Giving Back in Memory of John Dye
Pay It Forward in
Memory of John Dye

"There are possibilities for goodness in a world that's very filled with turmoil." ~John Dye

In the Touched by an Angel episode "Show Me the Way Home," Tess says "Some of our best living is done through the people we leave behind."  Well, John Dye seems to have done some pretty amazing living that it would be awfully hard to improve upon.  However, as people who are blessed and touched by his life, I think it would be good for all of us to help continue his legacy of compassion, respect for others, and love.  I'm reserving the space below for reflections written by JABBers and anyone who would like to join us in our mission of honoring John by service to our communities and our world.  Please email me if you would like to add a reflection.

We will remember John always.  Let's share the blessings and hope he gave us with the world!

God bless,


From Jenni on January 31st, 2011:

I was twelve and an eighth-grader when Mr. Dye first joined the cast of Touched.  While I didn't become a devoted (some might say obsessive) fan of the show until Season 3, I know I caught several Season 2 episodes.  So it seemed appropriate to me that, when I wanted to honor John Dye with some volunteerism on his birthday, I went back to the place that loomed so large in my life when I first saw him.  In addition, I've come to realize just how much of a teacher John was to me.  So I thought lending a helping hand to one of my grade school teachers would be a nice way to give back and honor the education in life lessons he gave me.  But, as people who volunteer often say, I feel like I was helped the most of all.  And I thank him for giving me the inspiration and the push I needed to leave my comfort zone and reach out.

Honestly, John was everywhere in this day.  I was floored when one of the first things I was asked to do was listen to the kids as they recited the psalms they wrote... their own 151st psalms.  I instantly thought of "Psalm 151."  And it was so touching to hear their prayers to God.  The doves so many of them had drawn on their papers, of course, had special meaning to me.  He was also in the annual spelling bee that just happened to fall today.  I could imagine Andrew so lovingly cheering Aaron on in "How Do You Spell Faith?"  When it came time for the lesson on Rosa Parks, I thought of him then, too.  Not only because Mrs. Parks appeared on the episode "Black Like Monica" but because John was so devoted to treating everyone with respect and dignity.  Simply grading papers and examining artwork brought up the whole of "A House Divided."  And his beautiful portrayal of Andrew throughout 7.5 seasons was on my mind as the day closed with the "Angel of God" prayer.  I thought I might be really sad today but by going somewhere and doing something, I was not only surrounded by great people but also these wonderful memories.

I think the most amazing thing that happened today was when I was asked to listen in as one of the kids practiced their reading for Mass.  Appropriately enough it was 1 John 4: 7-21.  I choked up when she read these words: "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them."  That message of "God is love" is what John brought us every week on Touched and it's a message he lived.  And now I know he lives forever with God and there's great peace in that.  I'm still sad.  There were so many times today that I thought "God, I wish I was doing this just cause he was turning 48."  But I know that even though John's gone Home now, he'll still continue to be a part of our lives here.  Without him, I wouldn't have had this extraordinary day.  I imagine I'll be finding reasons to thank him for a long, long time to come.

I'm really looking forward to my next outing which I'd like to arrange with the local food pantry.  I'm sure on that day, too, the man who brought so many wonderful things into my life will be very much on my mind and in my heart.  Thank you, John.


From Rebecca on February 2nd, 2011:

In honor of John Dye's birthday, I purchased a bunch of items such as soap, toothpaste, shampoo, etc, and took them to the gentleman at our church who runs a ministry for the homeless.  I didn't know of a better way to honor John's birthday.    
My hope is that these items will bring some small amount of comfort to someone who is in a difficult situation which I could easily imagine myself or almost anyone in.
I plan to do this every so often as I have in the past with the many homeless ministries here.  I think by reaching out as John did so often is the best way I can honor such a wonderful man.


From Cindy on March 6th, 2011:

One of the things I loved about him was his dedication to charity.  I didn't actually do anything special ON his birthday (except be kinder to my students-I teach school) but the weekend I found out he was gone,  I had planned on cleaning out my house and shed and donating a bunch of stuff...of course I didn't- I was too upset.  Instead, the Saturday of his funeral I did this.  I knew I had to do something constructive or I might find myself trying to drive to Mississippi...I hired a professional organizer that I've used before and had her help me so that I wouldn't get mired down in my grief.  I knew I could talk to her and she wouldn't think I was crazy.  We accomplished a lot and I felt that John would have approved.  In an interview with a Memphis t.v. station John's dad mentioned that one of the charities that John was involved in was the Make a Wish Foundation.  This charity is close to my heart because my nephew was hospitalized for a month and Make a Wish sponsored activities and events which he was able to participate in.  As soon as I heard that interview,  I made a donation.  I received a letter from the Make a Wish Foundation and it was dated Jan. 31-John's birthday.  The letter told of a young girl who's wish was to visit New York City and attend Broadway shows, tour different places, and ride in a carriage through Central Park-and my donation helped make that wish come true.  Now is that right up John's alley or What?!! A week in NYC attending Broadway shows and touring the city!!   I am an avid scrapbooker and Creative Memories partners with the Make a Wish Foundation as well...they donate a percentage of the proceeds of selected merchandise to Make a Wish.  At our annual weekend retreat last weekend, I decided to buy the designated album to use for my 2011 year instead of the album I already had-in memory of John.  Of course, I am already working on a tribute page for John since I scrapbook my albums chronologically.  Every charitable event that I participate in will remind me of John and his work...and I am trying to give more and love more everyday - as he did during his lifetime on earth.

A note from Jenni: Now that the site Pay It Forward in Memory of John Dye has launched, I'm asking that instead of sending me things to add to this page people visit that site and contribute to it.  JABB member or not, let's all join together to make the world a better place in honor of John!  Thank you!

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(The photograph used on this page is from "True Stories from Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions.  It is not being used to seek profit.)