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Jonathan Mark Piper

Jonathan Mark Piper of Lufkin Point Road, Essex, passed away Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at Lahey Clinic in Burlington due to complications from pneumonia. He was 58 years old. 

Born January 30th, 1950 in Hamilton, he was the son of Morley L. and Wanda H. (Woleyko) Piper of Essex. He attended Hamilton schools, the old Huntington Day School in Boston, and Salem State College. 

In 1970, Jon was disabled in a tragic automobile accident. As a result he dealt with immeasurable difficulties throughout his life; but, he learned to cope, conquered many obstacles, and until fairly recently,  was able to live independently. Jon showed uncommon courage through a countless series of adversities with his health, ever-increasing as the years wore on. And always, unfailingly, he carried his burdens with dignity and bravery. 

He loved Essex, the ocean and his home on Lufkin Point; when he was younger he had a boat and enjoyed roaming around the creeks of the Essex River or Gloucester Harbor. In later years he traveled via computer. His other great loves were the pets he had throughout his life, the last a very special cat named Edna. 

For many years, Jon wrote a column on boxing that appeared in a number of New England newspapers as well as national boxing magazines. He was known for his sharp - sometimes stinging - wit and was regarded as one of the region's top observers of the colorful and seamy boxing scene. 

He had been active in several organizations for the disabled, including the National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NE Chapter), the Christopher Reeve Foundation and the Northeast Independent Living Program in Lawrence. 

Jonathan is survived by his parents, a sister, Patricia Robert of Essex, two nieces, Laura Robert of Essex and Audrey Robert Ramirez and her husband Axel Ramirez of Malden, a special cousin Priscilla Koster of Ipswich, dearest friends Beverly Nameche of Essex, Paul Ferreiro of Harrington, Maine, Gary Karlin of Salisbury, Arlette Molina of Miami, Florida, and his devoted caregiver Ruth Hughes of Essex. 

A  memorial service in tribute to Jon will be held on Tuesday, August 19th, at the Ipswich Country Club, 148 County Club Way (Route 1) in Ipswich at 11 o'clock followed by a reception. Family and friends are welcome. Arrangements under the direction of the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home of Ipswich.

Contributions in Jon's memory may be made to the Christopher Reeve Foundation, 636 Morris Turnpike, Suite 3A, Short Hills, NJ 07078, and the Cape Ann Animal Association, 260 Main Street, Gloucester, MA 01930.


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