By Eleanor Kouri Vandruff
His parents named him after Victor Hugo's heroic main character in Les Miserables, Jean Valjean. (Jean went by J.V., Jene, or Gene most of his life.)
It is on occasion of Father's Day, 2003, that we write about him.
I fell in love with Jean at first sight. He was like a dream come true for me. Actually, first I met and fell in love with his mother, and she wanted to introduce me to her son. I generally resisted being set-up, but Jean's mom and my Aunt Sadie conspired to have us both visit their joint hospital room at the same time, and the rest is history. He pretty much swept me off my feet. He was very romantic then, and has only become more romantic and loving over the past 50 years of marriage.
Jean has been an ideal son, husband, and father. He got along exceptionally well with his parents, his sons love and admire him, and I certainly think he hung the moon.
He is wise and intelligent. Over and again in dealing with situations, his instincts have proven right.
Jean can do anything. Really, anything. You name it, he can do it. He is the consummate problem solver, and is always looking to improve everything. Very creative himself, he fosters and appreciates innovation in others.
Everyone who knows Jean would say he is a remarkable person. It is true. You would only hear good things about Jean from people who know him.
Jean is very daring, in things large and small. I suppose a lot of this is covered in his autobiography, but as we age it can be frightening. He seems to have no fear of anything.
He is basically a shy person, but he gets very excited about God's beauty in nature and loves to point things out. He also gets enthusiastic about great ideas, inventions, and clever solutions. He has also been very expressive of his love for me over the years.
He is pretty much "what you see is what you get." Jean is not the least bit cunning or deceptive. He tells it like it is, does what he says, and is true to his word.
Jean is zealous for the things of God. He has won many people to the Lord, and still this is his first priority in life and in his dealings with others.
The greatest compliment I could give him is that I know he profoundly loves the Lord. It amazes me. He is a true Christian, and has proven faithful in every aspect of his life and times.
I have been most favored and wonderfully blessed to be the wife of Jean Valjean Vandruff. God is good.
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