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As owners and operators of JCS Audio, Jean and John Slone looked forward to providing sound for the Auglaize County Relay For Life each year.
For 12 years, the Slones offered their sound services at a substantially reduced rate for the relay.
“We would do all of the sound from start until the end,” Jean Slone said. “We played music while people were walking. We would provide sound for the opening and closing ceremony. Some years we had bands or choirs or other acts. We would set up the sound for everything.”
The Slones provided the service for more than 12 years, Relay for Life officials said. However, in January 2010 John Slone was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He died on Aug. 11.
Last year’s event was the last Relay John Slone attended.
Jean Slone said she did not view John’s death as “prophetic” or didn’t see it as a strange twist of irony. However, those feelings do little to diffuse the pain of what happened or changing her feelings about the importance of the event.
“At the time he was told they thought he had a good chance of beating it,” Jean Slone said. “He still wanted to do it. We did the sound for other charities, too. It’s just something that happens. I don’t think it was prophetic or anything. Still, it is a cancer where 80 percent of people die in the first year.”
While stricken with the disease, John Slone fulfilled his commitment and worked providing the sound in 2011, just months prior to his death.
“John took a lot of pride in doing the Relay,” his wife said. “He spent as much time preparing for it as he did for anything. He would go to two or three meetings before the Relay and find out whatever he could. A lot of times they had themes for the Relay and he would prepare music to go along with the theme.”
Jean Slone said she and her husband both had realized the importance of fighting cancer way before their experience with the disease.
She said their experience has reinforced what they already believed. She noted she will be at the Relay to show her support.
“It is important to raise money for the society,” Jean said. “We need to show our support for the community.”