Jeffrey Lamel Johns was a real life of the party. His outgoing, fun-loving personality drew others to him and once inside his circle, he kept them there. In his spare time, he played golf, went snowboarding, loved hanging out with friends and was an avid pro and college football fan.
Jeffrey was a gifted athlete; in high school he played both baseball and football. He followed in the footsteps of his big brother, Drew, playing quarterback and earning MVP honors. He entered the real estate appraisal business where he was mentored by his father. Subsequently, Jeffrey segued into the mortgage business and became a successful loan officer.
Early Sunday morning, March 1, 2009, twenty-seven-year-old Jeffrey died from injuries he had suffered in a tragic accident a few hours earlier. After Jeffrey’s passing, the family was presented with the opportunity to donate his organs and tissues.
“Though we had never talked about donation in the past, it felt like the right thing to do,” said his mother, Lori Malkin. “Jeffrey was a giving person, and if he knew that he could save someone else’s life he would have done it in a heartbeat.” Jeffrey saved the lives of five people in need of organ transplants and helped to heal 50 others through tissue donation.
“His young and strong heart will continue to beat in the chest of a fortunate person who will hopefully see sunrises and sunsets for many years to come. His boyish and infectious smile will be a cherished memory forever,” Lori affirmed.
In tribute to Jeffrey’s gift of life, Lori and friends have organized a memorial golf tournament to inspire the community to donate life. Proceeds from the event will help donor families as well as recipients throughout the Kern County area. The inaugural JJ’s Legacy Golf Tournament is scheduled for March 1, 2010, only a few months after his floragraph will appear on the Donate Life Rose Parade float.