Saying Goodbye to My Best Friend and His Acts to Share His Fire with Others

1 Minute Video of Jerry Sailor Encouraging Others to Show the World Their Talent

On Monday, May 12, 2014, my best friend of more than 40 years, Jerry Kent Sailor, lost his life in a traffic accident. But this post is not to lament his passing, it is to celebrate the many ways he shared his fire with others, especially his fellow students in the theatre department at Indiana University in South Bend, Indiana. Jerry returned to college in his late 50s to follow a dream he started in his teenage years – to become a professional in the theatre.

At first the grief of losing my best friend and the fact that he was close to graduating with his college degree weighed heavily upon me. But when I saw the Facebook posts from his fellow students and faculty, it was clear that Jerry, like George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” affected many people in his life in the short four years he attended school. More than 50 people attended his funeral service on a cold rainy afternoon and half of them were students who shared their stories about Jerry, both humorous and tearful. But they all reflected his positive spirit and his hopeful look at life. And all of them talked about what a great influence he was on their lives. No matter how bad things were, Jerry always found the bright side, and he passed that spirit on to many others. God Bless you Jerry Sailor for unselfishly sharing your fire with others and creating a ripple effect of positive vibrations that will reverberate in the lives of those who loved you for many years.

8 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye to My Best Friend and His Acts to Share His Fire with Others

  • Jerry came into my life about 30 yrs ago…….. He was so full of life and imagination. He volunteered his singing and acting talents at Riverside Center..for the residents (special needs) who lived there. He also helped me through a difficult journey at that time… He was always positive and made me feel so loved and important.. He gave me a lot of encouragement.. I will never ever forget my special friend Jerry Sailor..It is not farewell… he is still in my heart…also..

  • Beautifully expressed, Marc. Jerry told me several times how gratefull he was to have a friend like you. He was both inspired and energized to accomplish great things by your own influence and example. While Jerry certainly expressed a powerful fire of his own, I’m absolutely convinced that some of the most passionate fire he shared was ignited by you.

    • Thanks Larry, but I must admit it was a two-way relationship. Jerry did a lot for me and was there for me in times of trouble. We went through many trials and tribulations together, and our relationship was always reciprocal. He was a rare and good friend.

  • So sorry to hear of Jerry’s passing, and thinking of you. Recall the times he came up to work with you and how entertaining he was. RIP, Jerry.

    • Thanks Jennifer, it means a lot to me that people remember Jerry’s sense of humor and playfulness. You were always acceptng of our wackiness when we were together, thank you!

  • Jerry was a great person. We were but a few non-traditional students at IU South Bend. We would talk about how some of the students complain how tired they were. We just chuckled and said, Yeah wait til you are old. He was to graduate the same time I and many other theatre students did this past May 2014. I miss him. He was a dear friend.

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