Remembering a Friend The Little Things That Make a Big Impact www.LeRoyPetersonLaw.com
I first met John Hamilton in our college fraternity at Kearney State College. John, my younger brother, Les, and I were all in the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. We all managed to get through college in one piece, and the bonds we formed there last to this day. After college, John and his mom ran a popular restaurant bar called the Clubhouse Lounge. For years, it was a great landing spot for all of our friends to watch a game and catch up with one another. John knew how to build a community; he was a natural, and it was all in the little things he would do. John lived in my neighborhood, and he would routinely take his daughters out for walks with a stroller. I’m sure his wife, Lori, thought they were going for a nice hour-long walk. However, he would routinely stop by my house, and while the kids played together in the yard, he and I would enjoy a beer on the back patio! John was a great friend of mine, and he made everyone feel like they were his best friends too. He just had that personality to make everyone feel welcome. Sept. 21 marks the 10th anniversary of his memorial golf tournament. John passed away way too young, but his engaging and warm nature still lives on in his wife and three amazing children. John’s kids have yet to witness some of life’s greatest adventures, like going to college. The golf tournament will help them reach those experiences with a little more ease. Funds raised from the tournament play a pivotal role in the education of John’s children, and my friend Randy Zerzan and his wife, Patti, have done an astounding job of organizing the event every year. John’s kids have grown up to be engaging and warm individuals, just like their father. John’s youngest daughter attends Marian High School and his oldest now attends the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. John’s son attends Creighton Prep High School, and we’re all so excited to see what the future holds for all of them. Everyone at the event has a chance to reconnect with members of this fantastic community John built and see what incredible people his children have become. Usually, about 80–100 people from across the country come to support the event. The numbers have varied over the years, but it’s so amazing to see how many people are dedicated to coming back year after year given everything going on in their own lives. It’s a bittersweet reunion for everyone involved. A lot of our college friends reunite to reminisce and support the family of our dear friend. John would have been incredibly
proud of the event and the fantastic people his kids have grown up to be. It’s moments like this where I see the little things that make a significant impact on our lives. The event reminds me of how fragile life is and that we should recognize every day is a gift. It calls to mind the steps we all should take to prepare if the unexpected happens. It can be daunting, and you may not know where to start. But if you take it one step at a time, you can build something unprecedented for the future of your loved ones, as John did with this fantastic community of friends. When anyone spent time with John, before they would part ways, John would tell them to “be good.” So be good, everyone. Take a moment to appreciate the beautiful fall weather and enjoy some time with your family and friends. If you ever need help planning for the unexpected adventures life gives us, never hesitate to reach out.
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