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23Jan09 - VIRGINIA BEACH - After a valiant battle with brain cancer, John Edward Kainer peacefully passed away Jan. 18, 2009 surrounded by friends and family. He was 41 years old.
John lived his life with a passion and intensity that resulted in not only incredible achievements and accolades, but more importantly, tremendous personal relationships and friendships that supported him throughout his 11-year battle with cancer. John's wife and children were the core of this support and brought immense joy to his life.
John attended the United States Naval Academy, wrestled all four years, and graduated in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering. His first assignment was SEAL training in Coronado, Calif. Graduating with BUD/S Class 166, John embarked on an exemplary Naval career. His assignments included SEAL Team Three, Naval Special Warfare Unit Eight, SEAL Team Two and then Naval Special Warfare De-velopment Group. Receiving numerous commendations and always setting high standards, he was on the path to an outstanding career as a SEAL.
During a training exercise, John experienced a seizure while in the middle of a parachute jump. He skillfully deployed his parachute despite the seizure and landed safely. The ensuing medical evaluation, however, revealed a brain tumor that resulted in his medical discharge from the Navy in 1999. Although this medical condition cut short a stellar Naval career, the spirit of competition that resides in every SEAL remained strong. In the subsequent years following the diagnosis and treatment,
John completed three marathons, two Raid Gauloises adventure races and two Ironman races. He was the epitome of a true warrior, competitor and dignified individual.
In civilian life, John worked for Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc, EMC Corporation, and during the last five years with DePuy Orthopaedics as a sales manager for joint replacement products. He worked directly with orthopaedic surgeons, earning their respect and friendship as evidenced by the support the medical community provided him in his final weeks.
A loving father and husband, John is survived by his wife and tireless caregiver, Betsy Byron Kainer, formerly of Asheville, N.C., whom he married in 1999; his three children: Jack 7, Gini 5, and Maddie 3; his mother, Fran Yongue Kellner and her husband William Kellner of Lafayette, La.; his father, Edward Lester Kainer and stepmother Ginger of Houston, Texas. John is also survived by two brothers, James and Paul Kainer and his grandmother, Virginia Yongue, all of Lafayette. He was preceded in death by his brother, Mike Kainer.
The Kainer family would like to extend their gratitude for all the incredible support, prayers, and care they received from friends and family, the doctors, nurses, and staff at the National Institutes of Health, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Professional Healthcare Resources, Elder Care at Home and Sentara Hospice.
A memorial celebrating his life will take place at Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base Friday at 10 a.m. Military uniform is optional.
A committal ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy Columbarium will take place on Monday, Jan. 26, 2009 at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Team Kainer in care of Anne Spillane, 1537 W. Little Neck Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23452.
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