Tuesday, October 28, 2014

In Memory of Jeremiah Healy



Many authors, attendees, volunteers and sponsors remember meeting Jeremiah Healy at our Inaugural Book 'Em North Carolina in 2012. Not only was he a wonderful and successful author but he was also a very giving human being who was quick to help and support other authors.

Below is a very special tribute to Jerry by Sandra Balzo.

Jerry and Sandy
As many of you know, Jeremiah Healy took his own life on August 14, 2014, at the age of 66, following a long battle with depression.  Our fellow mystery authors, Brendan DuBois, Andi Shechter, SJ Rozan and her sister Deborah have found a way of commemorating Jerry’s work and life that I think he would have absolutely loved.

As Brendan says: “Besides his work as an attorney and an author, Jerry was a U.S. Army vet, and was also a lover of dogs. We have therefore reached out to a service dog organization in Maryland that trains dogs to assist wounded veterans, and they will be thrilled to receive donations in Jerry's name.”

This all started a few weeks back when Brendan asked me the deceptively simple question, “What cause would Jerry want us to donate to?”  My first thoughts were things that were on my mind –  depression,  suicide prevention or maybe literacy. All worthy causes, but not . . . very Jerry.

So I asked myself Brendan’s question again: “What would Jerry want?”

If you knew Jeremiah Healy for any length of time, you might have heard him talk about the military and refer to somebody as “the real thing.” “The Real Things” are men and women who served our country heroically and selflessly, often at the expense of life, limb or emotional health. In fact, the only time I saw Jerry cry was as he recounted an air mission in which the pilots took off knowing that, once the mission was achieved, they didn’t have the fuel to return.

As for the canine component, I can’t tell you how many strolls were doubled in duration because Jerry had to stop every passing dog-walker with the question “Is he (or she) friendly?” and give ‘em a good scratch. Even depressed, it was the one thing that seemed to help him, so I can only imagine what it does for wounded vets.

So HeroDogs, it is! Below is the scoop (no pun intended, though I kind of like it) from Brendan and company. We’d appreciate your sharing the word. 

With thanks for the happiness you gave Jerry,

Sandy


Besides his work as an attorney and an author, Jeremiah Healy was a U.S. Army vet, and was also a lover of dogs. We have therefore reached out to a service dog organization in Maryland that trains dogs to assist wounded veterans, and they will be thrilled to receive donations in Jerry's name.

The group is called Hero Dogs, and is based in Maryland. Their website is listed below. They are an IRS approved 501(c)(3) organization and operate entirely on donations. You can donate via their website, or by sending a check to Hero Dogs, P.O. 64, Brookeville, MD 20833-0064. But *please* ensure either by writing on the memo section of your check, or using the form on their website, that you're making this donation in Jerry's name.

That way, Hero Dogs can track how many donations come in, so that they can be used in some way to keep Jerry's memory alive in years to come. Please donate what you can, and please share this link. Thanks to all of you who were friends or fans of Jerry's.



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