About John Patrick Williamson, Jr.

Johnny's Run for Life honors the life of
John Patrick Williamson, Jr.

Game 5, 2008 World Series

Johnny and his brother Danny

How Johnny's Run for Life started

Johnny's Run for Life started in 2009 when Father Vince Morabito gave a homily at St. Isaac Jogues Church shortly after Johnny died. Mary Beth, a board member from A Baby's Breath, heard the homily and asked Fr. Vince if the family would be interested in using Johnny's name in a run to support A Baby's Breath, a crisis pregnancy center.

Register here for this year's race, and make a donation to save unborn lives here.

Johnny's eulogy

Given by his father, John Williamson, on January 29, 2009

Three weeks ago I said to my wife, we really have three wonderful children. How are we so lucky? Each of them is a better person than I. All three of them are Eucharist ministers. All of them attend Sunday mass.

Elizabeth graduated summa cum laude from Immaculata University. She had a perfect 4.0 average. She could have taught anywhere, but she will only teach in Catholic schools. She is the head of the language department at St. Pius X High School.

Danny, a Notre Dame graduate, surprised us a few weeks ago while we were there for confession. He too was there to confess his sins.

Johnny sometimes went to confession every three weeks. He was in the choir at St. Agatha & St. James. He was also a member of the Drexel Newman Club. On Easter Sunday, he was going to be the sponsor for his girlfriend Jamie Duncan's conversion into the catholic faith.

Johnny always wanted to follow his big brother to Notre Dame, and he had the accomplishments to do so. He made the All-Catholic band at Cardinal O'Hara high school for four years. He was also All-Catholic in track. He scored 1380 in his college boards. He was in the top 12 in his class.

He lettered in cross country and track for four years. He ran a 4:40 mile. He taught CCD for two years. He was a National Merit Scholar. He was a Archdiocesan Scholar. Finally, he won the Heart of the Lion Award his senior year. But Notre Dame would not let him in. He also played Scrooge in the Christmas Carol and in Godspell, he played Jesus. How could Notre Dame turn down Jesus? I prayed and prayed and my wife prayed but they still would not let him in.

This past Monday night I finally figured out why he did not get into Notre Dame. There was a prayer vigil at Drexel for Johnny and Ian. A young man walked up to me , hugged me and told me "you don't know me but three months ago, I returned to the Catholic Church because of Johnny Williamson." This was the third time I was told how Johnny led to their conversion. It finally dawned on me why he did not get into Notre Dame. He was needed at Drexel.

Our job as parents is to get our kids into heaven. So I think I can say - "Mission Accomplished".

If you look on Facebook, Johnny wrote on January 22, "A person is a person no matter how small". I wish I could be in DC but instead can just hope the innocents will be spared." The next day, he wrote his final Facebook entry. It was "Choose Life." Thirty-six hours later, he passed away. The coroner gave me his effects, his wallet, a broken cell phone and this wristband, which was given to him by Father Nordeman six years ago which says "O'Hara respects all life." It has ten week old baby feet on the bracelet.

People have been asking what they can do for us. I'll tell you what you can do. You can show up here on February 16th, Mondat night, at 8pm to help the St. Pius X Respect Life Committee save babies in Johnny's name.

If you knew Johnny, you knew he absolutely loved children. He was constantly playing with all his neighbors children, as well as cousins.

I think I know why God took him before his 22nd birthday. In heaven, Jesus needed a Recreation Director for the 50 million surgically aborted children and two fellows, Fat Harold and Pop Pop Jack, told Jesus we have just the right guy. On Sunday, Jesus called him home.

We had Johnny for 22 wonderful years, for it was on my wife's 30th birthday, June 23, 1986, that she told me she had a birthday present for me. She told me she was pregnant with Johnny.

We can't complain to God that he passed away. We thank Jesus that Johnny came our way.

If I may quote from Lou Gehrig, I will tell you, "We are the luckiest family on the face of the earth."

Williamson family

Johnny's Graduation