Jon Michael Graznak, age 63, of Charlottesville, Virginia, passed on October 12, 2016. at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital due to complications with Bile Duct Cancer.
Jon was born in January 12, 1953 in Quincy, Illinois to Jeanne and Michael Graznak.
Jon majored as an undergraduate in Parks and Recreation, due to his great love of the earth and play as well as study in drama and theater.
Most recently he was a substance abuse recovery case manager and educator. He enjoyed a rich and varied career including being a radio DJ, Park Ranger and nature educator, successful business owner and manager, wilderness guide, a Toby Show Tent Performer, and magician in many ways.
His home town was Columbia, Missouri followed by a move to Virginia.
He loved bird hunting with friends and Brittany spaniels, gardening and gathering wild foods. Performing theater and singing in a band were early life passions. Some of his favorite times were spent around water, especially in rivers, “messing about in boats”, and as a white water raft guide. He was endlessly, intellectually spiritually curious. Later in his life, Native American Traditions resonated with him as well as mystic and progressive Christian teachings. He also continued his family's both Irish and Ukrainian story telling heritage and was a great raconteur.
Jon was sensitive and active politically. He was a true feminist and advocate and volunteer for river and stream restoration. He had great empathy for and helped people who suffered from their addictions. For instance, he recently traveled on his own accord for training in the use of NARCAN™, to immediately block the effects of opiate overdoses.
Jon is survived by his partner and comrade Leigh Meredith, sister Lynn Graznak, daughters Elizabeth Graznak, Charlene Graznak, Sarah Schloss, nine grandchildren, seven nieces and nephews, and a great niece and nephew, Suvanna the snake and Dude the cat. He is survived as well by the many people he helped and saved in his work with substance abuse recovery. He was predeceased by his parents, brother Paul and Parker the wonder dog Brittany spaniel.
A community reception was held Wednesday, October 19, 2016, at Teague Funeral home, 2260 Ivy Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22903. For more information please contact the funeral home. All are welcome. Interment will be held on private property later this fall. Donations in lieu of flowers are welcomed by James River Foundation, jrava.org/join.
A prayer Jon used frequently towards the end of his life when faced with frustration was, “Bless them, change me.” And quite courageously, much laughter.