May 21, 1921 – December 28, 2013
It is with sweet, deep sorrow that I write to let you know our comrade of letters left us yesterday morning. I visited him just before Christmas, and in his most elegant way, he was battling pneumonia. His family was gathered around him as he sang “O Tannenbaum” in German with his grandsons. I left uplifted by their generosity of sharing their amazing talented father/grandfather with all of us. So gratitude fills my heart this day, that we will continue to hold such a powerful and tender spirit in our world. My love to all of YOU, good wishes and kindness for the coming years.|
Joyce Teta, Winston-Salem, NC
How can you look at any of the pictures of this sweet guy on this page and not smile and then wipe away a tear? There is such a good feeling just thinking of him followed by that sad drop in realizing we’ll see him no more.
Carl Rohrs, Santa Cruz, CA
I am glad to have spent time with John at Cheerio; he was a lovely person and an inspiration to all of us as we get older. He will be missed. Cheerio will have a poignant vacancy as we remember him.
Barbara Yale-Reed, Asheville, NC
So sorry to hear of John’s passing. What an example to all of us of how to face the challenges of aging! John just kept going, always learning. He and I had so many delightful talks over meals at Cheerio. We shared a love for Sütterlin, also called Altschrift,* which he had learned as a child. I will miss him tremendously. I like to think that John’s delightful spirit will gently haunt us at Cheerio. Missed all of you this year, but hope to be back before long. Let's celebrate the memory of John.
Mark Wright, Demarest, NJ
(*An angular German style of handwriting taught during the first half of the twentieth century)
Thanks for so gracefully passing on the saddest of news of this lovely, lovely man. Memories abound and all are of, as you say, of his most ‘tender spirit’. The word gentleman could not fit so well, or more comfortably, on any other soul I know. It may be a cliché, but it was truly such a privilege to have met, known, and shared so many years with him: he that carried on his lips that quiet smile, which reached his eyes and then to all of our hearts.
I am so pleased that we could, and did, bring him all those years of calligraphic joy and companionship through Cheerio and CLAS. I shall carry only the warmest of memories of this gentle Gentleman that died coincidently on the same day as my own father, some many years ago.
Peter Thornton, and Sherri Lovler, Chattanooga, TN
I have only had one opportunity to go to Cheerio, which was in 2008. But it only took that one time to see what a generous and great soul he was. I will always remember meeting and getting to know John.
Ana Gonzalez, Miami, FL
I met John in 1983, when he introduced me to calligraphy in a way that demonstrated his love for this field, his commitment to excellence, his perseverance, his wise and thoughtful teaching. I was so fortunate to have him as my first teacher, and even though I haven't been a regular at any kind of calligraphy meetings, I could still see John occasionally at Cheerio. His passion to keep learning was amazing! And his sense of humor was a blessing. The world of calligraphy has been fortunate to have such a fine and kind man as a representative. He will be deeply missed.
Carol DeVries, Greensboro, NC
I am so sad to think of John not being at the next event. I really enjoyed getting to know John when he rode with me to Southport for calligraphy events and seeing him just this last October in Black Mountain. John certainly will be missed by so many.
Judy Bliss, Greensboro, NC
I cannot imagine a world without John Ebel. He was my “driver” on many, many, many calligraphic excursions. (He drove and I paid for the gas! He was quite a driver, lead foot and all.) He was an amazing spirit and friend, and I shall forever be grateful that he was a part of my life for so long. John we will miss you, but you will always be with us in spirit.
Pat Levitin, Greensboro, NC
John was so special and kind and sharing to so many people, he will be sorely missed by all and especially at the Cheerio gatherings. My deepest sympathy to all who knew and loved him – and to all who did not know him, a great man has passed.
Sheila Cheek, Taylors, SC
It has been an honor knowing John Ebel. He was a dear friend. A Cheerio retreat will always have him there in our hearts! He is an inspiration to all who knew him!
Sally Gooze, Asheville, NC
John was such a sweet and kind gentleman, so generous, so intelligent, so gentle. We all are richer for having known him. Cheerio won't be the same without dear Mr. Ebel, but he will be there with us in spirit, keeping things in perspective.
Heather Lee, Murrells Inlet, SC and Red Deer, Alberta.
There are no words when someone who has made a home in your heart leaves you. But I also know that John wouldn't want us to be sad. He lived a long, full life, and we were blessed to share part of it with him. So, with that in mind, I share this bit of John's quick sense of humor with you all in the hope that it will bring a smile to your face and help dry the tears as we celebrate the wonderfulness that is and was John Ebel.
Sandy Wagner, Indianapolis, IN
John Ebel was a shining spirit, a model for us all.
Christopher McLachlan, Raleigh, NC
We all have lots of mental images of the multifaceted John; kind, dedicated, perceptive, devoted, funny, thoughtful, generous. He has been a tremendous gift to our community and to each of us who had the privilege of spending time with him. I know many thoughts and reflections will be shared in the coming days. For now, I am just treasuring my sweet memories.
Anne Cowie, Belmont, NC
More on John Ebel (PDF)