Eulogy for Jonathan A. Covault

I've been asked to say just a few words about Jonathon. Even though I am the oldest brother, ours has always been a family of four children, each of us with unique interests and personalities. Jonathan was the youngest, the ``baby brother'', always attractive, always funny, always adorable.

Jon always lived life to the fullest, in the best sense of that word. For Jon, life was a joy, a great adventure, and, in a way that I think evades most of us, Jon was comfortable and enthusiastic about living his life at every stage. Jon loved and deeply appreciated the good things in his word. He loved to travel with his family, camping with his brothers, fishing with his sister, playing golf and tennis with his father, cooking with his mother. Jon loved good food and was an excellent cook. There was nothing he enjoyed more than sharing some amazing new dish with his family and friends. Jon tasted life, and tasted it fully.

I think in many ways, Jonathon is one of the most expressive and imaginative people I have every known. As a child, Jon was always singing, always dancing, always making things up to do for fun. Sometimes this got us into a little trouble. I remember my mother had a amazing old car, a brilliant green 1974 Ford ``Baracuda''. For my mother, this car was a terrible disaster, a most unreliable car that sat useless and unstarting for months in the driveway. But for us kids, this car was wonderful, looking like something from a spy movie. My brothers and I, having somehow managed to get into the car, were sitting in it pretending to have excellent driving adventures. Jon had managed to get his hands on one of those ``smoke bombs''. He had this great idea. We would pretend that we were driving along doing some spy stuff, and then the ``enemy'' would toss a ``bomb'' into the car, and we would ``notice'' the smoke and ``escape'' from the car just before the bomb went off. Well of course what actually happened was that when we lit the smoke bomb in the enclosed space, the car instantly filled with opaque green smoke. All of us tumbled out of the car eyes burning, gasping for air and reeking of sulpher, and, of course, laughing at each other in our stupidity.

Another central characteristic of my brother Jon was his completely unselfconscious compassion. As a child, this compassion often expressed itself in his caring and concern for various animals, that Jon would ``find''. Most of the cats and all of the dogs were Jon's. Jon's compassion continued in his work and in his personal concerns about preventing tragedy and injustice against children.

Jon always attracted the girls - to the considerable envy of his older brothers I should add. His completely disarming smile, great sense of humor and impeccable sense of style were unbeatable. But Jon was always more interested in lasting and sincere relationships than simple dating. He was a great brother and a great son, one who has always intrinsically and instinctively valued the family -- and this inclused the extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins. He always looked forward to finding that special person with whom he could start his own family, to join two families. I know that for Jon, finding the right life-partner in Cindy was one of the greatest sources happiness in his life.

With such gifts of beauty, expressiveness and poise, Jon might have pursued a career in acting or the arts. But Jon has always wanted his work to be on matters of substance, to make a real difference in people's daily lives. And he wanted to find work that would make the most of his intellect, which, I think he was somewhat surprised to find at times, was remarkable for constructing coherent and logical arguments. This is why Jon excelled in forensic debate in high school, and why he was drawn to a career in law. While his older three siblings pursued wildly divergent careers, Jon followed his father's footsteps, not to imitate, but because the work called him as a vocation, a place where his talents and values could be lived out.

I don't need to tell most of you that Jon was an excellent lawyer and loved his work. Jon was excellent because he was so smart, because he really cared about the doing the best possible job, and - most importantly - Jon cared the truth. Everyone I have talked to about his work has remarked at how high his ethical standards were, and how careful he was to keep his case focused on the matter at hand. And while Jon had a remarkable courtroom presence, his real strength, the reason that he won so many cases, was his ability to construct a rational argument, and his ability to convey the central logic of this argument to a jury. He loved his work, and was extremely good at it.

Finally, I should say a word about how Jonathon, as a person, in the day-to-day and over a lifetime. Jon was a source of love and joy to everyone around him. More than anyone else I know, Jon was a person you wanted to see walk into the room. He put you at ease immediately, made you laugh, feel welcome, feel valued. With Jon around, you knew everything was going to be cool, everything was going to be alright, everyone was going to feel comfortable, everyone was going to laugh. He was the one person everyone always wanted to with, the one person we all imagined would always be there. I think inarguably Jon was the most lovable and most loved person in our family. We will miss him.

-Corbin Covault