Just after 7 p.m. Saturday while I was working from home, my dear friend and Dallas Morning News colleague Allison messaged, “OH NO! Chuck will be devastated,” referring to her husband. I didn’t know what she was talking about, but moments later I learned shockingly sad news.
Our friend and former DMN colleague Jon Ehret — whom I’ve known since our days working together on the Sports copy desk at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram starting about 30 years ago — had passed away earlier in the day. Jon is the husband of another good friend and former DMN and S-T colleague, copy editor Laura Honeycutt Ehret.
Jon, who has been a dedicated participant in wildlife rescue in recent years as a volunteer at the New Mexico Wildlife Center in Espanola, north of Santa Fe where the Ehrets live, was at the center when he died.
Jon and Laura have a 23-year-old son, Hawkins. Jon, who was only 55, and Laura spent years at the DMN after leaving the S-T, then lived in Washington state before moving several years ago to Santa Fe.
I have fond, vivid memories of Jon, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., working with us on the S-T Sports desk when he arrived out of grad school in about 1990. He was a great team player and a hard worker with strong opinions, and someone who was always there for his co-workers/friends. Jon was a brilliant page designer and I remember him often working on our special sections. At the DMN, he also worked in Sports and later became an integral part of our Newsroom Technology Group who could solve any system problem or hiccup.
I also remember Laura and Jon’s beautiful wedding at the Robert Carr Chapel on the Texas Christian University campus, in which I was blessed to have been asked to be an usher. I still have the pocketknife Jon gave the guys in the wedding party, engraved with the name “Frankie,” which our great friend and former S-T colleague “Coach” Steve Kaye — also an usher in the wedding — still calls me. I even remember being at the party where Laura and Jon kicked off their relationship.
Jon and I shared a common thread of being adopted, and we talked extensively about his family background years ago. And, of course, being from Buffalo, Jon was a huge Bills fan. Laura and Jon have also created and sold beautiful handmade jewelry for years.
In one of the accompanying photos from just a few years back that I found on Laura’s FB page, Jon was out on the golf course, a love he passed on to his son — from what I’ve heard, a great golfer in his own right. I remember playing golf with Jon only once, with our beloved friend and S-T colleague Doug Brown, who passed away 19 years ago — I’m almost certain we played the Pecan Valley River Course in Fort Worth. Jon was big, robust and strong, and he could hit a golf ball a long way.
A second photo, a screenshot from Jon’s Instagram, shows him in his element at the wildlife center with a Swainson’s Hawk.
Please keep Laura and Hawkins in your thoughts. If you know the Ehrets and would like to send cards, their address is 144 Chisholm Trail, Santa Fe, NM, 87506. Thank you.