....) Thank you for sending "PARIS" to your mom for that time when she needed her the most. Can you imagine your mom , naming a pet squirrel PARIS?
I know for sure Utah and the ski slopes miss you and all the challenges you gave to them, to be ready when you were or โ€œlook outโ€, the sprinter, the bass boat, and all of your favorite fishing rods like carrot stix. You treated everything and everyone with respect. I know where you are in your beautiful after life, you now feel the joy that you gave to others so freely. The only consolation to not having you here is knowing that you are free from pain and suffering and that you are still with us every minute of every day.
I think of what a role model you were in so many ways: the obvious being: your hard earned talents, your' live life to the fullest philosophy', your integrity to be who you were, true to your self and others at all times, your endurance, your strength, and most of all your courage.
All the hell weโ€™ve all been through missing you, does not for one minute compare to all the hell you endured for so long and yet you continued to give us comfort and serenity, every single day of your good and tough times right up until the end when you were still making sure that we were all going to be OK.
Iโ€™m sorry I made you watch "Dancing with the stars", but thank you for allowing us to try and find some crazy things to focus on other the seeing the sheer pain and agony you were enduring during those hard times in the hospital.
The hardest thing for us John is just knowing that no-one could ever take your place.
And sometimes I wonder;
Who'd you be today, tomorrow, and until you were an old man? I wanted to follow all your dreams and hear all your stories, and see all your accomplishments, and eat crabs with you, Iโ€™d even get my finger nails dirty just for you. I think if you were here today, Maybe Iโ€™d even have gone in the boat one day with you (with out a life preserver)
John, since you've been gone, Tom regained his pilots license (but I have a feeling you already know that and I have a feeling grand-dad was in on that FAA flight when all hell broke loose and Tom had to demonstrate his skills to the examiner, sounds a little fishy to me, don't you think?) In all seriousness John, you need to know that the biggest reason Tom was able to recover from his huge injury was the motivation that he got from you. I remember the first day he was in physical therapy at Hopkins and he was trying to stand and bounce a ball at the same time. You and your mom had come and surprised him and were both standing in the back of the room. Tom later told me when he looked at your mom, he saw a tear coming down her face as she was watching him struggle as he had to learn again something as simple as how to bounce a ball. He could only imagine the fears that must have been going through her mind at that moment. For a minute he said he felt totally helpless and overwhelmed with what was ahead of him as far as the huge rehabilitation that he faced and all of his own fears regarding how much would he really recover?. There were so many unknowns back then not only for Tom but for you. It was such a difficult time for all of us knowing what you were going through and then Tom's accident happened and it was so much at once. You know John in spite of all you were dealing with, you came to Baltimore so many times to be supportive to Tom. Tom told me later that night that seeing you that particular day was the turning point for him in his recovery. YOU gave him all of the motivation that he needed at that instant to never feel helpless or like a victim again. He knew that he would have to fight super hard to regain the use of his body but he could do it because of YOU. He said if not for seeing the courage, strength, and tenacity that you had in fighting your own cancer battle, he does not think he would have been able to come this far in his own recovery. Thank you John for playing the critical role you did in Tom's recovery.
Regarding Cynthia: I know this, John with her by your side, you would have really seen the world and chased your dreams, Settled down with a family, had some kind of ski business going on while she pursued her passion of pharmacy and Tom would have been mooching places to stay with you, eating at Nacho Mamas. I sometimes wonder what you would have named your babies and boy would they have been the worlds โ€˜most spoiled grandchildrenโ€™!
John, I know that you truly had the woman of your dreams (who adored and loved you with such a heart and soul) in Cynthia. I also know that Cynthia will eventually move on with her life but that the love you shared will sustain you both on a very deep level until you meet again in that magical place that really is eternity where the sky will always be blue and the powder will always be โ€˜orgasmicโ€™. I know then that you will truly be together forever and that no disease will ever steal that away from you again.
John, I am so sorry that your life was tragically cut so short. I want you to know that I miss you and love you with all my heart and wanted to tell you that, today, on your birthday.

All my love,
Linda
phil
happy birthday dude
am
I sure hope you can get a whiff and sensation of the pie they are fixing up in your honor
CR
Thinking of you on your birthday and everyday. We will be taking the bass boat out on the river today and hopefully catch some big fish for you. I miss you so much, but most of all, I miss your infectious smile and laugh. My love for you will never change and you always have a unique and permanent place in my heart.

Happy Birthday my love
Lisa Lettieri
The sun is shining today and we're thinking of you. It should be a good day to be out in a boat and cool on the river.
awnt mary
today they are setting out to the other land you love and to your lady....i imagine you smiling all along their way.
Cynthia
John,
Today was my last day of skiing for the season and I skied a total of 93 days this winter and over 1.5 million vertical feet. I skied every one of those days for you and I just know you were up there with me on those epic powder days and those perfect groomer arcing days. I have so much to thank you for because I wouldn't be in Utah or have skied all of those days if it weren't for you. But most of all, you have taught me how to live life. From you, I have learned to have as much fun as I can (every single day) and to be happy and to be with the ones that make you happy. That is what I did this winter and you taught me very well. You would be so proud of me. But now that the ski season is over, I look forward to a summer of bass fishing on the Potomac. I can't even describe how much I miss everything about you but I am so grateful that we were able to share 9 years of love and happy times.
Pamela Kaupinen
I was so incredibly saddened to hear of John's passing. John and I were on the Bryce ski team together and I'll never forget how talented and determined he was at such a young age. My heart and warm thoughts are with the Rust family.
John Kreutzer
John,
Today, like everyday, when I turn off my computer I see you and Phil fishing at sunset. It reminds me of your special friendship, your smile in the pictures from the lake and how much I miss my son's best friend.
Jason Hodgkins
John. I visited Killington recently, and thought about all the crazy stories you told me upon your return. It really is a kick ass mountain! Miss ya man.
Lud Banderas
Dear Rust Family ,

I was so blessed to have met John too. I work here at the San Diego Marriott. I had the pleasure of meeting him and his wife to be at the concierge through his Uncle Tom n Auntie Mrs Linda . We always said he had the greatest smile. I was lucky to have met him. He will always be our NO 1 guest . God Bless ..... Lud Banderas
Aunt Mary
Thinking about you bud.
Jessica Zdzinicki
Rest In Peace John. You will be missed.
Laura Whitaker
The way you lived life is an inspiration to us all! Live, love and JUST DO IT!!! Lots of love and prayers for Uncle John, Aunt Mary and Cynthia. Laura
Kathy Myint-Hpu
I will always remember John and your entire wonderful family. I'm so honored to have known all of you.
Lisa Keele
John Whitney...you helped me through things you only now know about! Thank you for being such a beautiful life!
Tears do not stop... for your life is missed beyond words!
Love, Your cousin Lisa
A.M.
It is the 6th; I think for me, on every anniversary it will be as if just yesterday.
Karen T.
Dearest LJ,Little John,
You sped by us with a smile and a laugh โ€“ off to fish, to ski, to race, to enjoy life. Boy grown into man too early, calm, steadfast, wise and courageous, yours is a loving soul.

The time we shared with you blew by too quickly. We will always miss everything about you. You have left us so many happy memories to inspire us to love nature and life as you did. You will always be gentle loving LJ forever in our hearts.
Alex Spira
Was priveledged to know all of you and will always think of him on the slopes and that smile.
Helen Schwartz
It was such a joy to have Cynthia in class. She always demonstrated a strong commitment to her passions. There were four years between the time we last saw each other between graduations, but it is apparent that she has continued to grow in her love of life. I am so sorry for your loss yet happy that you had time to spend with the love of your life.