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Chicago Officer Jonathan Ho, Killed on Motorcycle, Was Devoted to Family

By Howard Ludwig | August 28, 2015 2:40pm | Updated on August 31, 2015 7:59am
 Jonathan Ho, 35, of Mount Greenwood died one day after a motorcycle accident on Monday afternoon. Ho worked for the Chicago Police Department since 2004. He was off-duty at the time of the accident.
Jonathan Ho, 35, of Mount Greenwood died one day after a motorcycle accident on Monday afternoon. Ho worked for the Chicago Police Department since 2004. He was off-duty at the time of the accident.
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MOUNT GREENWOOD — Jonathan Ho, 35, of Mount Greenwood was remembered on Friday as a family man who loved his motorcycle and his Jeeps.

Ho, a 10-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, was taken in critical condition to Advocate Christ Hospital in suburban Oak Lawn on Monday following an off-duty motorcycle accident, according to a police spokesman.

Ho was returning home from work as a patrolman in Auburn Gresham when an SUV turned left in front of his motorcycle. The accident occurred at approximately 2 p.m. in the 9500 block of South Vincennes Avenue in Washington Heights, police said.

Welton Crayton, 62, of the 9800 block of South Peoria Street in Washington Heights, was traveling northbound on Vincennes Avenue at the time of the accident, according to police. Crayton turned his Ford Explorer left onto 95th Street when he struck Ho, who was traveling south on Vincennes on his personal motorcycle, police said.

Crayton on Wednesday was cited for failure to yield, driving on suspended license and operating an uninsured motor vehicle, according to police.

Ho died on Tuesday, leaving behind his wife, Chrissy, and their two children — Brycen, 12, and Taylor, 10. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

Chrissy Ho remembered her husband for his fun-loving nature on Friday evening. She described him as a "man-child" and a "gearhead."

She said her husband often joked about being one of the few Asians living on the Far Southwest Side. Being quick to poke fun at himself was one of the many ways Jon Ho made the folks around him smile.

Ho was also found smiling behind the wheel of one of his 2000 and 2007 Jeeps. He frequently took the vehicles off-roading and always included his children in his love of motorsports, Chrissy Ho said.

"The one Jeep in the garage, he totaled it and bought it back from the insurance company," said Chrissy Ho, adding that he planned to rebuild the vehicle with his son someday.

Howard Ludwig says Ho was killed on his way home from work:

Indeed, Ho put his family first, often working overtime and side jobs to help pay for little extras. His daughter, Taylor, plays softball. His son, Brycen, plays for the St. Jude Knights Hockey Club.

Chrissy Ho said the only time her husband ever missed one of their children's activities was when their two children were playing or practicing at the same time. Then, the strategy was "divide and conquer."

"Family was so very, very important to him," said Jenny Tunno, of Mount Greenwood.

Jon Ho married Chrissy — Tunno's older sister — 12 years ago. He quickly became known as "Uncle Ho-Ho" and earned a reputation as a handyman and devoted father, Tunno said.

"Whenever anything went wrong, we'd call Jon," she said.

On the Sunday before the accident, the two families had a barbecue at Ho's house. They discussed a family road trip for the following summer. Ho's family had returned on Aug. 21 from a vacation in Tennessee.

"They just came back with a bunch of cowboy boots," said Tunno, adding that Ho had taken his family on similar road trips to Washington and Florida.

Jon and Chrissy Ho met while working at the home security company ADT. The couple lived with Chrissy's relatives in Mount Greenwood and later with Jon's family in Ravenswood for a bit to save money to purchase a home, she said.

They returned to Mount Greenwood in 2012, purchasing a house in the area served by Mount Greenwood Elementary School, Tunno said.

Marnie Coyne and her husband Steve, a fellow Chicago police officer, lived on the same block in Mount Greenwood as Jon and Chrissy Ho for several years.

"He had a smile on his face always — an infectious smile, an infectious personality," said Marnie Coyne on Friday.

She said Ho was one of the first people to help shovel snow on the block, clean a neighbor's gutters or — in her case — help a change out a dead car battery.

"He was the type of person that, with this happening, you sit back and say, 'Wow, I wonder if people would say things this nice about me?'" Coyne said.

Ho used to rent motorcycles before purchasing his own Harley-Davidson last year. He recently participated in the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation's 10th Annual Ride to Remember, which raises money for local policemen in need.

Ho was proud to serve as a Chicago Police officer, according to his friends and relatives. And a large crowd is expected at his funeral and memorial service. The outpouring of support from the department already has been amazing, Chrissy Ho said.

"You know the police. Even if they don't know you, they will be there [at the funeral]. It's a common bond," she said.

In a final act of generosity, Ho donated his organs and tissue to help others in medical need, Coyne said.

"Even after death, Jon keeps giving," she said.

Visitation for Jonathan Ho will be held from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday at Blake Lamb Funeral Home in suburban Oak Lawn. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Christina Catholic Church in Mount Greenwood.

He will be buried at Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery in Alsip.

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