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159 entries.
Cousin - Stuart MacKinnell
I send my sincere love, and offer of love, understanding and strength to Cythnia and to wonderful mother Mary and to my amazing first cousin, John Sr.

I spent several hours enjoying this incredible web site. What a testament to Little John, to his remarkable group of friends, his extended family and to Mary and John Sr.

Little John will always have a permanent place in my heart.
It is impossible to have known Little John and not remember him, his hat(s), his love of life, his love of dogs, his love of boating, of skiing and of family.

I have memories of Little John that will always be with me. Those of us that remain will always cherish our memories of his livesโ€™ experience.

As one of the more senior Stuart cousins, I wish I had taken the time to visit with Little John more over the years, and to get to know Cynthia.

Love,
cousin Stuart (MacKinnell)
Sambo
John and I are almost exactly 6 months apart in age. When we were younger we used to spend our summers together water skiing and crabbing. I'm the elder, but I learned to look up to John. If there was a competition of any sort, John beat me at it. He beat me in chess. He hit baseball's further than me. He ran faster. He drove me crazy. As a result he was better than me at being nice. I am even guilty of being envious of John's ability to be better than me at appreciating life. Eventually I learned that John was a special kind of teacher who led by example. He gave me some of my fondest memories and taught me to appreciate them. I can't imagine my life without John. I certainly would not be who I am today without you. Thank you John. I love you and think of you often.
Terri Gamlin
Words cannot express the sorrow I felt upon hearing of John's passing. My heart goes out to his wife, Mom and Dad and to all of his friends and family. We know that he is in a better place...it is those left behind who need comfort. Those wonderful remembrances of his life are a true tribute to John and a comfort to all.
Nikki Gamlin
John was one of the most sincere and tenderly sweet souls I've ever known. His smile lit up any room and he was someone that would have given you the shirt off his back in negative 30 degree weather. Although it's been many years since I've had the pleasure of seeing John and unfortunately did not learn of his illness until his passing he will always be one of the greatest people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing and one of the few people that made me realize there are people in the world that could treat everyone they meet with the respect and love they deserve. John was always so caring and kind to the people around him, the type of person we could all learn from and strive to be like! You will be deeply missed John and my heart and prayers go out to Cynthia and his amazing parents. The essay's John wrote just prove the love and bond that him and Cynthia had, they were true soul mates. I'm so sorry for your loss.
Joyce and Ray Arndt
No words will help. Our heart weeps with you.
Craig Turner
I am so sorry to hear... I played little league with John, never will forget it, we were the Mariners.. went to championship game and then had a cookout at the Rusts, my thoughts and prayers to the family.
Kyndll Atkinson (Snyder)
I met John in Middle School, He was always full of life and I remember him always smiling no matter when I saw him, I always thought he was in on life's little jokes because of his smiling. John always struck me as an outgoing and adventure loving person who had an amazingly unique spirit.

"If tears could build a stairway, And memories a lane, Youโ€™d no doubt walk up to heaven And bring John home again. Say not, in grief, that John is gone But give thanks that he was yours"

John blessed everyone with his presence. Cynthia, Mr. and Mrs. Rust and the rest of John's Family I am sorry for your loss and I know John is looking down and watching over you all.
Dana Jones
I've known John since elementary school. We were bus-buddies and we always sat in the back. I will always remember him being out in the Potomac river fishing. I would see him every-time I was out there with friends and family and we would always wave to each other. I was looking in my yearbooks and his signature is in every single one. "See you out on the water this summer!" You will be missed John but never ever forgotten.
Grayson
A demon of the slopes practically as soon as he could walk, an accomplished driver before he turned 5, a country boy born in the city, a bright light, a man who quite literally walked on water (on water skis anyway), probably the most easily liked person I have ever known, a ferocious badminton partner, a born athlete, the beautiful reflection of his wonderful parents, the wonderful equal of his beautiful wife โ€“ Cousin, you are missedโ€ฆ.
Jason Hodgkins
Mr. & Mrs. Rust, Cynthia; John was one of the most notable characters I've met in my life. John's ability to stay positive rubbed off on everyone he came around. He truly made the world a better place. John was one of the strongest athletes also to come out of the Stafford area, a man who lived up to his potential on and off the slopes. Best wishes to the Rust family. NE and VA will forever keep a memory of John.
Charles& Anna Dean
remarkable young Man.He touched many lives in this community where he lived and loved. God bless him and his dedicated family.
Brandon Miller
This is truly a beautiful remembrance of a wonderful, loving man. John, you have touched so many lives in such great ways, you will be greatly missed. Cynthia, Mr. and Mrs. Rust, if you ever need anything at all, you have a huge family that is here for you. My thoughts and prayers are you with.
>Susan (Abbondanzo) and Jonathan Johnstone
This is a beautiful tribute to a very courageous young man who lived a remarkable life. Although we did not know him personally, we came to know John through the love of Linda and Tom and the endless stories they shared with us. It is comforting to know that although John's life was short, he lived it fully the way he wanted to. You are all in our hearts and prayers at this difficult time.
Keith and Kristina Chambers
Loss is painful, loss of a child even worse. Find peace in the wonderful memories you have.
Maria McBean
What a brilliant, gentle, and brave young man...a bright light gone out way too soon. Love, hugs, and prayers to Cynthia, Mary, and Big John.
Uncle Tom 'T Bone'
For me I so many memories, from mountain biking at Snowshoe, sunset flights in the Luscombe, waterskiing behind 'Miss Cynthia', hearing how the Braves were the best, teaching me the proper way to tune my skis, visits to KMS, pingpong at all hours, freezing my ass off in the Sprinter, summers in San Diego (paradise), visiting me at Hopkins, tennis in Old Town, grass skiing down bootlegger, dinners at Nacho Mama's, recycling everywhere we went, the endless Reggae music, powder skiing in Utah, telling me how 'out of shape' I was, but the fondest memory was the puppies. It was the gift I gave to John on Christmas Eve 1993. I will never forget how happy it made him feel as he unzipped the bag and 3 little heads popped out. I will truly miss my best friend and the precious times spent together. Without a doubt, if it was not for John showing me the way to persevere I would never had recovered from my injury. He will always be my inspiration to make it happen no matter what the adversity is in life. Thank you for being such a wonderful spiritual being to me. As John would say, 'I love you man'.
"Ant" Linda
One of my favorite memories of Little John was when he was younger and Tom and I were living in the condo in Bethesda. We had picked him up from school one Friday, so he could sleep over to go skiing at "White Tail" in the morning. The condo had two levels with a loft upstairs where John was sleeping. Around 4 AM I awoke to the sound of footsteps above. I went up and saw John awake and asked if he was ok, and he replied "oh yeah, I'm just so excited to be going skiing with Tom, I can't sleep".

It's hard to get past the pain of loss for a soul so precious, who was with us for such a short time. However, it does help to think about John's life and the light that he brought into the lives of all of his family and friends. Though he was taken from us way too soon, he made the world a much better place while he was with us. He will live on in my heart forever. I am so grateful that I had the chance to know this very special and unique young man. I also feel truly blessed that Mary, Big John, and LJ always welcomed me into their hearts and home. I appreciate that Tom and I got to spend so much time with John during the past 4 years as he battled this terrible disease. John continually lightened our lives each and every minute we spent with him. Cynthia was not only John's "magic pill", but ours too. From the moment she would arrive at the hospital, the whole mood would become brighter. Cynthia, we love you with all of our hearts and we will cherish you in our lives forever. Phil, I'd be hard pressed to find anyone who had a better 'best friend' then you. Thank you for being there throughout it all and thank you for being "silly" at the times we just needed "silly". Mary and Big John, I personally have never known two parents who were more loving, devoted, caring, nurturing, fun, and special as you both. John loved and adored you guys with all his heart. We too, love you all very much! May God bless you all at this difficult time.
Jamie,Michelle,Sam and Max Varipapa
We are close friends, like family to Tom and Linda Bryce. We did not know John personally but always heard fabulous things about him. Seeing this wonderful tribute and the beautiful things others have to say just confirms what an incredible person he is. We are sorry for your loss and will keep your family in our thoughts and prayers. Peace and Blessings.
Lisa Lettieri
LJ, Each of us has a fire in our heart for something and you found that fire at a very young age and kept it lit. Your spirit is a true inspiration to us all.

John and Mary โ€“ The happiness and joy LJ showed for his family and life would bring a smile to anyoneโ€™s face and is a testament to you. This is shown in the pictures of LJ through the years and reading his essays. Itโ€™s a beautiful thing to see how you all cherished each other.

Cynthia, what a remarkable woman you are. The love you and LJ shared is so lovely. Itโ€™s difficult to put into words, but LJ did it so well in his essay.

Please know that my family and I are thinking of you - Lisa
cousin Jim Grant
Sending love, and strength, and more love and more strength, to Cynthia, John Sr. and Mary, and to the many members of Little John's extensive and loving family.

I spent an hour viewing the Gallery images and was especially grateful to be able to "attend" the wedding via all of the Wedding Pictures! โ€” such a testament to Love and to Life, to Courage and to Resilience.

"I answer the heroic question 'Death, where is thy sting?' with 'It is here in my heart and mind and memories.' โ€ โ€” Maya Angelou

As one of the far-flung Stuart cousins (I now live in Canada), I so wish I had had the opportunity to know LJ as an adult.

*LOVE* to all! โ€” cousin Jim
Colleen Cassidy
I stumbled upon this by accident, but knew that once I saw the picture of "John, Sophie, and turtle" that this was the same kid I spent afternoons re-enacting flipper with. When you all moved from Alexandria, Va John sent me this very picture. I have very few memories of preschool but the few I have were with John. I know its been twenty years, but so much of my preschool memories are with him. I don't remember much, but what I do was with him. We re-enacted "flipper" after school, and I actually remember punching him in class (he told me to do so) and being sent to time out. I don't remember much else, but that I missed my good friend. I tried to look him up on facebook a few years back but found so many by the same name that I gave back, I wish I had tried harder. I'm sorry we weren't able to keep in touch as much as I had hoped over the years. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.
Michelle Villari
Prayers and love to all that know and love John. His approach to life will remain with all of us, always. We are all honored to have known and loved him. Cynthia and the Rust family, my thoughts and prayers are with you all. He is and always will be a truly amazing person.

Much love from myself and I am sure the rest of the KMS crew.
Chris Sestito
>The time that I have known John leads me to believe that he has lived more in his 24 years than most will or could in 100. I have never known someone as determined or accomplished in every part of life. I consider myself lucky to have known him and honored to have been a friend. My heart goes out to Cynthia and the rest of the Rust Family.

Chris
Joshua Mann
It just blows my mind that he is not with us anymore. Cynthia I am so so sorry for your loss. He will live on in all of us, and in our memories. I can remember when I played baseball with John when I was around 10 years old, that's 13 years ago. His nickname was Nails because he could hammer the ball out of the park. I'll never forget him. My thoughts are prayers are with you Mrs. Rust and the rest of the Rust family. John is still alive, in our hearts and in our minds. He will not be forgotten.
Kellyn Farrell
I am not really sure what to say. I have known John since elementary school, he was such an awesome person. My prayers go out to Cynthia and his family.