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Dr. Kneuppel Remembers

Dr. Daniel Knueppel, Tenafly High School Principal (1971-1982) shares his recollections of Jon-Erik Hexum

Family and Friends of Jack (Jon-Erik) Hexum,
 
As Jack's high school principal, it is a difficult task to find words that express the very thoughts that each of us has this evening.  The simple act of gathering here in a memorial service for a friend and classmate who played such a vibrant role in our lives while he was in Tenafly is a testimony to his impact upon us. 
 
I can vividly recall Jack's impact on Tenafly High School.  Those of you who attended graduations in Teanfly while I was high school principal might remember that it was my custom to trace the history of the class from kindergarten through the senior year.  In accounting those years, I tried to mention as many graduates as time would permit, citing both activities and contributions.  I concluded the evening by exhorting the class to "make your unique contribution to life and to practice your citizenship with a continued devotion toward the assumption of responsibility for yourself and toward your fellow man."  It has always been my sincere hope that every graduate would meet this particular challenge.  My words on that June evening in 1976, in a hot gymnasium, were a testimony to Jack's activities and contributions.  I know that he started as early as first grade with his acting talent by playing a role in the production of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves".  At another point in the speech, I noted "Jack Hexum, not only the class's distinguished president but also the school's melodious PA announcer each morning, served capably as drum major for Tenafly's 'Marching One Hundred' from the time of our trip to the Rose Bowl until his graduation."
 
Finally, I stated "class president Jack Hexum, making well-directed use of his spirit and vitality, along with his capability to organize, encouraged this class to strive and to bring out the best in each of its members."
 
As far as I am concerned, that was the essence of Jack Hexum, student at Tenafly.  The sadness this evening is ours because we no longer will have the direct impact of Jack's talents in our lives, encouraging us to do our best and to become involved.  There is, however, happiness that should be expressed, and that is found in the fact that we had the priviledge to have had Jack touch our lives and make his unique contribution as only he could make it.
 
-- Dr. Daniel P. Knueppel
Jon-Erik (Jack) Hexum Memorial Service
Demarest United Methodist Church
Demarest, New Jersey
November 15, 1984


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