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Officer Jonah Oswald, 29, of the Fairway Police Department, passed Monday, August 7th 2023.
Writing an obituary for a 29 year old isn’t something that should ever be done, and especially in Jonah’s case. Not that anyone should ever die young, but everyone knows there are people who live for a long time on this earth without ever really living.
And Jonah wasn’t like that.
He was the most lively person I’ve ever met. So much so, that life was often difficult for him, because he was the sort of person that languished if he wasn’t living to his fullest potential every single day. He didn’t do well with stagnation, or even harmony–he was his own force of beautiful chaos.
He was talented and driven to succeed in everything he did–and if you know him personally, you’ll know that’s not being said in the cliche way as it often is. He obsessed over his passions. When he decided one day he wanted to learn how to play piano, around the age of eighteen, he found a piano for $200 on Craigslist and began figuring it out all on his own. He would stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning night after night, listening to songs on YouTube and copying the notes. He could never read music, but within a few weeks he could play Bohemian Rhapsody, and just a few years later he was playing things like Bach’s Goldberg Variations. And all by memory.
He went through phases of his passions, starting at a very young age. From soccer to skateboarding to surfing, video games to Jiu Jitsu, piano, and then as he got a little older he started customizing guns, making knives (he built a forge in our garage), collecting flashlights, dabbling in cryptocurrency, and hoarding silver coins like Smaug. There was a brief foray into Pokemon cards, which was the only hobby we ever fought about–trust me when I say the man bought an insane amount of them. He did leatherworking, and woodworking. Everything he ever made was as perfect as it could have possibly been, with the tools he had.
Jonah was born in San Diego, California, and always described his childhood as idyllic. He was homeschooled and allowed a lot of freedom. He surfed and skateboarded, hung out with friends, played video games and participated in sports until the day he moved out at seventeen. He came to Kansas City then, as a romantic gesture to me, and romantically got a job washing dishes and found a romantic room in a UMKC student house to rent so that he could be closer to me.
In 2017, he graduated Blue River Police Academy in May, with Top Gun and Top Defensive Tactic of his class. We got married in June, and he joined the Army Reserves as a Civil Affairs Specialist in October.
In 2018, he began his police career, starting at Buckner Police Department for sixteen months before moving to Fairway, where he remained as an Officer and Firearms Instructor.
In 2019, we welcomed our first son.
In 2020, we welcomed our second.
There are no words to describe his love for his family–blood and blue. But he was made specifically for both. He was made to lay down his life for his family–and he did.
He was silly and crossed the lines of polite humor at every opportunity–I’ve never met a person with darker humor. It wasn’t for everyone, but he certainly didn’t care. For those of us who appreciated it, he was a breath of fresh air, and a constant source of laughter.
He never apologized for being himself.
He was the bravest man I’ve ever met.
If Jesus is the savior of my soul, Jonah is the savior of my life. Jesus laid down his life in sacrifice so that I wouldn’t have to live eternally separated from God, and Jonah laid down his life in sacrifice that I wouldn’t have to live separated from the fullness of life. They were both men. They both embraced their fate. Their deaths mean something, everything, if we are willing to embrace it too.
Jonah died a death he would have been proud of. How many people can say that? Yes he was taken too soon. But at least he didn’t linger past his time. He may have wandered, but he never withered. He died doing the thing he believed in the most. In service to a greater good, even if he didn’t really understand it. No one really understands it. That didn’t matter to him. He knew what he was doing was right, so he did it fiercely.
He leaves behind a wife, two children, a mother, father, and many others.
A visitation will be held on Sunday, August 13, 2023, at Westside Family Church (8500 Woodsonia Dr, Lenexa, KS 66227) from 5:00~8:00 p.m. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, August 14, 2023, at Westside Family Church.
Donations to the Oswald family can be made by visiting this LINK. Kansas City-area Price Chopper locations are also taking donations from Aug. 9 - Aug. 22, all proceeds collected will go to the family.