Jonathan Ian Reimann, 43, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Holyoke, Massachusetts on Thursday, May 13. He had completed his work day and was enjoying time in the backyard garden that was his passion and pride.
Jon was a carpenter by trade and a craftsman by birth. Throughout his career as a licensed general contractor, he operated several home-improvement companies, most recently as the owner of Craft Built Carpentry, where he specialized in high-end cabinetry and finish work (though let's be frank: he could do it all). Whether for clients, friends, or his own home, he brought to every project a drive for artisanal work inspired by traditional craftsmanship. In his free time, he favored hand tools over power tools, and perfection over speed. Coffee tables and patio furniture, barn-board planters and live-edge shelves are just a few of the crafts he honed in the workshop where he spent countless blissed-out afternoons, lost in music and podcasts and making handmade gifts for the people he loved.
An abiding fascination for the natural world made him a self-taught horticulturist: researching, experimenting, and learning to grow all things green. Visitors to his home could expect a guided tour of his ever-expanding vegetable garden, which he conducted with characteristic modesty. To hear Jon tell it, it was our garden, too—with all of us the gardeners.
Jon was a student of the world, and curiosity became a defining feature of his character. History, environmental sustainability, and politics were just a few of his areas of interests, topics on which he would hold forth with verve. This curiosity also manifested itself in a steady stream of side projects, including blending his own garden soil, making soap, nurturing gluten-free sourdough, and perfecting his homebrewed ginger beer. And for every project he took on, Jon most loved sharing the fruits of his labor with others. We have the Mason jars to prove it.
In 2014, Jon met Julie Corey, his life partner and best friend, with whom he shared the home they renovated together in Holyoke, Massachusetts. To Julie, he was a loving and supportive partner who cheered her on at races and was her number one fan in life. To Julie's son, Jack, Jon was a mentor and role model—responsibilities he cherished and embraced. From teaching Jack the value of independent thinking to how to nurture a seedling, Jon shared what he had learned and took deep pride in watching this young man grow into his own person.
Born in Brattleboro, Vermont, to Matthew and Ann Reimann, Jon spent his formative years in nearby Saxtons River, where he fished, hiked through the woods, and established a lifelong affinity for the natural world. Even as a young boy, Jon showed a propensity for mischief, with a sideways grin that earned him the moniker "Smiling Jon" in grammar school. (In later years, he managed the nicknames "Johnny Five," "Big Red," and "Pickles" with equal good nature.) Jon graduated from Bellows Falls Union High School in 1995. He is predeceased by his paternal grandparents, Joe and Martha Reimann; and survived by his maternal grandparents, Bob and Evelyn Matwijcow. He is also survived by his partner, Julie Corey, and her son, Jack; his parents Matt and Ann Reimann; his brother Chris Reimann, sister-in-law Gwen, and their three children, Carter, Micah, and Cate; his two aunts, both named Carol; and six cousins: Jenny, Timothy, Geoffrey, Amanda, Caitlin, and Seth. He is predeceased by his cousin Chelsea. Lastly, he is survived by scores of friends who love him dearly and will forever miss his loyalty, generosity, and helping spirit.
Jon's friends have organized a GoFundMe campaign to support Julie and Jack as they navigate the weeks and months ahead. To show your love and make a donation, please go to https://gofund.me/37d618f6
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