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Deshon Family Christmas Letter – 2019

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> lettre en français (10MB PDF)
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graphic of wreath with bells

In this edition of our annual holiday letter to friends and family, we are moving more in the direction of Jo Anne’s suggestion of “fewer words, more photos.” The reason for this may either be that 1) our lives are becoming more routine and humdrum, 2) you’ve heard most of what we typically say in our annual messages, 3) each of us has a more limited memory of things that had taken place more than two weeks ago, or 4) one or more of the above.

photo of Jordan with Longmont, Colo., relatives

Jordan with our Longmont, Colo., family—the Frankowski/Gonzáles crew (-2)

Click on links within the text for extra photos and content. (Cliquez sur en fonction les liens dans le texte pour les photos et l’information d’intérêt supplémentaires.)

We can say this—2019 has been another year of activity.

The highlights and a few not-so-highlights:

As always, we truly enjoy getting together with family and friends (photo) occasionally throughout the year, going to UD concerts and theatre events and Longwood Gardens, among other things.

We enjoyed a January family vacation in Florida with Jordan, during which we got to spend time with Jo Anne’s brother John and Mark’s parents.

photo of Mark and Jordan in Ft. Collins

What? Maine lobster rolls in Ft. Collins, Colorado?

Having accepted a job offer from a Colorado engineering firm, in late January, Jordan moved back to Colorado and began working out of its Loveland office. He enjoyed the work and Colorado lifestyle in general (especially snowboarding (photo), rockclimbing (photo), soccer, and nearby family); however, he discovered a job posting in April that looked appealing, given his hydrology and international-development concentration in grad school. So, he applied.

In the spring we began the hard work of prepping Jo Anne’s vegetable garden and flower gardens (photo).

photo of Mark at the beach

Mark chilling on the beach at Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware

Mark was glued to the English Premier League throughout the winter and spring, as his and Jordan’s team—Liverpool—fought valiantly for the title. Though finishing in second, their wonderful season culminated in a European Champions League (photo) trophy.

In June, all three of us attended our neighbors’ son Eric’s wedding (photo) in East Providence, R.I. Following that event, Jordan flew back to Colorado while Jo Anne and Mark spent a couple days with Mark’s parents (photo) in Maine.

Through a series of interview steps over a couple months, Jordan was offered and accepted a job with the Charleston, S.C.–based nonprofit Water Mission in mid-July. Jo Anne and Mark made separate trips to Colorado to help him make the transition back east. He began work in mid-September, and his first field project was on Grand Bahama, one of the islands hardest hit by Hurricane Dorian.

photo of Jo Anne and Barb at the beach

Jo Anne and her cousin’s daughter, Barb, at Cape Henlopen

This summer, we were saddened that Jo Anne’s Belgian family experienced two deaths—her cousin Emmanuel’s wife, Christiane (cancer), and a month later, Emmanuel’s mother, Jo Anne’s Aunt Mimi.

We enjoyed the spoils of all Jo Anne’s hard work in the garden—tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, zucchini, and raspberries (photo)—well into the fall!

In mid-August, Jo Anne and Mark went on a weeklong mission trip to central Vermont with others (photo) from their church.

We hosted a couple of Jo Anne’s North Carolina cousins this year—Linda & Bob Abel and their daughter, Barb, and Rick & Beth Philipsen.

photo of Lucia Beach house

Our family beach house in Maine amid the fall splendor

In mid-October, Mark and Jo Anne spent a fun week in Maine with Mark’s parents at their beach home and, with several family members who had gathered (photo) from California, Colorado, Texas, North Carolina, and New Hampshire, attended the posthumous induction of Mark’s Uncle David into the Midcoast (Maine) Sports Hall of Fame.

photo of Jordan, Jo Anne, and Mark in Charleston, S.C.

Enjoying a family walk in Charleston, S.C.

Time away again for Mark and Jo Anne came in the form of a two-week resort stay on Hilton Head Island, S.C., in late October and early November, where they enjoyed the final warm days of the year. They got to see Jordan on a couple occasions, and Mark’s brother, Brian, and his wife, Jenny (photo), visited them at HHI for a weekend.

Mark’s business, Deshon & Associates, experienced its worst year since he retired from the University of Delaware back in 2012. Even so, Mark enjoyed working on a couple book editing-and-cover-design projects (photo) in the fall, which helped end the year on a positive note.

Throughout the year, Jo Anne and Mark remained actively engaged within church and volunteered time with various civic groups.

photo of Jo Anne and Mark

Best wishes to you this holiday season.

We certainly wish you the best for this holiday season and beyond. Please keep in touch. May the peace of this sacred season be with you and your family.


Mark, Jo Anne, and Jordan


1. bob estes - December 27, 2016

Hi Mark, Jo Anne, enjoyed your letter again this year as always. Mine will be along soon. Had a lot of problem with MS Word and pictures set tight to text – had to redo the whole thing. Sounds like you continue to have a full and interesting life both with individual pursuits and together. Barb is still a number of years away from her retirement. I also enjoy seeing the promising trajectory of Jordan. Seems like a bold, intelligent, and God centered fellow.

2. Meunier - December 22, 2016

Hello everybody

This is a fantastic letter and it is good to have some news .

Best wishes for 2017 and your Brussels family will think of you during Christmas period, we will miss you:)
Have a wonderfull time together and hope to see you soon again

Love from Belgium


3. Kathy - December 9, 2016

Thank you for sharing your family with us and this beautiful 2016 update. Each of you is a blessing and an inspiration. Merry Christmas to all.

4. Fred Dawson - January 6, 2016

NEAT letter! You’d think a graphic design guy did it! NICE garden!
Happy New Year!!!

5. Dorothy Liberty - December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas Mark, Jo Anne and Jordan. Thank you for sending your Christmas letter. We enjoy hearing of your exciting trips and the wonderful experiences you are having. Your family is doing much needed service to those around you. You are a true blessing.
Have a wonderful holiday and a Healthy, Happy New year. Hope to see you back at Lucia Beach over the summer.
Love to you, Bob and Dottie Liberty.

6. Francine Fried - December 19, 2015

Mark and Jo Anne and Jordan:

I have been receiving the Deshon Family Newsletter since around 1981.

This newsletter is by far the very best one.

I really appteciate the travel updates!

God Bless!

I continue my walk with Jesus,


Merry Christmas y’all.


7. Kathy - December 17, 2015

Happy Holidays to the fabulous Deshon clan! Wishing all a happy, healthy and blessed new year – Kathy

8. Marcia Scott - December 16, 2015

Cheers to you & your family during this holiday season! – Marcia

9. Ed. O'Donnell - December 16, 2015

Hi Mark , a great newsletter ! Best wish to you and your family . Ed.

10. Marsha Chevalier - December 24, 2014

Hi Mark and JoAnne! Got your card and enjoyed reading the news of the year. I wanted to write to JoAnne to congratulate her on her new enterprise but discovered I only have her old e-mail address at Christina SD. I’m sure she has mine. Please tell her I’d love to talk. The older we get, the less we travel far and wide, so there are no trips east in our plans right now. 😦

Marsha Chevalier

11. Marcia - December 19, 2014

Hi Mark — I enjoyed reading your holiday newsletter (as always!) thanks for including me on your email list. Best wished to you & your family for a joyous holiday! – Marcia 🙂

12. Kathy M & Turks - December 18, 2014

Love your clean and classy design work, Mark. Congrats to all three of you on your accomplishments this year, and as usual you’ve made the most of seeing all your beloveds. Your Dad looks just like you, Mark! (Or vice versa.)

Hope to meet up with you and Marisa soon. Meanwhile, a very Merry Christmas to you, Jo Anne and Jordan.

13. Ada pryor - December 16, 2014

Great letter

14. Bob Estes - January 12, 2014

Hi Mark and Jo Anne. It was fun going through your letter and all of the links. Seems like an attractive way to add more to the letter and to help preserve the year for ones own remembrance. I especially like seeing the videos by Jordan. Seems he has a great future in engineering as well. I co-op’ed at the Un of Md wind tunnel which was enormously valuable in helping me get a taste for how real engineering gets done.

BTW, it looks like I have no conflicts with the 40th as it falls between summer camps.


15. Ann Jornlin - December 28, 2013

Frank and I love receiving your holiday letter. Congratulations to all of you for your continued accomplishments! We look forward to seeing you both either on the roads or in Willard Hall. Happy New Year! Ann

16. mel & paul - December 22, 2013

So proud of Jordan. He’s so handsome. Paul and I are so excited about going to Tina’s wedding & visiting with everyone. The entire Pryor family plans on attending…..Have a Happy New Year and don’t work to hard.

Bob Bennett - December 26, 2013

From the first campus run around, to JoAnn’s Main street Mile and national teaching award, to Jordan’s making citizenship a family trait and tradition, I have been a privileged witness and admirer of Newark’s first family.

Joan joins me in wishng all, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.



17. Dana Chatellier - December 22, 2013

Dear Mark, JoAnne, and Jordan:

“Decreasing verbiage”, my left clavicle! By the time I read this entire blog (by the way, nice touch on the “log to the base B” at the top, which I assume was Jordan’s idea), it will be NEXT Christmas! “Musings”? “Notoriety”? A French version? Warum keins Deutsch? Tagalog? Esperanto?

But seriously…..it was good to see you this year, and the Scheib and Chatellier families appreciated your sympathies in October. Let’s get together for happier occasions soon.

Joy in 2014!

Warm Wishes, Dana C.

18. Kathryn Carroll - December 19, 2013

It’s wonderful to be able to keep up with your activities!! It was a wonderful format, too.

19. Francine R. Fried - December 19, 2013

Dear Mark & Jo Anne:
hello! You guys look fabulous. The new look is really sharp.

However, I have most of your old hard copy letters and they have some Christmas decorations around the edges, if I recall.

I guess I am just old school. I miss the old format. Maybe you could decorate a little bit with trees and holly next time!
Love Yas, Francine

20. John Micklos - December 10, 2013

We enjoyed your Christmas letter, and we look forward to getting together soon!

21. Kathryn carroll - December 24, 2012

Sounds like a wonderful year with a lot of travel. Congratulations on your retirement, Mark. Merry Christmas and ¡Feliz Navidad! as we say here.

22. Doug Higby - December 23, 2012

We hope you come back to Las Vegas for a visit. We enjoyed seeing you again and meeting your family. Happy holidays!

23. Jeff Bjorck - December 22, 2012

Didn’t know about your dad’s baseball career! Who did he play for?

deshon - December 23, 2012

Dad coached at the college level (what is now Salisbury U.) for 34 years. At the time he retired (1997), he was the 11th winningest coach in NCAA baseball history.

24. Vicki - December 20, 2012

Reading your E-newsletter is a delight. Took me a few seconds to get the hang of the imbedded pictures, but wow–what an excellent, tree-saving format. Jo Anne, how your knee repair makes it possible for you to get back on a bike in the year ahead. Enjoyed seeing you in Va Beach. Merry Christmas to you all.Vicki

deshon - December 23, 2012

Jo Anne’s knee is doing much better now. She needs to get on the stationary cycle and test it now. Thanks for asking.

25. Time for gratitude, reflection, and reorienting « Blogorithm (logB) - December 17, 2012

[…] Deshon Family Christmas Letter […]

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