went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Sunday, July 5.
John’s devotion to his family and his firm belief in God supported him to the end and ultimately gave him peace.
Today he is celebrating his birthday in heaven, surrounded by his dad Wayne, his Grandpa Shuping, his step dad Bob, his beloved Grandma Shuping and many, many others.
John is survived by his wife Diane, children Samantha and Robert (Heather), his mother Mary Picking, sisters Jan Gilmour (Bob), Susan Thisell (Steve) as well as his nieces and nephews Laura, Lindsay, John, Nick, and Wayne.
John was an avid outdoorsman who loved to hunt, fish, and hike. He loved dogs, but especially his Labrador retrievers Jaimee, Raz, and Remington. He was passionate about University of Delaware Wing T football and checked in daily on the progress of the new football stadium. We could always count on John to fire up the grill and smoke a pork butt or leg of lamb for family celebrations. John’s job in sales afforded him the opportunity to interact with many different people and share his love of Jesus with them. John had a heart for those who were trying to overcome trials in their lives. As a Gideon he was able to reach many people by sharing pocket testaments. He also spent several years ministering to prisoners at the Howard R. Young correctional facility in Wilmington, Delaware.
Isaiah 55 tells us of a free offer of mercy to all. This is one of the most worn pages in John’s Bible. He firmly believed in the gift of salvation that Jesus offers to all of us.
Verses 3 through 8 are heavily highlighted, underlined and notated in John’s Bible.
3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people.
5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and nations that knew not thee shall run unto thee because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.
6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Services will be held at a later date at the convenience of the family.
Good evening dear friends. We first want to express how incredibly overwhelmed by and grateful for your outpouring of support for John and our family we are during this difficult time. You truly do not realize how much you are giving us the strength to carry on. We feel your prayers and love. We are humbled by your donations which will help to relieve a bit of the financial burden that we don't even fully know the extent of yet. You are a blessing to us. You are a blessing to John. Thank you.
One of the most difficult things about this has been the fact that due to the pandemic and the hospital's safety restrictions we have not been able to visit or see John. We believe that human connection is a form of medicine and we hate that we cannot squeeze his hand and tell him we love him in person. Since John is in an isolation room we know that this lack of human touch and connection is not good for healing and we just pray that John feels our love through our prayers and through the daily contact with his medical staff. Today marks day 20 of John's hospitalization and finally Diane was able to, with the advocacy and permission of John's doctor, visit the ICU and see John through the glass window of his room. John is heavily sedated but in a semi state of conciousness and was able to acknowledge that Diane was present outside his room and attempted to lift his hand to wave to her. She was able to sit outside his room for about an hour and observe him. She said that if he could see himself in the mirror he would be so mad, because they trimmed his hair and beard and it's certainly not up to his stylish standards.
While at the hospital Diane was able to meet John's pulmonologist and some of his nurses. She has been speaking with them on the phone daily, but meeting them in person was helpful to put a face to a name and know that John is in good hands. We are grateful for his team working day and night to keep our loved one safe and alive. Diane was able to view his lung X-ray and speak with the doctor about the current state of his health and what the prognosis looks like going forward. At this time, John has unfortunately hit a bit of a plateau. His biomarkers are stable and his platelet count is holding strong, but his lungs are just not healthy. The goal is for John to be able to breathe on his own again without the need for a ventilator, but when the doctor has performed the typical checks and tests to see if we can move in that direction, it is clear that he will need breathing assistance for more time. We are still praying that his extended need for the ventilator does not lead to long term damage or a tracheostomy. At this time John has been on the ventilator for 14 days. The doctor is hopeful that John can make it through this plateau and begin improving again. Please pray for John to have strength to keep fighting.
Our prayer requests today are simply for strength. Strength for our family who wants their John home safe and sound. Strength for our John whom we know is being held and protected by our almighty God. Strength for the nurses and doctors who are working through this pandemic and remaining positive despite it all.
All our love,