John Reavis – July 17, 1960 to May 23, 2012
May 23 2012, my friend John Reavis passed away due to a sudden heart attack. He was a good friend, honorable man, and an imaginative person. He was also somewhat of a mystery to a lot of his friends as he was very private and kept to himself. But we all cared about him deeply, enjoy gaming with him for all those years and will miss him greatly.
My first memory with John was with the UNCC Science Fiction & Fantasy Guild. We bonded over our common interest in sci-fi. I was reading my first Jerry Pournelle and he introduced me to the writings of Larry Niven. He was one of the primary reasons why I dove back into gaming after being away from it more than a year, and started re-writing and consolidating my Star Frontiers stuff. His enjoyment of my gaming and GMing style started them and he, along with the rest of that first gaming group, was the reason I dive head first back into gaming and running long term campaigns.
John stuck with me during almost every campaign I ran in Star Frontiers, Reich Star, Shatterzone and Star Wars. He was a very loyal friend and player. He not only liked to play but introduced new concepts into my game that inspired me. He was such a good player that I could not help but make plots kind of center around him. As a GM and player, we just clicked and worked well together.
John liked to player the very honorable characters, primarily knight or paladin type characters. But he always had to put his own twist on things. From his take on the Sanchenzii in my Star Frontiers/Other Suns cross-over and his cyber-knight in Shatterzone to his new take on Jedi in my Lords of the Expanse campaigns and his portrayal of the captain of the Farstar in the Darkstryder campaigns as well as his marine in Babylon 5. These are just a few of his memorable characters.
John also set me straight on Star Trek. He was a big fan of TOS, but I never really got to see much of that series as it was hard to find regularly on my TV at home when I grew up. But TNG had started in 1987 and my girlfriend at the time was really into it. So between her and John, I became a big fan of the Star Trek franchise. It was the franchise itself that drove itself into the ground with inconsistent stories, poor story development and totally violating Star Trek canon every other episode that turned me off it after so many years.
John was also inspiring as a person in general. He was a man of character without judging other people. He was always reliable and trustworthy – in and out of game. His honor was unbending. His friendship was absolute. His dedication to his job, his friend and family was all very apparent. His priorities were always clear and non-negotiable. You respected him without question. He had a presence of character as soon as he walked into the room. He was quiet and unimposing. A gentle giant. A friend I can never replace.
I am deeply saddened even after a week of mourning. He was the older brother I never had. Things will not be the same without him. We all will have nothing but fond memories of our time with him. Farewell old friend.