We are humbled to help celebrate and memorialize the life of Jason Wielkotz, who passed away unexpectedly April 10th.
We are honored to share these words of remembrance from his friends, compiled online:
It’s hard to describe Jason, as he was a complex individual, but the immediate takeaway anyone had upon first knowing him was his capacity to love. He loved BIG, and the things he loved were shared with people out of complete and utter passion for his interests. Whether it was his favorite music, a fancy pastry, his collection of Legos and Transformers, photographing New York City or his dog Peaches, when Jason was in, he was all in.
Jason was the kind of person that would drop everything, for anyone, for anything, at any time. Without expectation of anything in return. The thing about Jason is there is nothing he loved more fully, and more completely than the people in his life.
Infectious smile, always cracking jokes (crude or otherwise), but also bashfully sweet in intimate moments, he was forever advocating that the various people he loved meet each other. In the outpouring of grief, it was found that in a great many group pictures, Jason was always front and center. Not because he craved the spotlight, but rather he stood as the family maker, bringing all different factions of groups into his sphere as the very nexus where everyone came together. Fitting that in our collective grief, it happens again in his honor.
Because music and music-going experiences were integral to Jason’s life, it would be a lasting tribute to him to donate to the Mockingbird Foundation as they promote music in schools and thus sparking passion for music in young people.
Jason was brilliant and witty and loved building people up. He could make you laugh, even in your darkest moments, with a dirty joke told in pure heart. There seemed to be no limit to the amount of love he could give, receive and share. He put everyone ahead of himself. We’re all lucky to have known him, to have loved him and to have been loved by him.
Not Fade Away
This photo is of Jason with his dog Peaches, who the Phish community rallied around to find a forever home two states away with a fellow fan who none of Jason’s extended friend group had ever even met before.
The Mockingbird Foundation is an all-volunteer, fan-founded and -managed 501c3 supporting music education for children. It is the leading provider of historical information about Phish and its music, having cultivated intellectual property through phish.net since 1994. A leading grantmaker in music education for children, the Foundation has now made 530 grants in all 50 states, totaling more than $1.9M. Funds for grants are generated through donations from a loyal base of fans, as well as through books, recordings, artwork, merchandise, and special events. The Foundation has been operated entirely by volunteer fans of the band, without any salaries or paid staff, since its inception in 1996.