Eulogy for Justin Vanderburg by Eric Vanderburg
September 6, 2006I could ask for no better brother than Justin.┬á He was not only my brother but my best friend as well.┬á He lived his life like no other; exuding passion, courage, creativity, wisdom, and an amazing faith.
JustinÔÇÖs passion played out as he made the most of each day.┬á He did his best in both work and play.┬á He enjoyed the law and discussions on the interpretation of it.┬á Many times he and Dad would discuss an issue over dinner from work or school.
Justin and I skied in high school.┬á I remember when he told me he wanted to snowboard instead of ski.┬á I was sad because I thought this would separate us on the slopes but he picked up snowboarding quickly and soon after I were riding the black diamonds together.┬á He later became a snowboard instructor at the Brandywine Ski Resort and even gave me tips on how to improve my ski form on the slopes.┬á┬á Justin picked things up quickly like that.
Justin certainly had a passion for motorcycles in recent years, but when I were little he enjoyed riding his bicycle. Years ago, Justin and I each got small light bikes for doing tricks and jumps.┬á In the woods nearby there was a full course of jumps I used to ride on.┬á One jump was much larger than the others and there was a 10-foot pit in between the jump and the landing.┬á That jump scared me but Justin eagerly approached it.┬á He zipped through the woods and hit that jump at full speed.┬á After barely landing the jump on his first try he told me he was eager to try it again and encouraged me to try it too.┬á┬á┬á His encouragement and courage spurred me on many times to do things I never thought possible.┬á He was always expanding his surroundings and that of those around him.
At Tablerock Lake in Missouri, there is a cliff that hangs over the water.┬á We jump off this cliff every year.┬á I think Justin was the first one to jump from the high ledge which can be quite scary even to the seasoned cliff-jumper.┬á The top ledge, however, was not enough for him.┬á He found an even higher area to jump from.┬á He was not scared of the fall.┬á Rather, he relished the experience just as he relished so many other things in life.
No matter how busy Justin was, he would take time out for others.┬á I canÔÇÖt begin to count the number of times Justin would drop what he was doing when I wanted to show him something.┬á I remember him watching me play video games even when he was not interested in them or listen to a story about work when he had plenty of other things he could be doing.┬á His genuine attention meant so much to me.
Justin was also creative and thoughtful.┬á While Justin was still in High School, he designed and built a wooden speaker platform for the trunk of my car.┬á He wanted to help make my car stylish with a loud sound system.┬á Justin engineered a platform to house 3 large speakers and an equalizer set.┬á After completing the carpentry and wiring, it looked great but unfortunately sounded bad.┬á I learned a number of things about carpentry from him that day.┬á It was a great time of working together as his vision saw us through to the end.┬á Justin worked hard on that project and he was a great planner.
Justin was innovative at an even younger age.┬á One time when I were both kids, Justin, along with a few neighbor kids and I, wanted to make some extra money.┬á We decided to chop up an old rotting tree in my neighbors yard to sell as peat moss.┬á We chopped away and loaded my product into my red wagon.┬á Justin then did his best to try to sell the product.┬á I laugh so hard when I think back to that time.┬á He was so enthusiastic and sure of himself.┬á We had so much fun.
Justin was full of solid Biblical advice.┬á He gave me council on how to live right with God before pursuing relationships.┬á I could bring anything to him and know that he would listen and give me an honest, well-thought answer.┬á He made me think and he always wanted the best for me.┬á He surrounded himself with Christian friends and immersed himself in the Word.
Justin was the first one off the cliff and the first one to hit the jumps.┬á He was also the first one to win lifeÔÇÖs race.┬á Justin started serving the Lord at an early age.┬á He ran hard and he finished early.┬á He lived for the Lord and accomplished so much in the time he was given.┬á For this I am sure that the Lord welcomed him into heaven saying ÔÇ£my good and faithful servantÔÇØ.┬á In recent days I have heard from those he discipled who told me how he led them to the Lord or how he encouraged them in their faith.┬á There is no better legacy he could live than that.┬á The life he led was an open testimony to his faith and I are all witnesses to it.
In the last days at the hospital, I waited for the miracle I thought God was to work in JustinÔÇÖs life.┬á I now realize that I was living with the miracle for 24 years.┬á I thank God for the time I had together and that Justin is now enjoying his reward in heaven.┬á The miracle and the blessing lives on in all the lives he touched.