It is difficult to describe a friend to someone who has never met that person. I often try to describe my friends from school to my friends at home, or vice-versa, but I am never able to convey just how incredibly cool or special the person is. Descriptions, funny stories, even pictures: they simply are not enough to describe someone, let alone capture their true essence. Sometimes you just have to meet the person to understand how exceptional he or she is.
Such is the case with Jonathan. When I tell you that Jonathan Nabors was 5' 10" tall and 180 lbs., with reddish-blonde hair and a hint of an Alabama accent, it probably does not mean much to you. It doesn't mean that much to me either. Vague descriptions create nothing more than a cardboard caricature that has no substance or soul. Likewise, I can think of countless stories from the three months I knew Jonathan which I will never forget, but these stories are only substantive for those of us who were a part of them.
What I can relate to you about Jonathan and what I think are the most important things to remember about him are his good nature, his fun-loving spirit and his sincerity. Jonathan's love for this University and the Lexington community was evident in the way he carried himself. His presence truly brightened a room and brought smiles to people's faces.
People are not usually remembered just for the things they did or the organizations they were a part of; rather, they are usually remembered for the legacy of their character and the intentions of their actions. Jonathan's spirit lives on through the Nabors Service League; its mission is an embodiment of who he was. Through community service, the organization promotes fellowship amongst Lexington residents and W&L students, faculty and staff, lending to the creation of a larger, more inclusive community. It is to this end that Jonathan lived his life, and thus it is fitting that people learn about and remember Jonathan in this way.
Jonathan Owen Nabors died on January 3, 1999, along with his 15-year-old sister, Leah, returning to school after Christmas Break.
Written By Claiborne Taylor '02