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Welcome to the Sonoma County Gazette ARCHIVE of PAST EDITIONS. Our NEW WEBSITE is up and running, so GazExtra is serving as your path to archived articles. Thanks for being part of our Sonoma County community...stay in touch...e-mail me - VESTA

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

J.D. Kaiwi - Forestville Icon - Died July 7, 2009

J.D. Kaiwi - Forestville's resident volunteer and social butterfly, died unexpectedly July 7, 2009 of Swine Flu and heart complications.

J.D. is the kind of person who shows up wherever people are gathering for a good cause or just community get-together. Always cheerful and full of energy to help out, he's been part of so many benefits and volunteer efforts over the years he was voted as Forestville's Volunteer of the Year in 2008.

His passing gives us a good opportunity to ponder how important is it to show our appreciation for people's efforts while they are still with us. Not even 50 when he died, J.D. was chosen as the perfect candidate for recogntion in our small community. Volunteers are a vital part of any small town without the services of an incorprated area. From serving food at Hollydale Community Club events to picking up trash at the annual Forestville Youth Park BBQ, J.D. has been a dependable source of positive contributions.

In 2008, the Forestville Planning Association provided grant money to hire J.D. to be our downtown clean-up man. It was just a small fund, but J.D. took to the task with his usual passion, and our downtown looked a whole lot better for his efforts. Merchants and residents appreciated his efforts so much they tried to fund him for 2009. We were just getting ready to raise money to hire him again when we learned this news.

Mornings at Bo'z Cup Coffee cart on Mirabel Road, days at Speer's Market, and late afternoons at Rotten Robbie gas in downtown Forestville will not be the same without J.D.'s daily banter. People who have been in contact with J.D. should get checked for Swine Flu to make sure they didn't contract the disease from spending time with him.

If there's anything we can learn from J.D., it's live the best life you can, give with all your heart and remember that giving recognition to people who make your town a home is vital. Do it now. You never know when they might be taken from you.

Thanks J.D. for all you have done for our home over the years.

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