I grew up with Jean Marc. We went to middle school, high school and Alabama together. When I think of Jean there is a lot that comes to mind. There are so man words and ways to describe Jean and the impact he had on everyone he met. There are so many stories that came to mind when I was thinking about a good one to tell here today. Many of them have been told the past few days, and I'm sure everyone here that has spent any amount of time with Jean has a great story they could tell about they time they spent together.
He had a very special effect on everyone he was around and there was definitely never a dull moment when you were around Jean. I finally decided on a story from spring break our senior year. Let me start by saying that Jean Marc was a firm believer in "sun's out, guns out." Basically that means that if it's sunny outside then Jean will 100% be outside fishing, playing volleyball, or just sitting by a lake or a beach always without his shirt on.
So this particular spring break we all decided to go down to the beach to get out in the sun for a week and hang out. As you can imagine every day was a great day on the beach, and I don't think we spent a single minute inside during the day the whole trip.
At night we would go hang out on the beach and attempt to talk to girls hanging out down there. We immediately found out that this wasn't all that easy since none of us had any conversations starters whatsoever. Jean quickly found a solution to this problem however, and soon he was telling every girl on the beach that our buddy Cade Songy was the number one football player in the nation, or that he was a professional baseball player, or any variation of that story. He did this for about a week straight and every time he would just laugh his head off along with all of us.
He got more enjoyment just making us laugh at the ridiculous things he would say to complete strangers than anything else we could have done that trip. That was just the kind of guy Jean was. He loved nothing more than making his friends laugh and be happy.
More than anything, that is what I think of when I think of Jean. A guy who had a heart bigger than anyone's I know and who simply loved bringing joy to others. I know none of us will ever forget the contagious effect of happiness Jean always brought with him wherever he went. Even though times like this are confusing and hard, I know that every time I think of Jean I will remember all the time we spent laughing and being happy. I know that's what Jean would want us to remember, and I know he would want us to feel happy and not sad when we think of him because that's the kind of guy he was. I think I speak for everyone in this room when I say I am honored to have been his friend.
Jean Marc and CeCe