This obituary originally appeared on O’Neill Hayes Funeral Home.

Jon Heon, of Newport, RI passed away from complications of a stroke on January 26, 2021. He was 66 years old.

Jon was born in Hartford, CT. and raised in South Florida. As a young man he sailed his catboat into Newport Harbor and found his true home.  A meticulous woodworker and boat builder driven by his passion for his craft, Jon worked for the Newport Restoration Foundation, Oldport Marine Services and later on his own.

“Catboat Jon” was happiest on the water. For many years he lived aboard his boat Farallone, a wooden launch built in 1918. He knew every sailor and every boat on the waterfront; he helped any boatman in need; and served on the Waterfront Commission.

“The water is wide, I can’t get over, Neither have I light wings to fly.  Build me a boat that can carry two.  And both shall row, my love and I.”

He leaves behind his loving wife Nancy Harley, his cherished cat Boo, and countless friends who mourn his passing.

There will be a Celebration of Jon’s Life next summer. Donations in his memory may be made to the Potter League for Animals, 87 Oliphant Lane, Middletown, RI 02842 or the Seamen’s Church Institute, 18 Market Square, Newport, RI 02840.

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