Jonathan William Parent was loved by so many, and he will be missed more than any words will be able to capture, but we’ll give it a try. He was born in Massachusetts (go Bruins!) and moved to North Carolina when he was young, and then he and his wife, Ali, moved to New York nine years ago. Jonathan collected friends and family as he went-to know him was to love and respect him. Our family was shocked on Thursday, June 23, 2022 when he passed away suddenly of cardiac arrest at 39 years old.
Jonathan was always curious, and even as a child he wanted to take things apart to see how they worked and why (even the vacuum cleaner). He loved fishing and baseball, and he loved to tell stories of his misadventures with bikes and BB guns. He grew up as the oldest of four children in a loving and close knit family, known as a protector and solver of problems. Jonathan became an uncle for the first time at 20 years old, and he never missed a chance to brag about how wonderful his niece and nephews are. Since then, four nieces and a nephew have been born (and received the same adoration). Jonathan joined the Army after graduating from high school, and he was proud of his service and his country. He didn’t share many stories from his time in Iraq, but his children loved to hear the descriptions of desert spiders and Army adventures. Jonathan and Ali married in 2008, and Riley (12), Madden (9), and Will (6) were the lights of his life. He was an amazing father who loved playing in the yard and cheering at sporting events. He constantly pushed himself to set a good example for the kids, and it was so important to him that they never doubted how much they were loved. Jonathan was diagnosed with a chondrosarcoma in 2017, but he was a fighter. After a craniotomy and radiation, he had no evidence of regrowth in the last five years.
Jonathan was a wealth of random trivia, and he would easily have been on anyone’s short list of people to call from the hot seat of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. He had an exceptional sense of smell, which was helpful as we tried to figure out ingredients in favorite restaurant dishes, but less so as throw-up needed to be cleaned off the floor. He loved his children and fruit snacks with reckless abandon, and he was fierce in his loyalty and love for his wife. Jonathan’s dancing was legendary, and although he was intimidating to strangers, the people he let in saw a much softer side. He had an infectious laugh, and he was a keen judge of character with a low tolerance for nonsense. Jonathan loved new tennis shoes and crossword puzzles, and he could grill salmon better than anyone else in the world. He was quick to apologize when he was wrong (and sometimes even when he wasn’t), and he had an unwavering moral compass.
A memorial service for Jonathan will be held Wednesday, June 29, 2022 at Asbury First United Methodist Church in Rochester, New York. The service will be live-streamed on the Asbury website:
Instead of flowers, Jonathan’s family knows he would appreciate donations to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, a charity he was proud to support.