top of page
A beautiful sunset view from our Juneau, AK living room window

Goodbye Jason

December 21, 1952 -  March 29, 2022
Arizona sunset- 20150117_175410.jpg
A beautiful sunset view from our Prescott Valley, AZ backyard

About His Death

by Rick Ohler

On losing my brother, Jason Ohler: December 21, 1952 - March 29, 2022


In late February of 2022, four weeks and a little before we lost Jason on March 29, brother Mike and I flew to Arizona to spend some time with him and Terri. We had hoped to visit in March of 2020, but when the world stood still on March 16, 2020, thanks to Covid, we had to postpone. I remember thinking maybe six weeks, two months at the outside would be enough for the pandemic to burn itself out. Naive much? It would be almost two years before we could visit again. 


Those were two anxious years, despite the miracle of Zoom and the abiding good humor Jason showed whenever he connected with Ohler family, his amazing circle of EAHS ’71 friends, his Juneau family, his colleagues and legion of friends he’d made in his remarkable 69 years. Even though encouraging moments with Jason’s health kindled hope in us, and even though the indefatigable Terri never flagged in her care, and even though we stood rock solid in denial, somewhere in the recesses of our minds, rationality whispered to us that we could not keep him for long, and we resolved to visit as soon as we could. 


Our days at North Hondo Drive in Prescott Valley were gentle ones. We arranged bird feeders in response to Jason’s directions, so that he could have the companionship of feathered friends from his bed. We did a few errands, took Jason to dialysis, a grinding, thrice-weekly process he bore with admirable good humor, corny jokes and patience. We enjoyed visits from stepchildren and grandchildren and marveled when Jason rallied to join us for dinner, even though his blenderized version of Terri’s wonderful cooking might have discouraged less stoic appetites. 


Mostly, though, we sat on or near his bed. Jason, of course, was often noodling on the laptop, plotting a manuscript or two with that agile mind that was a step or two ahead of the rest of the world. Sometimes we talked, sometimes we reminisced, oftentimes we did not need to talk. If death was an elephant in the room, it knew its place and did not intrude on our togetherness. We reveled in the joy of being brothers, banishing our blessedly few moments of brotherly discord we had experienced from memory, content to simply be there in that moment. 

We who loved Jason have added a new  opening page to his website, one that captures the joy and love of two celebrations of his life: at the  University of Alaska Southeast in his long time Alaska home, Juneau, in June of 2022; and in his  hometown of East Aurora, N.Y., in July. We hope you will also find the other items that we have  included helpful and enjoyable.

bottom of page