Saying goodbye is always tough. It’s especially tough when you didn’t expect the person to go anywhere anytime soon. It’s what happened when 32-year-old Fair Haven native Will Jakubecy died suddenly. An especially tough goodbye had to be said.
Will’s death rocked the community that he loved — the community that embraced him with an extra hard squeeze right back. Will, to those who knew him, was a redheaded fireball of energy. And you didn’t have to know him to know that was true. That energy radiated through his loved ones. His vitality and zest for life was capped with humor, they’d also tell you with a toothy grin, a chuckle and a tear. All you had to do was read his obituary to know that.
In that obituary, riddled with unabashed wise cracks and humor, was a line that there would be a “Big Ass Repast” at the Fair Haven Firehouse on Saturday.
Well, true to its title, the repast was big — very big. It was a huge celebration of his bold, relished life. There was food and drink galore and all of his favorite things. And, most importantly, there were people … lots of people. There were family, friends, firefighters, first aiders, mayors, kids — everyone and anyone who knew and appreciated Will Jakubecy.
There were pictures — lots of pictures. A poster with Will’s smiling face was passed around for signatures. There were flowers. There were cards with photos of Will skiing and fishing, holding a message about friends and the stars in the sky. There was seafood. There was a tree was adorned with a deer stand holding memories and a few empty beers. There were people. And there was love. A lot of love.
And family and friends raised a glass, hooted, hollered, smiled and said goodbye with a lot of gusto — and mostly, Will.
RIP, Will Jakubecy. You are remembered.
— Elaine Van Develde