Jon Hanna was born on August 26, 1939. He passed away peacefully at home on Vashon – his home of 51 years – on September 12, 2023.
Jon was singular. And within and around and because of that singularity, his friendship and partnership felt incredibly real, soothingly validating. It was authentic and simple, and deeply felt. To be with Jon, you had only to show up as yourself. You could sit across the table from him in silence, or ramble undaunted, unblinking and unfettered. In either polarity, and along the continuum, he listened. He nodded. He smiled. You were heard, even if nothing was said. You weren’t judged, even if you weren’t fair. You were understood, even if you were confused.
Jon was independent, whilst being entwined, devoted. He was quiet, though significant. He was a cup of black coffee and a good book sitting in a slice of sun, his long limbs reposed and relaxed and content. He was stable and stalwart, yet gentle. He was deliberate movement, and deliberate breath. Across 45 years of teaching Tai Chi, he was observant and deliberate and aware. He was stillness amidst angst, humor amidst bluster. He was gentle and generous. Peaceful and pragmatic. He was elusive and yet present. Somehow, all of that was heard – if not felt – in and through the tone of his voice. He sounded soft, resonant and calm, because he was soft, resonant and calm.
He was the absence of affectation. The opposite of ostentation. He was grace and golf and a good breakfast up town. We, each of us, borrowed his groundedness. We counted on it. We leaned on it. We stood for a while and got to feel its softly burnishing and settling glow. If absolutely everything elsewas going sideways andupside down and inside out, Jon was not. He was simplicity and affability and warmth.
We will miss conversations over cribbage, sharing slices of pie with ice cream, laughing around the kitchen table. We will miss Tai Chi in the park. We will miss waiting in lift lines and ferry lines. We will miss his hand-me-down books. We will miss his pace, a patient and content walk. Never sprinting or rushing; never swerving or cutting. A walk on a path of acceptance and trust. We will miss, dearly miss, the timing of his unexpected and dry humor.
Jon is survived by a family who loved him, and by Joan, his wife of 63 years, who loved him most of all.
A memorial will be held for Jon on Sunday, October 15, 2023 at 1:00 at the Open Space (18870 103rd Ave SW, Vashon, WA 98070). Jon enjoyed giving to the Salvation Army and receiving cards from the grateful children. Perhaps you will, too.