John Finnegan - The Best of Us All - Rest in Peace

There just aren't words for the impact of his loss on his friends, the LARP Community, and of course how it must be for his family...

John was an amazing man, who is in part responsible for Gaelon and I being together."Annie, you're with the wrong guy for you, Gaelon's the one you need to settle down with." This at a time I thought I was going to be relocating to Southern California.

We've been out of touch for years, the split was hard on friendships as well as the game, but we've always thought of John fondly. Brilliant men with his touch of creativity and compassion as strong as his was are a treasure...

Our hearts go out to Coleen, and the rest of his family. You're in our thoughts and prayers.

Annie & Gaelon Morris
Bristol CT
I knew John before I met John. When I first attended a NERO Event, I heard of his greatness. A few years later, when I had the great honor to meet the man himself, I understood what all the fuss was about. I have tears in my eyes right now, and it's difficult to compose my thoughts. John was such a wonderful person. In life and about this game. He has given me great advice, and kind words I will never forget. I will never forget the things he taught me.

All my thoughts, love, and prayers to his family.

Justin Coggin
My mind is totally numb as I read this, i can barely feel myself type. John was/is/and always will be my hero. He was the embodiment of fair play, honesty, justice and most of all, enjoying what one does. He was always able to make me laugh, was always ready to crack a joke, and I never saw him frown, ever. I've never met anyone who had the enthusiasm, drive, ambition, imagination and heartfelt love for NERO, his fellow players and those he loved. If I know John, he's passing out boffer weapons and stat cards to the angels right now, organizing the biggest wave battle one has ever seen. Game on, Big man. Game on.

Coleen, and the rest of his family, my prayers and sympathies are with you all.
I cannot put to words how painful it is to know that John won't be around to talk and laugh with anymore. There are very few people that I can say that's had an impact on my life and John is one of them, in larping as well as real life. In the brief years that I've known John he and I were like 2 peas in a pod when it came to writing and sense of humor. We will miss you John.

Justin H-
I just got a call a few minutes ago about this, and like everyone else, I'm in shock. It feels like ages since I last spoke with John or Colleen, but they were always great to me in my five years of NERO. When I think of all the great people that made NERO what it was (is), John Finnegan was always at the top.

I feel so sad for you, Colleen. I don't know what else to say. :(
I had never met John Finnegan, he was alwase like the Paul Bunion of NERO. Some things I'v herd about , and things hes done that made him seem larger than life. Almost like the Legend of story telling, and friendship. I have never met him, or talked to him, but reading the other replys brought me to tears more than once. NERO (Alliance) to most people is "just a game" somthing thats extra. The relationships that we've all made playing this wonderfull game are more real than life. You get closer, interact, and fall in love with the amazing people that are involved. I know that every one who knew this legend of a man will never forget what he has given us all.

Coleen, I can not begin to imagin what your fealing, know that there is a family, from coast too coast, that is here for you. you and John will be in my prayers.

John- Thank you.
I just found out walking into work this morning. I work for the same company John did so I heard about it all at once. You know I normally kick the crap out of sissy boys who cry but I find myself crying here and there.

John was a good friend and always saw something in me that others did not and tried to get me to realize what he saw. He was like that older brother who always pushed you to be better without pushing you. Then when you realized your vision and everyone was cheering for you the reality hit that John was helping you along the whole way. I remember joking with him that he was my Yoda and made me realize what I could do.

I must have typed tons of things to try and help ease the pain but nothing is working. My heart goes out to all who knew John and are mourning his loss.
When I first started playing, a slew of names were told to me of people who helped make NERO/Alliance what it is. John's name was one of them. Since then I have had the opportunity to roleplay with him, be directed by him as an NPC and to just watch him play these characters that seem larger than life. He will be greatly missed. His absence will be felt by all for years to come for we have lost one of the most creative minds NERO/Alliance has ever been graced to have in our ranks of players.

My thoughts and love go out to Colleen and John's family. I echo what so many others have said, if there is anything you need please do not hesitate to ask.

I can echo many of the sentiments of the Alliance community. I only met the man once, at a Jersey event a couple years back. He seemed to me to be the kind of guy that you couldn't stop yourself from liking. Warm and charismatic, I do recall that same smile that several people have mentioned. It's obvious from the response garnered here that John touched many lives, and will be sorely missed.

I’ll join others in sending good thoughts and love to John’s immediate family, and to his extended Alliance family.
I can't even breathe right now.
Can't write what would even begin to truly honor him, so for now please allow me to say this to Colleen:

I'm sorry.
I love you.
I love John still - always.

I met John a handful of times from trekking from Colorado to the East Coast to play NERO/Alliance. He was always one of those figures that would when you thought of NERO/Alliance John was in the top 5. he was an Icon in our hobby.

John always had great stories even for strangers who approached him like rabid fans flocking to a rock star.

you will be missed friend.

Dragon Speed.
Jeremie Collins.
There are many things one can say about John, but of all, the one that stands clear in my mind is Gentle Giant. Even when he yelled at you he gave you a hug afterwards and told me everything would be ok.
John I know you are in a much better place than we are.....someone mentioned to me that you are probably organizing some cool wave battles in the sky even as we sit in front of our computers, or are driving to work or going about our daily monotony.
The news of your passing was a shock to say the least....I wish I could better express what I am feeling. I can with absolute certainty say that you are missed and no one will be able to fill the void you have left in our lives. We will remmber you and carry many many wonderful memories filled with joy and laughter.

To Colleen , Patrick its been said by many and for my part if there is anything I can do to help please let me know. My condolences to you and your families.

Onitt H
When I first came to this great game and community, I was in awe of the Greats of the time. Hearing them speak of their Greats, the man John Finnegan seemed a figure of fiction. I thought it was the good ol' boys talking about the good ol' days with the usual rose tinted glasses of nostalgia. It only took meeting John once or twice, which sadly is all I ever did, to know that I was wrong. He is a Great among Greats.

Thank you John, for sharing your life and passion with all of us. Even those who barely or never met you, know that we'll all miss you.

Tyson Weise
It has been many years, and I hope I'm not intruding, but this seems the best place to add these thoughts. My first memory of John is of him at an event leading a barony, and he stood out of the crowd by character role and by nature. His playing of the role was one of the most compelling parts of the weekend for me, and helped cement my love of the game. I remember dinners in New York, philosophical discussions, a last event (for me) that was truly marvelous (even cut short by a massive snow storm), and seeing his brother do stand-up. These are some of my favorite memories. He and Colleen also were there as we moved from New York (nine years ago), generously taking us out for a final dinner with all of our friends there. He gave of himself continuously through NERO and through friendship, and from the comments on this forum he clearly has a legacy through his impact on a quite a number of people. The world is a lesser place with his passing; I hope that in this dark time his family can draw some consolation in that the world is a better place for having had him in it.

Colleen and Patrick, my heart goes out to you. We miss you both, and miss John.

Love from Brenda and me,

--Todd Carter
I sat down today to try and work to get some things ready for my team. The 2008 season is about to reach full tilt. I went to our team message boards... and I struggled to find words. I was trying to talk about what this season meant.... what we were preparing for. But, it all feels different now.


I made you a funny poster last night. I hope you enjoy it.

I write here to thank you. You and your efforts over the years have helped create this vast playground we call Alliance. You have helped give grown men and women a chance to be children again. We have a chance to run through woods laughing with friends... we have a chance to make believe that the world around us is magical.

Thank you,
Devon and I were talking about how John had affected our lives this morning and I realized that John is the reason I discovered this wonderful community. Devon had a chance meeting with John who he knew from "back in the day" and John convinced Devon to get back into Nero which in turn led to me getting into Nero. I didn't know John well, but he always made me feel like a close friend and I am richer for having known him.

My heart breaks for Coleen and the rest of his family. You are all in my thoughts.
Sym of Moria said:
...someone mentioned to me that you are probably organizing some cool wave battles in the sky

Similar thoughts are the only able to bring anything close to a smile to my face right now. We can all rest assured that awesome plot awaits us when we get to where John is now. He's sure to have a special Mod tailored to each one of us.

I'm remembering the opening ceremonies Patrick used to do when I started playing. Really taking the time to get everyone to focus together to create our game world for the weekend. John will be the focus of my thoughts for a good long while, but especially as I prepare for the start of the HQ season and at the beginning of every event I play from now on.

I've been so shocked that, ironically, I just remembered that tomorrow is my birthday. I will always have a personal reminder of John this time of year. Of course, he's not really easy to forget. Thank-you again, John, for all that you are.