Jean Maurice . . . Was a gentleman. His manners were always superb . . . Even on the job-site. Probably something to do with his degree & experience in Hospitality Management . . . or, more likely, from his mother & the way he was raised. Jean believed in Family, he held close those he loved, those he respected, those he cared for, and he made them feel like family even if they were not technically family. Jean, most of all believed that God was in control and would make things right in the end. Jean had a vision. He would tell me of how he dreamed of being an architect since he was little. He wanted to build the places to house all of that hospitality he had spent most of his life practicing. Hospitality was IN Jean. He always seemed to be concerned about the well-being of others before himself. But he also had a vision of becoming more than he was, of improving himself, of making the world around him a better place, and he was not afraid to work for it. What I suppose could have seemed like a sudden career change to some, was really that next step in becoming an architect like he had always believed he could . . . and would do.
The spirit is free, every man's spirit yearns to be free, it is this that is God-given; it's an inner knowledge, an inner sense of what freedom is, and that is to be able to pursue that which each of us believes we are ultimately placed on this earth to do. To dream of becoming something that we are not . . . yet. To do something that many say cannot be done takes a tremendous amount of courage and strength, it takes will, it takes patience, it takes support - even if only from a few, but most of all it takes Faith. It takes Faith that God is in control and will make things right in the end. Jean had all of these, and he faithfully forged ahead to change and mold his reality and make the world around him a better place.
A slow and steady change from an unwavering effort to meld his reality with his vision; his long experience in hospitality with architecture, was taking place with support from those closest to him. Jean was not content to accept the world around him as it was, he was striving to make it better, to make himself a better person, one closer to that vision he had in his mind . . . in his heart.
This country, these United States of America . . . was built by people who had dreams, who had visions of a better place, who believed that mankind was made by God to be free to pursue happiness, by people who were not afraid to work for it. So Jean . . . as you would always say to me, "may God bless you and keep you", and may God let you shine as a light of hope and encouragement for everyone, and especially for those who have a vision, for those with a dream of becoming something that they know they can be.
God Bless you Jean . . . You will always be in our hearts.