After a long and valiant fight, Jonathan Michael Crowther lost his battle with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy on March 6, 2019 at the age of 29 in the Trinity Medical Center Cardiac ICU.
Jonathan was born on May 4, 1989 in Fairfax, Virginia where he continued to live until 1997. He then moved to Maryland for a short time before relocating to the Winchester, Virginia area in April 1998. Less than a year later, he settled in Berkeley County, West Virginia where he lived until 2005 attending Valley View Elementary, Mill Creek Intermediate, Musselman Middle and finally Musselman High School before moving to Florida in October 2005. Jonathan spent the last two years attending JW Mitchell High School located in Trinity, FL, graduating in 2007. He was residing in Holiday, Florida at the time of his death.
Jonathan is survived by his parents, James and Jacqueline Lilly of Holiday, FL. Surviving in addition to his parents are his brother, Stephen Kenney, Sr and his sister Bethani Accatino and her husband Jeff of New Port Richey, FL; his nephew, Stephen Jr and nieces Faith, Kayla and Elise; and
and his maternal uncle Joe Kenney and aunt Saphya of Alexandria, Virginia. He is predeceased by great grandparents Curtis and Gertrude Lawhorne of Winchester, Virginia and James and Martha Kenney of Alexandria, Virginia; and maternal grandfather, James Joseph Kenney, Jr of Alexandria, Virginia. He is survived by maternal grandmother, Paula Kenney of Alexandria, Virginia; paternal grandparents Paul Lilly, Sr and Joyce Lilly of Greensboro, Ga; paternal grandfather Norman Crowther of Utah and paternal grandmother Carol Rutledge of Alexandria, VA. Also surviving are his favorite aunts Brenda Klepper, Dawna Ivey, and Debbi Kosanke, along with many other aunts, uncles, cousins and loved ones. Additionally, he is survived by his aide Carla; who, while providing outstanding daily care for Jonathan 6 days a week, became like family. Lastly, Jonathan is survived by his biological father, Vincent Crowther and step mother, Sandra Crowther; step sister Leah Shazer, her partner Adam O'Bannon and their children; as well as his step brother James Shazer.
Jonathan's hobbies included video games, writing music lyrics, debating current affairs (or anything else for that matter), and of course above all - he loved his food. He thoroughly enjoyed cooking and trying new recipes whenever he could. He was extremely intelligent and loved to expand his knowledge. He would watch documentaries just so he could learn new things and then research to learn even more so that he could debate them with you. He was passionate in his beliefs, very well read, and brutally honest when sharing his experiences and opinions.
In the early years before his disease progressed and Jonathan was still walking, he loved spending time in the outdoors hunting, fishing and swimming in the lake or ocean. We enjoyed many family gatherings at the Outer Banks which were some of his favorite times. Another favorite was the time, in 2003 when he wrote in to the Bassmasters TV show's Question of the Week asking how to de-scent his wheelchair. His question ended up being selected and he won a bear hunting trip to Minnesota. This was such a great all around experience for Jonathan, but in true Jonathan fashion, the highlight for him was the Walleye sandwiches at a local restaurant.
Due to his lack of mobility and transportation, the majority of Jonathan's time over the last 10+ years was spent gaming and hanging out virtually with someone who grew over time to become his best friend, Oscar. It was "Im Wheels" and "Im Jaesco" pretty much on the daily. I used to especially love their Redskins/Giants banter as Oscar would pretend that the Giants had something on the Skins. As time went on, that Xbox circle grew, but none that came after could replicate the bond that Jonathan shared with Oscar.
Jon had an insane love for music, all different kinds of music - from hip hop to Patsy Cline. He was active for some time in a Facebook group called The Side Bar. He made many friends in this online hip hop music community with people who encouraged and supported his creativity. This led him to begin to write and then record his most intimate thoughts and feelings regarding his life with DMD. His work has served as an inspiration to many and will live on forever as a reminder of his strength, courage, bravery. and determination.
Jonathan would help anyone, any time, in any way he could. He may have been brutally honest and incredibly raw, but that's just how we rolled in our house. He lived his life openly and honestly, but he always wore his heart on his sleeve. He had a fierce passion for anything he believed in and was 100% real, 100% of the time. Despite his challenges, he woke up every day and lived his life with positivity and gratitude. He always recognized his blessings, never complaining or feeling sorry for himself. He truly believed from the bottom of his heart that he was given this life to make a difference along his journey, even if it was only to touch one person's life. I would have to say, mission accomplished!
Jonathan loved his family more than anything in this world; in the end, we were his main concern, not himself. He wanted to be sure that we would be alright, but he was our warrior and he taught us all strength, bravery and courage through his daily example. We will miss his incredible wit, charm, intelligence and his amazing sense of humor. Jonathan's presence here for such a short time has touched us in a way that our lives will never, ever be the same; however, we will pull together as a family and try to draw on all of the valuable lessons he taught us to as we maneuver through the most difficult time in our lives.
As his one last selfless act, Jonathan's eyes were donated to the Lions Eyes Institute for Transplant and Research, one of the world's largest eye banks, striving "to be the Knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness" as pledged to Helen Keller.
Per Jonathan's wishes, there will be no services and instead a Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, March 17 at Fred Howard Park, Shelter #8 between the hours of 11:00 AM and 5:00 PM. This will hopefully allow sufficient time for anyone who wishes to stop in the ability to do so. Only one stipulation: you must not come in black! Jonathan wanted a party, so a party we shall have. This will be a celebration of his life complete with good food, lots of laughs, sharing memories galore and all the while we'll be rocking to Jonathan's play lists.
For those wishing to make donations in Jonathan's memory, please direct them to Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. This can be done by visiting https://www.parentprojectmd.org/ and clicking on the DONATE button. Next select yes under TRIBUTE GIFTS, then under Honor Gift Type select In Memory of, fill in Jonathan's name, and complete the remainder of the information.
"Entrusted To Our Care"
MacDonald Funeral Home