Thank you to all who shared your hearts, time, support, and stories this week.

There's been an almost overwhelming generosity of spirit. We have been so deeply moved by all the beautiful people who just showed up and stepped in without ever being asked. We know who you are, and you do too.

Jason's heart and liver have given two others a second-chance at life. We're unsurprised by his generosity and grateful to have had the chance to squeeze his warm hand and feel his strong pulse as we've started the journey of saying goodbye.

We like to believe his heart is still beating for two boys, one twin, and the beautiful extended family we've seen in action this week.

Deepest appreciation and love. We miss you, Jason.

No one of us knows all of Jason. Share any memories, photos or videos that capture *your* Jason here.

At Karson's request, we will capture these memories in books, and we will treat anything you choose to share with care.

Jason Borup—father, son, brother, coach, teacher, friend to all—died in St. George, Utah, on May 25 after suffering a cardiac arrest. Jason, as ever, was a warm light who drew people to him. A big personality, calmer of babies, and a coach and teacher who really cared. A guy who might look intimidating rolling in on his Harley but who we all knew was really just a big softie.

Jason was born on April 17, 1977, about ten minutes after his womb-mate Angela. His childhood in Ogden was all neighborhood games (Ollie ollie in come free!) and homemade Big Wheel jumps and crabapple fights and sleepovers on the trampoline all summer and sleigh riding all winter. We will not soon forget that time he lit a fire under the house like Indiana Jones or the infamous Bomb in the Junkyard incident.

A move to Fillmore just in time for middle school took some adjustment, but before long he embraced the small town life, and the small town embraced him. His size, speed, and agility on the basketball court didn’t hurt. His teammates remember him as a brother and protector: “He didn't start fights, but he sure knew how to end them.” Off the court Jason and his pals were always off exploring Fillmore Canyon, skiing Elk Meadows, rocking out at concerts, and camping in the red rocks. Whatever the day’s hijinks, Jason seemed to come through unscathed—except for the tumble down the bleachers that landed him with two broken wrists and matching fluorescent pink casts.

Jason was recruited for basketball at Sonoma State University, but soon returned to Utah and graduated from Southern Utah University in 1999. Jason, brave soul that he was, taught and coached middle school kids from Ogden to St. George for the rest of his life. He may not have always gotten his grades in on time, but he was always there for the outcasts and the left behind. And after-hours, he coached basketball with what a fellow coach describes as “an infectious, passionate and yes sometimes loud talent for motivating players to do their best.”

Above all, Jason was a devoted dad. He was never not thinking about his sons, Karson and Jayce, whom he loves fiercely. Jason is survived by family far too numerous to list and dear friends from every phase of his life, one of whom put it this way: “His humor and positivity were infectious, reminding us all that life, irrespective of its setbacks, should be lived with laughter and gusto.”

Go in peace, His Dudeness.


Jason wrote the following about his life in 2015.

I had a great childhood growing up at 3424 Iowa Ave. in Ogden, Utah. My name is Jason Stewart Borup, and I am the youngest twin of the first set of kids born as a result of my parents’ second marriages. Now if you can make sense of that, you are smarter than most. Simply said, my family is complicated. Growing up, I never was completely sure of my actual name. I was constantly referred to as “Mark, Mel, Lance, Whatever Your Name Is.” Needless to say, my father had a difficult time with names and far too many sons. Our house was regularly visited by children from my father’s first marriage, but the constants were Steve, Chris, Lisa (the set from my mother’s first marriage), Angela (the twin I kicked out of the womb), and Jered. Now that I have painted a vague, yet Bergonesque family tree, we can now move into some fond, yet exaggerated stories of my childhood.

3424 Iowa Ave. is a monstrosity of a house that sits on top of two and a half large hills that settle into an open yard that offers endless grass clippings with a garden that produces even more weeds. It has been debated for many years as to whether I am truly allergic to cut grass, but I learned early on that I was going to need relief from the tremendous workload placed on us children. Luckily, the swollen eyes were evidence enough to persuade my parents that my body was throwing in the towel when only half of the yard’s grass clippings had been collected. This did not sit well with the siblings, and a sense of resentment settled within each remaining pile of grass. Unfortunately, my body failed me when it came to pulling weeds from the gigantic garden that supplied my family with tremendous amounts of fruits and vegetables. Row after row of vegetables needed to be weeded,and this required weekly attention. Since my eyes had failed to puff up, I quickly learned that the peas were the place for me. Pull one weed, pull one peapod. Crack it open, enjoy each pea one at a time, and then pull another weed. Repeating this process allowed me to enjoy the product of our labor with minimal dirt getting under my nails.

The yard, once manicured, produced endless entertainment. Our yard conjoined with the Whites’ yard, which conjoined with the Gonters’ yard and so on. This created the ultimate neighborhood gaming environment. Kick-the-Can became the norm throughout the summer nights. Downhill Big Wheel racing eventually led to downhill Schwinn jumping. Climbing the cherry tree and picking peach plums supplied our hungry bellies. Building towns in the sand box using matchbox cars and Monopoly houses always ended with major flooding. The trampoline produced intense competitions to see who had mastered the next greatest trick. And this was just the summer months. Winter brought major sledding and tubing down the hills into the lower yard. There were multiple tracks, and each provided a different skill level. There was always a jump on the second hill that led to many tears, but we just could not resist. Kick-the-Can was replaced with Fox and the Hound. No matter the time of year, there were always kids around and we played until the sun went down.

Wasatch Elementary,two blocks away, provided my education through the fifth grade. I have great memories of the Halloween carnivals and Principal Bergeson. Our janitor, Bruce, was a big, strong teddy bear who watched over us in the hallways. Due to my height advantage growing up, I quickly became the tetherball champion, and I wasn’t too bad at four square and eight square either. As much fun as the neighborhood yards were, recess was in a league of its own. The playground was comprised of one death trap after another. Obstacle courses were constantly being determined and raced. The Oaks in the southeast corner of the upper field were forbidden, but became a place to hide and create forts. We were Wildcats and we acted accordingly.

The Weber State Wildcats were my team. My dad was a professor at Weber, and he loved Wildcat football and basketball. We went to every home game, and we bled purple. The campus became the ultimate bike course, and we always loaded our pockets with quarters for the arcade. Summer basketball camps and fireworks at the duck pond were annual events. Dad always had candy bars in his office, so we were always motivated to swing by for a little visit. The building always seemed so humongous to me and a little scary at night. As I grew older, I learned to appreciate the college setting and knew that I definitely wanted to be a college student one day.

During the fourth grade, my parents divorced and we were now different than our peers. Divorce was not the norm then, and all my friends had both parents. Mr. McLean, my fourth grade teacher, recognized this and decided to move with the Borup twins into the fifth grade. As I look back on his decision to provide us a father figure within the school, I am truly grateful for his understanding and care. After the fifth grade, we were heading to Fillmore, Utah to begin the next phase of our lives. Ogden would continue to play an important part in my life because my father continued to live there and he never missed his visitation. Even with our move to Fillmore, Dad drove seven hours roundtrip every other Friday and another seven hours roundtrip that Sunday. This dedication to be a part of his children’s lives has resonated with me and taught me a great deal about the importance of fatherhood.

Moving from Ogden to Fillmore proved to be a challenging transition. This became evident on the first night when my mom informed us that there wasn’t a McDonalds and we would be forced to eat at Winget’s. The next major shock came when I showed up to Mr. Giles’ classroom without completing my homework. I was placed in a line with my fellow irresponsible peers, and one by one we were asked to grab our ankles. With a smile on his face, Mr. Giles would bring down the wrath of two taped together yardsticks. Unfortunately for me, each teacher had their own unique motivation tool. Luckily, I learned very quickly it was in my best interest to complete any and all homework.

After spending the 6th grade running with the “less desirable,” I began to play basketball, and the jocks of the grade took notice of my ability. This truly steered my life in a much better direction, and created an environment where I was no longer viewed as an outsider. The basketball gym became my second home and my teammates became my friends. From 7th grade on, basketball played a huge role in my life, and every summer I would travel from one basketball camp to the next. I found peace within the gym and loved lying on the bleachers with closed eyes, just listening to sounds of the game. It didn’t matter if I was at the University of Utah team camp, the Nike Pump camp in Los Angeles, or the Blue Chip camp in Kentucky, the game always sounded the same.

Fillmore offered a unique environment. To the west you have the desert and volcano rock, and to the east you have the mountains and river. Camping became a favorite, and I spent a lot of time exploring Millard County. Jack rabbit hunting in the fields, bonfires in the desert, and campfires in the mountains became the norm. Rollerblading, exploring abandoned buildings, and ringing the statehouse bell were just a few of the things we did within our town limits.

Small-town life is one in which the village does in fact raise the children. Throughout the years my village family grew and included many influential families: Roper, Cummings, Nez, and Belliston. It seemed like every store or restaurant had a familiar face willing to give an endless amount of free food and drink. Everyone knew everyone’s business and no one cared. A trip down Main Street would lead to a night of friends and fun. Growing up in Fillmore was truly a blessing. My time there was full of adventure and great people. Once I graduated high school and moved on to college, my time in Fillmore became more and more limited. Eventually my mother moved back to Ogden and I no longer had roots in Fillmore. Although I no longer go to stay in Fillmore, it is extremely difficult to drive by without stopping in for some chicken and potato logs and “take a Main” as I continue toward my destination.

After a short enrollment at Sonoma State and Snow College, Southern Utah University became my home. I thoroughly enjoyed my educational experience. My professors challenged me and my ability to think and reason grew tremendously. After many attempts to determine my educational path, the Secondary Education Department became my headquarters. My grandmother, mother, and father were all educators, and now I too would add to the list of teachers within my family.

College life was an opportunity to get out on my own and experience the “real world.” The day I moved into the Willowbrook Apartments was exciting and scary. Coming from small-town Fillmore and hearing gangster rap pumping out of our neighbors apartment seemed like two different universes were going to collide. You can imagine my surprise when a group of innocent girls came running out to meet their new neighbors. The rules of attraction are difficult to understand, but this country boy quickly fell for a gangster from New Jersey.

Come to find out, Kara Remington was not a gangster; however, she was an elementary education major with a family almost as complicated as my own. We began to spend more and more time with one another, and began planning a future together. We married August 14, 1999.

I taught within the inner-city of Ogden, and I grew to love the diversity and culture I found at school. I was hired to teach at Mound Fort Middle School (the same school my mom taught at years ago) and quickly learned that education wasn’t the number one priority for these students. My six years at Mound Fort allowed me to fully appreciate the life I had been given by my parents. Unfortunately, I felt like a disciplinarian more than an educator, but I learned to appreciate these students and realized that they needed guidance more than anything. My dad would come by the school every few days and take me to lunch. We really created a strong bond and lived in the same community for the first time since the divorce.

On May 26, 2003, Karson Merz Borup joined our family. Within the first few months, I managed to lock myself out of our house while Karson screamed bloody murder, and I left him in the car while I caught up with my twin sister. Fortunately, my fatherly instincts began to kick in and my life was forever changed. It was amazing to watch Karson grow and develop and my love for him grew each and every day.

Jayce Hamilton Borup was born October 9, 2005. My father had been dealing with prostate cancer, and he passed away the previous morning. I went from my father’s death bed to my son’s birth in under 16 hours. Needless to say, my emotions were all over the place.

With my father’s death and my mother’s departure on her mission, our family moved to St. George. Gradually, the Borups found their niche and St. George began to feel like home. The boys have grown to love youth sports and support the local high school athletics. I work hard in order to play hard, and I am always running our family from one vacation to the next.

Carpe Diem.