He was an accomplished musician and composer, and part of a Chicago band, Rotary Connection, that enjoyed modest success in the late 60's and early 70's. Minnie Riperton, mother of Maya Rudolph, was a member of Rotary Connection. She had a gorgeous, honeyed voice, and I love hearing her sing harmonies. Uncle Jon penned a song that made it to #96 on the pop charts in 1970, "Want You to Know." It's very simple, beautiful and poignant. The song has been much on my mind this week, drifting in and out of my consciousness.
It's complicated to grieve for people you've never met, but should have known your entire life: first my father, now Uncle Jon. There's no path for it, and people don't know how to guide you. It's awkward. I know my aunts are deeply in mourning. I have spoken with my cousins about Uncle Jon. I wish him peace. He is surrounded by love.