In Memory

John Favret

John, larger than life, back row far right, at our 45th reunion in 2011. He will be missed!

John M Favret, 65, of Williamsburg, VA, passed into God’s hands at home on May 23, 2014, with his wife at his side. He was born Aug 3 1948 in Columbus, OH. A graduate of Ohio Dominican University and The Ohio State University with a Masters in Social Work, he was Director of Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg for 18... years and a member of American Legion Post 239 SAL, Worthington, OH. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Nursing Home Administrator, John worked as a mental health services provider throughout his entire professional career. In Ohio, he was employed with private and community facilities as well as with the Ohio Department of Mental Health. Moving to Virginia in 1986, he worked for First Hospital Corporation, Charter Westbrook Hospital, Eastern Physicians & Associates, Portsmouth Psychiatric Center; Tidewater Psychiatric Institute, and the Psychiatric Institute of Washington, D.C. In January 1992, Mr. Favret became the Eastern State Hospital Director where he continued until his retirement. He was actively involved in many community outreach programs and civic organizations including: Olde Towne Medical Clinic, Center on Aging and Geriatric Health, Dream Catchers Therapeutic Riding Center, Kiwanis Club, and the Williamsburg Area Chamber of Commerce. He was honored in 2000 as Citizen of the Year by the Williamsburg Area of Chamber of Commerce. He has also received the Prentis award from the College of William and Mary in 2001 and the James City County Excellence in Service award in 2007. Preceded in death by parents, Ann W and James L Favret, brother Charles A, and nephew David M. Survived by wife Cynthia M, sons Michael G, Zachary A, Sean Gerard and grandson Vance. Sadly missed by brothers James L, Jr (Alice), Mark E (Peggy), Matthew J (Laura), sister Mariann F Metzger, numerous nieces, nephews, and many friends. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:30am on Wed, June 4, 2014, in the chapel at Resurrection Cemetery, 9571 N High St, Lewis Center, OH, followed by inurnment. The family will then receive friends at the American Legion Post 239, 700 Morning St in Worthington. In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Michael Galen Favret Special Needs Trust, c/o BayPort Credit Union, 4171 Ironbound Road, Williamsburg, Virginia 23188.

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05/26/14 02:34 PM #1    

Rita Del Corso (Cenname)

I'm sitting here stunned. I was worried about his cancer when he didn't answer my last message ..he would always email me with a typical only "John" response.   So now he's with his beloved parents and Charlie.  You were one-of-a-kind and always made me smile.  Thank you John.

05/27/14 01:06 PM #2    

Michael McLeod

John had a big personality and a big heart. We both went to Ohio Dominican after Watterson and so I got an extra dose of him, enough to know that he was always in the center of something that everybody wanted to be part of. He had joie de vivre - hope I spelled that right. He'd probably make some crack about fancy language. But what you had was special enough to deserve a mouthful of fancy phrases, John.


05/28/14 11:48 AM #3    

Mark Schweickart

I did not know John as an adult, but certainly have memories of him from our grade school and high school days. In fact, coincidentally, before hearing of his passing, I was working on a memoir, and was just writing a section that recalled John’s less than saintly behavior when we were altar boys together at St. Michaels, a memory in which I facetiously suggested that he should have been struck by lightning bolts from on high way back then. I am glad he made it so much longer, although am so sad that he was taken this soon. From what I have read about him from others, I see that he had a productive, giving life that was an inspiration to all those with whom he came in contact. I would never have predicted back then that this would be his adult persona judging from our mischievous grade school years. 


Here’s what I wrote featuring John, back when I was struggling with my faith in general, and the doctrine of transubstantiation in particular. Let’s just say John was not the consoling sort he became in later years, instead he was a darkly humorous character, and I enjoyed recalling him from those days.


And what about dealing with his always unpredictable classmate John, who when kneeling at the Communion rail along with ten or fifteen others ready to receive, would reach his hand through the opening below the rail and grab Mark’s cassock and tug on it, or pinch his leg, all the while sticking his tongue out, with eyes closed in solemn anticipation of receiving the body and blood of Christ. “Outrageous!” thought Mark. “If Christ is indeed right here, present in mind, body and spirit, how could He not object to this tawdry behavior?”  If there were any truth to this mystery of transubstantiation, Mark felt lightning bolts should have struck John dead instantly. 


And almost worse was when the roles were reversed with Mark at the Communion rail and John the altar boy holding the paten. When Mark would close his eyes, tilt back his head, and stretch out his tongue to receive the wafer, he would feel a little jab from the edge of the paten on his adam’s apple. As he opened his eyes, he would see John’s eyes mockingly saying, “I could kill you with this thing.” 


And so, Mark’s faith wavered.


And that too was John, always ready for a dark laugh. I hope this remembrance is not too off-putting to those who are grieving for the adult John they knew. As I said, I did not know him as an adult, but I cannot imagine that he would have not still had that darkly wry sense of humor so evident in his younger days. I think he would have been able to see himself as depicted at the Communion rail, and get a little chuckle from it. I hope so.

05/28/14 02:13 PM #4    

Joseph Gentilini

I remember John at Watterson and at Ohio Dominican, although I never was in his social circle.  What I do remember was that he was good at sports, popular with the girls, and having a good sense of humor.  At Ohio Dominican was a Dominican priest, Bill Healy, who hung around with the college jocks, one who was John.  Last year I was corresponding wth John via this very method I'm using now.  He told me he had cancer and I told him that I was praying for him each day.  I may have mentioned that I was still in contact (rarely) with Fr. Bill Healy and he wanted his contact information, which I gave him.  I don't think they actually made contact, but I tried to facilitate it.  Anyway, I was sorry to see that he passed into God.  I will continue to remember him in prayer and hope that he can help me from his side of this life.  Be at peace, John.  

Joe Gentilini

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