~~Jon was a gift to us on Father’s Day, 1984. He was welcomed by his parents, older sister, grandparents and extended family. Jon lived in Evergreen and was well known in the mountain communities.
Jon spent his early years as most little boys with trucks, cars, army men, legos, lincoln logs & playing outside. When he learned to walk, mom nicknamed him “man on a mission” because of his zeal and enthusiasm about all things. Jon was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy at age four, but he never slowed down.
He was engaged in a great many activities and had a reputation for leadership in several organizations. Growing up, Jon attended Conference Baptist Church (now Aspen Ridge Church) and was involved in Christmas plays, AWANA, Family Fun nights (with unique costumes usually including wheels), youth group, Dare2Share, retreats, a mission trip to British Columbia, and many church gatherings. He participated in Cub Scouts and won many Lad-Dad Cake Bake Awards with truck and race car style cakes. In middle school, he earned a science fair ribbon for a working hovercraft he created with his friend Zach- which he actually “rode”!
Jon attended Evergreen High School. Jon skied with the National Sports Center at Winter Park and competed in Special Olympics, winning four gold medals in slalom and giant slalom. These medals, along with other Special Olympics awards, earned him the privilege of an athletic letter and wearing an EHS Letter Jacket. He was granted the Principal’s Award as a senior and graduated from Evergreen High School in 2003.
After high school, Jon was active in community events. He served as president of Blue Spruce Kiwanis Aktion Club and was given the honorary title of “Chairman” of Teen Lunch Club.
Throughout his life, Jon participated in fundraising and telethon events for MDA, including a TV spot with news anchors Bertha Lynn and Ernie Bjorkman at Denver Fire Station #1. He received former Denver Bronco Dan Neil’s Leadership Award from Albertson’s Muscle Team, discussed politics with Shannon Sharpe, met numerous firemen, sports players, cheerleaders, rodeo queens and other celebrities over the years.
He approached life with his adventurous spirit. As young kids, Jon and his younger sister once put on their camo rain suits and crawled through the yard stalking a herd of deer. He loved to go to Easter Seals Handicamp for outdoor camp activities every summer. Bandimere Speedway was a favorite, especially “Night of Fire and Thunder” and Kids of Courage events, even racing down the track in several official dragster race cars.
In his many travels, Jon crossed the country to visit National Parks, important landmarks, military & historical museums, family, and friends. Family trips to the Northwest and Canada, the Southwest, Washington D.C., Southeast States, Disney Land & Disney World, and the Mountain States were grand adventures. As a man who loved music, he experienced memorable concerts: meeting the Newsboys at Red Rocks, Carrie Underwood at the Pepsi Center, many artists at the Country Music Association (CMA) concert in Nashville, Tennessee, and Ned Ledoux at the Grizzly Rose in Denver.
Jon experienced the outdoors in tents, tipis, trailers, motor homes, and cabins. He was always an outdoorsman, greeting the weather, travel, and discomforts with patience and contentment. For many years, he camped at Lake McConaughy in July with a group of families from church. The boating, beach time, fireside gatherings and lingering sunsets are lasting memories.
Jon and Dad fished wherever they could find water, especially with the Mountain Pathways group. They hunted ducks, antelope, deer and elk in Colorado, turkey in Nebraska, deer in Texas, and pheasants in South Dakota. Jon was invited to harvest deer (whitetail & axis) at Selah Springs Ranch in Brady, Texas. Along with his grandfather Maynard, they went to Tumbleweed Lodge in South Dakota to hunt pheasants in style for two years. The guides at the Ranch, appointed Jon the position of “Honorary Guide” for his fortitude and strategic savvy in the field.
For the past several years, Jon travelled to Paxton, Nebraska to work with his friend and brother Matt Lake on the ranch. This meant helping with ranch chores, moving cattle, target shooting, fine food and family time. The highlight of these trips was the “Combine Demolition Derby” at the county fair. The time to be ranch hands was a rich memory.
As strong and determined as he was, Jon also had a kind and loving side. He always looked out for his younger sister. Jon loved children and would offer rides on his chair.
Jon was a stellar example of courage, perseverance, and resilience, but above all, he brought joy and laughter to everyone who knew him. He expressed that he wanted to live a life pleasing to God and to be an example. In his words, “God’s got me here for a reason.”~~
He is survived by his parents Stephen & Sandra Cyphers of Evergreen; sisters Amber (David) Leatherwood & Amanda Cyphers; nieces Autumn, Isabel, & Emalee; grandparents Maynard & Joyce Peterson; many uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends. He is preceded in death by his grandparents Vince & Phyllis Cyphers.