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Celebration of Life

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  • Celebration of Life

    Dear Groomers,

    I have been having a hard time dealing with the loss of John Nash. He was my friend and I will miss him, his laugh and big smile but it has also brought me into dealing with my own mortality which is something we all do not want to think about. I am in my sixtieth year on this earth and John and I are about the same age. I survived cancer and he did not.

    Even though he passed in Kentucky in the loving arms of his family he grew up in Cliffside near the George Washington Bridge in NJ. Vivian Nash arranged a Memorial Service so friends and family here could say goodbye and celebrate his life. I would like to share that with all of you so you too can remember John Nash and celebrate his life.

    I said goodbye to John Nash today. It wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be with grieving and crying in fact it was the opposite. It was a celebration of his life. Like John his friends and family are amazing people sharing their life and love of John with many who did not know him as well.

    They recounted his life growing up and his wild and crazy adventures and spirit that was marked with long hair, concerts, peace movements, and all the trimmings of the sixties. These were John’s ways and people there laughed and spoke with loving remembrances of him. But they also spoke of how John loved family and was a true blue friend.

    Many industry dignitaries were also there. Mark and Jeanie from Forever Stainless flew in from Omaha, Nebraska and were joined my Jorge Bandersky (Groomers Has It). Sally and Gwen from Barkleigh were there. Sally told me she had lost her best friend. I drove in with Hillery Zusi from Lambert Kay and we sat with Jodi Murphy and her friend Dave and Larry and Shirlee Kalstone. Also in attendance were many of John’s students.

    Many of John’s old friends from grade school were there and John’s best friend Rosie (Mike Rosado) gave the first “Sharing of Remembrances”. Then it was time for Joey Villani and John’s older brother Nubar. There was not a dry eye in the place during their remembrances.

    The Celebration of Life was held at a beautiful old Presbyterian Church in Englewood. The service was led by Reverend Richard S. Hong who did a wonderful and loving job. A huge pipe organ played Ave Maria and we all sang Amazing Grace.

    We all then went into a smaller chapel for a small reception where you could sign the back of a large mounted photo of John. There was wine and food and a friend of Johns wrote a song about him, “It’s not supposed to be this way” and played guitar in the background.

    Vivian was a rock and consoled everyone there. I wish I or someone close to her could have taken her into our arms and consoled her but she was surrounded by her friends and family and her loving duty to her husband. I know she knows how we all feel and I wish her the best. I can only imagine how hard this must be for her and my heart goes out to her.

    As far as I am concerned John Nash (Nakashian) was the “Father of Modern Grooming”. He started out with a passion when he opened SuperCuts his first grooming shop that evolved into The Nash Academy. Over the years Nash became the Gold Standard for grooming schools and trained many of the top groomers in our industry. They continue to pioneer our fledgling industry with many new innovations in teaching.

    But these were far from his real accomplishments which bore itself out at the service. John was a loving husband, father, and friend and he helped many people in his personal life. Family and friends were the most important part of John’s life.

    He met Vivian his loving wife in 1994 when he judged her poodle at a grooming show. They have been inseparable since. John moved to Lexington, Kentucky to be with Vivian and together they opened The Nash Academy there.

    Together they took care of their family, extended family, grooming school family, and Grooming Industry Family. John was the founder and director of The IJA (International Judges Association) and even now the Nash Academy continues to innovate and lead us into the future.

    I know that I am jumping back and forth but it all went so fast and I am trying to recount it for you the best I can. John even in death taught me some life lessons through his friends and family. I will never forget him and will use those lessons learned starting today.

    One was that family is what is most important in life and I will endeavor to spend as much quality time as I can with mine. The second one came from Rosie who said that when he was at his lowest time in his life John came to him and saved him. He tells how put his arms around him and said, “Everything is going to be all right”. This is my new credo and I will be less critical and more understanding and forgiving because of it.

    Everything will be all right. A father and mentor to his friends, family, business, industry and all he touched John Nash will be sorely missed. We would all do well to emulate his life’s teaching.

    I hope when it is my time that I will leave a fraction of the good John did on this earth. I hope I see that Red Maserati at the gates of Heaven when it is my turn to go home.

    Thank you Vivian for making it easy for all of us to say goodbye to John. We will never forget him and look to the future with fond remembrances of him.

    John’s legacy goes on. For anyone who would like to make a donation in John’s memory they may do so by giving to the Nash Brighton project at an effort by John to help alleviate the poverty in Brighton, Jamaica.

    Via Con Dios my friend till we meet again.

  • #2
    John nash

    Very nicely done.


    • #3
      John Nash

      Chuck, thank you so much for your beautiful post remembering a beautiful human being!


      • #4
        Thank you, Chuck, for sharing this with us! Beautiful tribute to a great man.


        • #5
          Thank you so much Chuck for helping us remember such a wonderful man who touched so many peoples lives...
          "I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt,
          and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts." - John Steinbeck


          • #6
            Thank you

            Thank you for sharing your experience and conveying the memorial to us. I am glad it was a wonderful celebration of John Nash's life.

            Your description reminded me of my grandmother's funeral. She was 94. There were about 75-100 people there because she had touched the lives of so many. When she was in her late 80's, she still went to visit "the old people" in the "old people's home"! Most of them passed on before she did, but there were still many to attend her funeral. It was very beautiful, and spoke of a life well lived.


            • #7
              Thank you Chuck ...

              for sharing your message about this extraordinary man, his life, and his vision. What a beautiful remembrance you have about him.


              • #8
                Thanks Chuck

                Chuck your a class act at any age,God bless you and your words ! Goodbye, Nash may your journeys end be that of Happiness and light!


                • #9
                  Thank you....

                  for those beautiful words. I've lost many dear loved ones in the past 2 years. As upsetting and difficult as it is to lose someone, they are never really "lost." They are waiting....waiting on us, free from pain, sorrow, and hurt, and watching from heaven's gates! It IS a celebration of a life. With the loved ones I've lost, it is heartbreaking but (oh) so fulfilling to hear the stories of them growing up, how they touched people's hearts and lives, the "ornery" things they used to do, the pranks they played on people, seeing and talking to the people whose lives were touched by your loved one. It is amazing! It helps to bring comfort and peace. We will see them again!