Jonathan David Bacon ’04 stepped foot on Bryan’s campus as a transfer student in the fall of 2002, and he has had a memorable presence on the Hill ever since. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration: Business Management with a minor in History in January of 2006, but he considered himself a member of the class of 2004. Though he struggled with cerebral palsy, he never let it define him. Almost everyone on campus knew who Jonathan was, whether they experienced his generous hospitality or received a parking ticket from him.
Jonathan began working as a student worker in the spring of 2005 and was hired full-time in the Operations department as an Environmental Services Technician in September 2005. He served in this position up until the end of this semester, working hard to provide a clean, secure, and healthy environment for our students. His duties included ordering supplies for his department, parking enforcement, serving as host for the Maranatha guest house and cleaning Long dormitory, but his service to Bryan College and its students extended far beyond his assigned roles.
Jonathan mentored many young men at Bryan, and he served as a Hall Parent nearly every year. He lavished the guys on “his” hall with homemade goodies, meals, invitations to come to his home, etc. He built relationships with the resident assistants in his building, offering support and encouragement as well as meals and goodies. He opened his home to students who had nowhere to go over breaks and often invited Resident Directors over for a home cooked meal.
Kim Tuttle, Student Life Services & Housing Coordinator, shares this story: “He always made sure that Long Hall was well decorated for Christmas. Usually, there were multiple trees in the halls (often one in each hall decorated in different styles). One year, a group of students decided to pull a prank and removed all of the Christmas trees in public areas creating their own ‘display’ in the Library. Jonathan fussed and fussed about that because several of the trees they moved were the ones he painstakingly put up over Thanksgiving break in Long. But of course, he forgave them in the end. He couldn’t help himself; he loved our students so much. They were the kids he would never have, the brothers and sisters he so longed for.”
As an alumnus, Jonathan was always looking for ways to help and pour back into Bryan. Paulakay Hall, Director of Alumni Engagement, shares that he “would transport students to events for us, and he was always present for every Homecoming and on-campus event. Jonathan loved to connect, and he loved people. He never allowed his disabilities to interfere with his life, goals or being with friends and family. He loved deeply. He was never wealthy, but he always gave to our scholarship programs for our students and would honestly give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. As Alumni Director, I loved his love for Bryan, our students, and our faculty and staff.”
Jonathan truly embodied what it means to be a servant of Christ making a difference in today’s world. He touched many lives and leaves behind a rich legacy of generosity, hospitality, and service. His presence on campus will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Services for Jonathan were held on Wednesday, December 28th at Valley View Chapel in Chattanooga (7414 Old Lee Hwy). Visitation took place 11 am–2 pm and the funeral service began at 2 pm with a graveside service to follow.
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