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Brady's talk at Jake's funeral


Brothers & Sisters Aloha,

The night that Jake passed away, I was holding my son Tayson outside, trying to get him to go to sleep. Just like his Uncle Jakey, Tayson loves to be outside. As I held that innocent lady baby in my arms, I was devastated to think that he was never going to remember having met his Uncle Jakey. I decided I needed to write a letter for Jakes niece and nephews to remember him by, and I wanted to share that with you today.


Dear Emily, Hudson, Tyler, Hayden, Ethan, Andrew, & Tayson,

I wanted to write and tell you a little about your Uncle Jakey. When he was called from this earth to serve another mission, many of you were too young to remember him. He spent a lot of time with each one of you and I know he loved every second of it. You held a very special place in his heart. In the scriptures, it talks about how Jesus loved everyone with a perfect love, and that children were especially precious to Him. Uncle Jakey was the same way. Grandpa Judd told us a story about when Uncle Jakey was a teenager and the little kids from the neighborhood would come over and knock on the door asking if Jakey would play with them. He always had time for it. He would haul himself up and go make them happy. I know that he was also very happy. Uncle Jakey loved children and they loved him.

Uncle Jakey also loved life in general. I rarely saw him complaining about anything, except for when it came time to eat! He had a special smile to him and just took life as it came. The day after he passed away, I was looking on his cell phone and was touched by the greeting he had entered in his phone to read every time he turned on the phone. It said, “Make it a great day!” I truly believe that is how he tried to live his life. He understood that it was his choice and he chose to be happy. How wonderful would it be if we could all live life that way!!!

Uncle Jakey was also kinda silly. He loved to tell me stories about pranks he would pull or crazy adventures he would go on with his friends. I loved to listen to them, even when he told the same story three times, because it reminded me how much Uncle Jakey loved life. I remember him telling me about a time when his friends decided to stay up for 72 hours straight. Why- I have no idea? During the critical 72 hours, they decided to walk from campus all the way to IHOP, quite a distance when on foot. Once again, I have no idea why? But I know he had fun doing it and I can still see him smiling as he told me about it. He just loved to do silly things.

Your Uncle Jakey was also very persistent and dedicated to learning to do things, and doing things well. In high school, he really wanted to play water polo, even though it is one of the more difficult and grueling games to play. He put a lot of effort into it, and became quite good at it. He also really wanted to learn to play the guitar, a task that I always assumed was impossible given the complete lack of musical talent in our family. But that sure didn’t stop Uncle Jakey. He taught himself to play and became quite good. I will never forget when Uncle Jakey was staying with us for a week after his mission. Everyday, he would bring up his guitar and play for Tayson while he sat in his swing. Tayson, who was 3 months old at the time, absolutely loved it. He would stare at Uncle Jakey so intently until he finished the song, at which time he would break into a huge smile. To be honest, I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, Tayson, Uncle Jakey, or me. I’m glad Uncle Jakey proved me wrong in thinking that it was impossible for anyone in our family to be musical!!

Another awesome attribute of Uncle Jakey was his amazing ability to make friends. I was always amazed and jealous of the quantity and quality of his friends, even those he knew for just a short time. All of his friends we have talked to have told us the same thing: He was very kind and very easy to get along with. I can only imagine what a great place this world would be if everyone knew how to be a true friend like Uncle Jakey.

Uncle Jakey was a giant of a man, both physically and spiritually. I know he had a strong testimony of the gospel and loved the Lord. He caught fire in the mission field and loved being in the service of God and those around him. He was such a great missionary; I have no doubt that Heavenly Father simply needed him to carry on his work in the spirit world.

One of my favorite memories with my family was when Uncle Jakey went to the temple for the first time. Our whole family was there together. We all felt so much joy and happiness as we were together in the Celestial Room. I can’t wait for the day that we have that same reunion up in heaven as a family.

I hope this letter gives you even a tiny perspective into what a great man your Uncle Jakey was. As we learn and remember about the wonderful life that he lived, I hope that we can all try to be better people and try to emulate the example that Uncle Jakey did such a great job of emulating to us. If we always try to just, “Make it a great day” like Uncle Jakey did, no matter what comes our way, we will be happier and so will those around us. It sure worked for him.

With much love, Uncle Brady


I know that Heavenly Father has a perfect plan, and that it truly is a plan of happiness. I am grateful that I got to spend 21 years with such a great man and I know that I will be a better person because of it.

There is a song that I found on one of Jakes cd’s that has a very special significance at this time. I would like to conclude by reading the lyrics.

“Good Riddance” by Green Day

Another turning point, A fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, Directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, And don’t ask why
It’s not a question, But a lesson learned in time
It’s something unpredictable
But in the end is right
I hope you had the time of your life

So take the photographs, And still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf of, Good health and good time
Tattoos of memories
And dead skin on trial
For what it’s worth, It was worth all the while
It’s something unpredictable
But in the end is right
I hope you had the time of your life

It’s something unpredictable
But in the end is right
I hope you had the time of your life

Jake, I know you had the time of your life.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen