At 5 p.m. today they will finish harvesting all of Bear’s major organs.  Eight of his organs will be going to 7 different patients, all but one of them in the Houston area.  We find comfort in knowing how thankful these families are for Bear’s final gift. 


When I know more about the Funeral, I will post it.  I am heading to Houston Wednesday evening.



Unfortunately things did not work out well for my family yesterday. However, many other families are getting a welcomed phone call as my cousin Bear was an organ donor. 


Bear died doing something he loved, riding his motorcycle.  However, I wonder if he had been wearing a helmet would he have had a fighting chance?  Bear leaves behind his parents, his sister (who was also his best friend) his son Bailey (who turns 11 next month) and lots of friends and family.  We cousins were so close, we always hung out together and enjoyed each others company.  The August Vacation with the cousins won’t be the same without Bear (his real name is James Sparks). 


One more time in tragedy I am shown His power.  Rob was supposed to work on Life Flight last night, however he came down with a horrible stomach virus.  It was his helicopter that responded to Bear’s motorcycle accident.  Rob can see and deal with a lot of nasty stuff, but God knew that attempting to put his cousin (his friend, his going out buddy, his wing man), back together would have been too much.


We are all very very sad, but I am thankful he died doing what he loved, he was unconscious the whole time, and many other people are given a new chance at life with his organs.  The organ donor things brings a smile to my face because Bear was the kind of guy that would give you the shirt off his back and his last dollar to help you out.  Even in death he is willing to give strangers everything he has.  



How I want to Remember Him



Bear & Bailey – doing something they loved…fishing



He loved this, I hated it.

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21 Responses to Bear

  1. Brad says:

    Wow. So sorry Kerber ūüė¶

  2. Care says:

    Wow. I’m so sorry, Jen.

  3. angie says:

    Jen I hate that this has happened. I am here for you girl. If you need anything call us!

  4. Rob Kerber says:

    My heart is in such pain right now…..why me??? Why us??? I have buried so many in such little time!! Is this my calling… purpose….to mend, bend, conform, and make peace out of tragedy. It seems to be my greatest skill but one I would wish upon nobody. As tough as this is I know the greatest tragedy of all still awaits me and I do not look forward to that day! I love you Bear more than you will ever know!! -Rob

  5. kathy says:

    Jen and family,

    We are so sorry for the loss of your cousin, James. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of you.

    It is so hard to understand why this happened, but remember that God is there with you to help you get through this time. Please know that many are keeping you in their prayers.

  6. angie says:

    Rob, yours and Jens pain just brings tears to my eyes. Just try and trust that these instances will make you stronger. I am praying for you guys. I love you all.

  7. Debbie Kelley says:

    I only had the pleasure of being with Bear on a handful of occasions, but his amazing personality, kindness and gentle nature came through. I will never forget being in Houston for the rodeo, being at Mary Kerber’s house with Bear’s sister, husband and children and seeing him walk through the door. To see the way he lit up the room and the way the kids reacted to him (‚Ķreally it was the way they lunged at him when he sat on the couch and he proceeded to hug and tickle them like crazy) will be forever in my heart. I also remember how patient he was when Jen and I were supposed to pick him up from the airport in Orlando and we got a little sidetracked returning Jen’s rental car. He ended up sitting there for a couple hours, but never complained. We bought him beer at Universal to try and make up for it.

    May God bless you and your spirit, Bear. You were an amazing person with an amazing family.

    Much love and many prayers to the entire Kerber and Sparks families. There is a whole group of us here in Orlando that are thinking about and praying for you all. We are here if you need anything at all.

    Lot of love and hugs,

  8. Aimee says:

    Jennifer – I’m an old friend of Rob’s and I followed Julie’s battle after I learned about her through the benefit held for her last year…and her blog brought me to yours…and ive read yours for some time…you’re quite the comedian…as is your brother. I just wanted to let you know I am praying for you and your family. God is amazing and I pray he wraps his arms around your family at this difficult time.

  9. Irma says:

    I kept putting off reading your blog this am…I am so sorry. I know how close you are to all your gazillion cousins, but “Bear” is the name I always heard the most. Call me if you want/need to talk. I love you.

  10. Heather says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family as well as the families that now have new hope because of your cousin’s kindness of donating life to others.

  11. Deb Urbaitis says:

    Jen and family,
    Todd, Levi and I are so sorry. We loved Bear and will miss him greatly. All are in our thoughts and prayers!

  12. Lesley Bond says:

    I know you and your family take solace in knowing that others lives will be saved with his organs. Let’s all please keep his son in our thoughts – I know this is going to be the toughest road for him. I am so sorry, Jen. If you need someone to talk to, you can call me anytime and I’m here for you. Love you…

  13. Eva says:

    Jen (& Rob): I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. I’m certain Bear’s legacy will live on through his son and your wonderful memories of him. I hope those memories will bring your family peace and healing.

  14. Nanwil says:

    Jen and Family. I am so sorry to hear about your cousin Bear. May God hold you tight during this time. We will uplift you in prayer. Know that you are in our thoughts.

  15. Todd Urbaitis says:

    I didn’t know Bear that well, but everytime Deb and I were down in Houston it seemed to be he and I hanging around Greg’s smoker enjoying a bottle of Terrible, talking about bikes, trucks and our boys. He was my brother-in-law-in-law…if that makes any sense, but bottom line he was family and he will be missed. I pray that he is with our Lord today in heaven. See you on the other side, bro!

  16. JFLO says:

    Jen and family,

    I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your cousin, James.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers.


  17. Angie Morton says:

    Jen, I am so sorry to hear about your cousin. Tears filled my eyes reading your post. You and your family are in my thoughts. Love you girl.

  18. Geneen says:

    Darling! You’ve had more than your share of sadness. I am so sorry to read about this latest tragedy. I am praying for you and your family. Please, please call if you want to get together while you’re in town. Chinese? Wii? Come swim in the pool? Just let me know.

  19. pam c says:

    So sorry for your loss.

  20. Pingback: Bear, Have you taken over Heaven yet? « Observations From The Nation’s Capital

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