Grief flows like water. It fills in the cracks of each moment, ebbing and flowing and flooding. Much like water, grief is an important part of life. Grief is not easy, but it is infused with love and gratitude.
People from many different eras of Bredon's life have been reaching out. Some people had not ever met as Bredon but got to know him through his music, or through the stories of his friends & family. Thank you.
I would like to share Bredon's obituary, which was a joint writing effort between Jenny (Bredon's sister), Rick (Jenny's husband), and myself. Mikey had the idea of including the "subtle blend" lyrics that capture Bredon's devotion to his friends so well.
“I’m way out in space. I’m out there somewhere thinking how small things can be when you get the right perspective. And paradoxically, the smaller things get and the less I worry about things, the more meaningful and real everything becomes…”
Bredon Jones (1975-2023) wrote these words as he reflected upon his terminal cancer diagnosis. Bredon spent 47 beautiful years Earth-side, connecting with, collaborating with, and supporting those around him. On January 25, 2023, he passed away at his home on Vashon Island, WA, surrounded by some of his closest people.
Bredon (“rhymes with Sweden”) Jones is lovingly remembered by his wife, Julia Mark; his parents, Gilbert and Linda Jones; his sister, Dr. Jennifer Jones (Rick Dudley); his brother, Wyeth Jones (Alice Chang); and a crew of amazing kids/young adults who call him Uncle Bredon. He is also loved and celebrated by his vast network of close friends. Countless people were lucky to have known Bredon from his time in Chicago, St. Louis, Boston, and–most recently–on Vashon Island.
Born in Madison, WI, Bredon was raised in Glen Ellyn, IL, before moving to LaGrange, IL. There, he met Mikey Naucas, who became his second brother–as well as a bandmate and co-writer. A trend of moving to be geographically closer to Mikey would lead to many great adventures. A verse from one of their songs reflected who Bredon was in all of his close relationships:
When we hug where do I end?
When we hug where do you begin?
Between good friends, it’s not a hard line.
It’s a subtle blend.
Bredon crafted his life around educating, entertaining, and empowering those around him. He was always interested in learning something new to improve his life and the lives of others: a piece of technology, life-hack, song, instrument, or job. (He would encourage you now to Google: “Upside Down Fire”) Bredon found great comfort and wisdom from Stoic philosophers and sci-fi authors, especially as his cancer progressed. He was a seeker of: truth and deep meaning, justice and peace, a good time and a great challenge, friends and more friends, and words and notes that could move a song forward.
Bredon was inquisitive enough to teach himself guitar and computer programming, to start his own companies, and to be a part of several musical groups. The highlight of Bredon’s professional career was joining forces with John Meilink to expand the digital marketing side of John’s family company, 1905 New Media. Together, they grew the web side of the St. Louis-based business from a handful of employees to the thriving mid-sized company it is today. Bredon was a beloved team manager and Vice President, and an award in his name was created at 1905 New Media.
Bredon’s musical projects included: Last To Show First To Go, Small City Mayor, Fuzzy Futures, Jakals, and Slow Dress. Many of those bands included his long-time partner Miriam Keller who remained a dear friend after they separated. Recordings and memories from these bands and duos live on. We love Bredon’s clever and insightful songwriting about politics, society, technology, and relationships, as well as his lyrical guitar lines, impressive vocal range, and synth expertise.
Bredon was diagnosed with a rare illness, advanced appendiceal cancer, around the start of the pandemic. As his prognosis window narrowed, Bredon and his wife Julia began a new adventure. They moved from St. Louis to Vashon Island near Seattle, visiting with friends and family as they road-tripped. Vashon was special to Bredon for many reasons–most notably because Mikey, Mikey’s partner Holly, and their super cool kid Ruby live there. Bredon spent his final several months enjoying time with friends and family on the island, often hiking the Fisher Pond Trail and pausing to meditate by the water. Bredon and Julia were grateful for the amazing end-of-life care at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, as well as the community that welcomed them on Vashon.
One of the most beautiful things about Bredon was his ability to connect and relate to so many unique, incredible people. He surrounded himself with musicians, singers, songwriters, scientists, refugee re-homers, environmentalists, curious souls with kind hearts, architects, fabric designers, teachers, parents, counselors, hairdressers, and business owners–to name a few. Bredon saw the best in all of us. And he always wanted to share the gift of you as a person with the other people he held dear in his life. He would say, “I really think you’d like so-and-so; they are such an amazing person.” Bredon was not afraid to be intimate or vulnerable with people. He could transform something just with a few words into something “greater than.”
Everyone who was in Bredon’s orbit should know how much they starred in his life and how he would reflect the light he saw in them…making the world a brighter, more beautiful place to be.
On February 6th, Bredon’s family and close friends gathered at Return Home (a “terramation” funeral home in Auburn, WA) to begin the process of returning Bredon’s body to the Earth. In the words of Ursula K. LeGuin: “What goes too long unchanged destroys itself. The forest is forever because it dies and dies and so lives.”
“If you can figure out how to send messages back to me, you can help me find my way around a song or two. We can write together. Maybe we’ll make something beautiful together. Maybe you’ll just listen to my messages and simply enjoy them for what they are.
Look up in the night sky on a clear night and you might catch a glimpse of the light of the sun reflecting off the hull of my ship as I pass within communications range. When you see it, check your messages.”
If you’d like to honor Bredon, we recommend that you do one or more of the following:
- sing a little song (or a big song)
- reach out to a friend
- thank somebody
- go for a walk
- take a deep breath
- listen carefully
- add garlic
- do something for your future self