Justin William Richardson-Umphress died on June 19, 2004. He is resting
in peace in Glen Abbey Memorial Park in Bonita, CA.
|Justin loved all of the Umphress family in the
Mid-West too. Eulogy by Justin's Uncle Abraham Avila: Those who were fortunate
enough to meet Justin will all remember his sense of humor, the passion
he had for life, and the love he had for his family. He always had a smile,
one that would brighten up your day. His jokes would bring laughter and
his friendliness would bring you comfort. A young man, full of energy, he
was always ready to entertain anyone from his 92 year old great-grandmother
to his 2 year old infant cousins. Just last summer Justin was playing with
my grandchildren having a water balloon fight with Marcus who is 10 and
Gabby who was 6. It didnt matter to him how old they were. Thats
the way he was. Just a happy-go-lucky kid.
If you were sitting alone, he would go and keep you company. If you were bored, he would find something to do. If you were depressed he was going to make you laugh at one of his jokes. If you were sad he would comfort you with his humor. He would even act goofy just to see you smile or hear you laugh. He was a very affectionate young man. He had an enthusiasm for life. He was also a loyal friend and was very devoted to his mother, father, brother and his whole family in general.
Justin was not a shy person. If you were willing to listen, he was willing to talk. He was a very curious person. He was always asking us questions as a child. I remember him always asking me about the old days. One day I told him to ask his Mom. He gave me a look and told me that I was older than her so I should know better. That was the virtue of a child. That is the Justin I will remember.
One of the best things going for Justin was that he knew God. Martha and my Mother would take him to church anytime they had a chance to. My Mother would tell him bible stories as she did to all her grandchildren. Justin knew about Jesus and how prayer can change things. The seed was planted in Justins heart at an early age by his parents and the rest of the family. He knew right from wrong. He knew God. He was a good kid who was full of love. He respected life. He respected the life of others. The best thing any parent can do for their children is to introduce them to God at a young age and plant the seed. We need more love to overcome all the hate and disregard for human life that many of todays kids have.
As his uncle, I can only say that this is far too soon for me to be eulogizing Justin. At 20 years old, he was just beginning to live. In his short time on earth he touched us all in a special way. But because of the senseless act of violence by cowards, Justin is no longer with us. At this day and age, anyone can be the target of aggression. It doesnt matter who you are.
What we need to do is practice more random acts of kindness. To respect life. To be responsible for our own actions. Parents need to be held accountable for the actions of their children. But also, children need to be held responsible for their own actions.
Responsibility is what many seem to avoid. One thing I am proud to say about Justin is that he was a responsible young man. His parents held him accountable for anything he did. As a family, all the Uncles, Aunts and Cousins included, made it clear that we were not going to tolerate any dreadful behavior that would sooner or later come back to trouble the family. We gave him tough love. We gave him advice. We pointed him in the right direction. The seed was planted. We were there for him. We listened to him. But, we must not only listen to what our children say, we must also listen to what they dont say.
In closing I want to say that while I know our family and all of Justins friends will hurt just knowing that we will never be able to see him, talk to him or hug him again, when we meet him again, he will be the one who, with open arms, will welcome us to heaven. God bless you all and God bless Justin. Justin, you will FOREVER live in our hearts ..