Jason Echevarria

Born on January 3, 1972 in Fort Benning, Georgia
Departed November 27, 2023 in Melbourne, Florida

Jason Echevarria, 51, of Melbourne Village, Florida, passed away suddenly on Monday, November 27, 2023, at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Florida.

He was born January 3, 1972, at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was raised primarily in Brevard County, graduating from Melbourne High School in 1990. He was a member of the Mel-Hi Band, playing trumpet and French horn. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the United States Navy and had recently retired in 2020 after 30 years of faithful service to his country. He also earned a degree in Mass Communications from Coastline College.

Jason is survived by his beloved wife Cathy Echevarria, whom he married in a tiny ceremony in Melbourne Beach as things were shutting down due to COVID-19; son Jeremy Echevarria of Rio Rancho, NM; daughter Keenan Jackson (Cory) of Melbourne; mother Margaret Seguna (Edward) of New Smyrna Beach; father Alberto Echevarria (Chris) of Las Cruces, NM; grandmother Aletha McIntire of Winston-Salem, NC; siblings Elizabeth Fernandez (Charlie) of Miami; Amber Echevarria of Raleigh, NC; Sam Echevarria (Derek Janisch) of the Netherlands; Mandy Echevarria (Keith Conner) of Vero Beach; step-siblings EJ Seguna of Florida and Tia Gius (Gannon) of New Smyrna Beach; stepdaughters Allison Burnsed of Orlando and Laura Burnsed of Tallahassee; father-in-law and mother-in-law Bill and Carol Gardenour of Caledonia, MI; sister-in-law Karen Koedam (Kevin) of Hastings, MI; and his beloved young grandchildren Jameson and Bailey Jackson of Melbourne, whose short memories of their “Bumpa” will live on in photos and videos. In addition, he is survived by many loving aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, and a niece. There are so many special friends but his best man for the wedding-that-wasn’t was to be Jeremy Mabe.

His Naval career led him across the globe, including 17.5 years aboard 8 different ships (USS Prairie, Sacramento, Rainier, Pinckney, Boxer, Antietam, Bunker Hill, and Iwo Jima). He chased down deserters for two years out of Naval Station Great Lakes, IL. He was stationed at NSA Headquarters, Fort Meade, MD on 9/11. He entered the Navy as a Boatswain’s Mate but was later selected to be a Cryptologic Technician. He advanced to Senior Chief and commissioned to officer, ultimately achieving the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4; “almost a unicorn,” as he said. He had many stories to share from his vast experiences and reveled in telling them.

Jason was an uncommonly intelligent man who enjoyed teaching others, and he frequently offered “unsolicited advice” whether it was appreciated or not. This was directed toward co-workers, supervisors, as well as family and friends. It didn’t matter if someone was going to get mad; if you were not doing the right thing, or if he saw a problem or better solution, he would let you know. He would also help anyone with anything. He went above and beyond to be a friend to all.

He loved the challenge and excitement of adventure and that included sailing. From a young age, his grandparents took him sailing. That encouraged him to live aboard his beloved sailboat Wakuu for many years at Fiddler’s Cove Marina in San Diego, where he made numerous lifelong friends. He also loved to travel to new places. While his career took him to places like Singapore and Hong Kong, he preferred organizing his own trips where he could plan fun and interesting pit stops along the route using ideas from Roadside America and Atlas Obscura. He took Cathy on a 4,000 mile, two week, whirlwind car tour while they were dating simply because he wanted her to share in the awe that is the western U.S.A. They also traveled to Europe to visit Keenan and Cory, and spent two weeks on the island of Grenada last year. He had so many plans to continue traveling the world with Cathy that were quieted on November 27; however, his final trip will occur when his ashes are scattered at sea by one of the U.S. Pacific Fleet ships on which he served, per his wishes.

His varied interests included his Cuban, Scottish, and Southern heritage, outdoor activities, diving, playing bar trivia, riding Cosmic Rewind at Epcot, SpaceX launches, video games, Depeche Mode music, and reading science fiction and history. He was passionate about debating politics, the Constitution, cheese, military life, the extent of Epstein’s client list, and countless other topics. He knew a lot about a lot of things.

Jason was a man who thoroughly enjoyed his life, his family, and his many friends he made along the way. He adored being a Bumpa to his 3 year old grandson and infant granddaughter, and the job suited him very well. Jason enjoyed keeping in touch with former classmates, co-workers, and friends through social media as well as making them laugh or roll their eyes when he sent them their daily memes. He wants to remind everyone that 1) Epstein didn’t kill himself, and 2) You have other choices; you don’t have to keep voting for the same two bozos.

A Celebration of Life will occur on Monday, December 11, 2023 beginning at 10:30 AM at Suntree United Methodist Church, followed by Full Military Honors at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery at 2:30 PM the same day. Donations in his honor are suggested to: SailFuture.org, iEmpathize.org, or OutwardBound.org. The family thanks you for loving Jason as much as they did.

“The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labors hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective.” – Henry David Thoreau

Guestbook Entry

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17 entries.
Michelle McCoy from Bristow wrote on December 11, 2023:
You will be missed more than you know!! Thank you for all the sailing and being the best deployment husband ever!!
The Chavez Family from Vancouver wrote on December 10, 2023:
There are no words to say in a time like this to make you all feel better. We are so incredibly sorry for your tremendous loss. Know that Jason was loved and his legacy will live on in all of you. We are here if you need anything.
Greg Hansen from New Haven, Kentucky wrote on December 6, 2023:
What an awesome tribute Cathy! I met Jason onboard the USS ANTIETAM and he played a pivotal role during my Induction to Chief Petty Officer. After he got his Commission, I knew exactly who I was going to call up to be my Retirement Officer when I retired in May 2014. In the Navy, we make lifelong friends who we call FAMILY. We might not always talk and see each other, but Facebook has been great to keep us in touch with friends and family. We can pick up right where we left off! Was just posting something this morning about how I could always count on Jason to say something snarky on my posts, whether it was just a meme or something political. You are missed so much Brother. You were loved by MANY‼️
Kathy DeAngel from Charlotte, NC wrote on December 5, 2023:
Jason was a kind soul. We met in High School where we were in band together. We used to have conversations in our down time that always left me thinking. He introduced me to Phantom of the Opera. We fell out of touch after high school only to reconnect years later through Facebook. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet up with him a couple times a few years ago. It was so easy to just talk about whatever;he was a great conversationalist. Farewell, friend. I am a better person to have known you.
Kelly Sica wrote on December 5, 2023:
I was so sad to hear of Jasons passing, my heart and love are with his entire family! I’ll miss his insightful, funny and hilarious posts!!!
Jacqueline Babcock from East Lansing wrote on December 5, 2023:
A bright light gone out too soon. Love to Cathy and his family.
Carrie (Tripp) Johnson from San Diego wrote on December 5, 2023:
Any loss of a friend cuts deep, but when it's the loss of a kindred spirit who was unapologetically himself it is even more profound. Jason was my last boss in the Navy, but he was so much more than just someone I worked for...he was a friend, big brother, partner in crime, advisor, and sometimes just a buddy who was locked out of the office and in need of rescue who I was happy to help regardless of the hour. Jason and I had so many ridiculous conversations over the 18 months I worked for him while on LIMDU. I will be forever grateful to Jeremy for the introduction and to the both of them for rescuing me from ending up somewhere as a babysitter without a true job. Jason was happy to have someone else up in the SCIF on the hill to help with the workload in updating the space to meet current requirements and I was happy to have a project to throw myself into as I rehabbed from a career ending injury. Reading through our messages from my first day through more recent conversations about home building, there are so many times I've smiled through the tears about how many times we covered for each other, teased one another, joked about anything and everything (nothing was off limits), and just enjoyed our time as coworkers and friends. One of the must haves on my home building list for the future is a nice guest suite and an RV pad with full hookups in the hopes that Jason and Cathy will come through and stay for awhile. My heart breaks for Cathy and the rest of Jason's family in this loss, I too was hoping for many more years with this irreplaceable man. All I can say is that I hope the memories and experiences we all shared will shape the way we live out the rest of our years and love those who mean the most to us as tomorrow is never guaranteed. I hope my own travels will cross paths with Cathy as I'd love to get to know her. May God bless you all as you learn to live on without Jason lighting the way.
Allen Forrest from Los Angeles wrote on December 5, 2023:
Rest in peace Big Guy! You will be missed, thanks for stopping my store in Dothan!!
Shawn Guidry from New Smyrna Beach, FL wrote on December 5, 2023:
Jason was one of those friends that I only got to see once in awhile, but every time it was like we’d seen each other yesterday. He was very generous, but the things I liked about him best were that he was nerdy about everything; politics, electronic gadgets, and trivia. While I didn’t always agree with his political posts, I enjoyed that he took no prisoners on either side of the aisle. Jason and Cathy to me fit like a hand and glove. They’re both funny, witty and generous. I’m thankful they were fortunate to spend life together. Which makes it even harder to watch as Cathy goes through this hard journey of loss. In the end though, they’re lucky to have found each other. Fair winds and following seas, brother. Rest easy. We have the watch now.
Gustavo "Flo" Flores from Port Orchard, WA wrote on December 5, 2023:
Jason and I met and 'chased' together in Great Lakes, IL. We had trips that took us into the nooks and cranny's of America. We were neighbors who spent time on weekends cooking out and bs'ing. We linked up in San Diego and Seattle to catch up and talk of old times. There was talk of visiting him and his wife Cathy in FL. We each knew Jason, 'Etch,' in our own way. Etch was not mysterious. His straightforward personality would not allow it. He was genuine with a kind soul, open and honest... sometimes to a fault. I always knew where he stood on a matter and his stances were always well-thought. I enjoyed Etch's company, always making the most of the limited time we had. We served. We sailed. We went to sporting games. Etch was a good man. I miss him.
Amy Grathen from Grand Rapids Michigan wrote on December 5, 2023:
My cousin Cathy I so wish I could be there in person. I only met Jason once briefly at my wedding, but know he made you so happy. Much love and hugs from your Michigan family.
Angie Grimes from Little Rock wrote on December 5, 2023:
Jason, You were an enigma. (I figured you could appreciate that double entendre). Your impact can be felt across the globe and I just know God needed you a little sooner because you were one of his best and brightest. Rest easy friend. We have the watch. -Angie
Rico Remigio from Aledo wrote on December 5, 2023:
Jason, though we never met in person, I enjoyed our chats on Facebook talking about concerts. You were loved by many. Fair winds and following seas Brother.
Glen 'RED" Redmond from King George Virginia wrote on December 5, 2023:
Jason... where to start... Cathy, I am beyond happy that you guys found each other and were able to enjoy time together. Now he can watch over you and keep you safe. Jason, I will miss you. Although we did not keep in constant contact we could just pick up and talk life everything was just yesterday. You always brought a smile to my face, with your words and humor. To say I lost a good friend is an under statement. I love you brother.
Steve Chaney from Pleasanton, Tx wrote on December 5, 2023:
THank you Jason for your Friendship! You were such a nice guy and I always enjoyed talking and visiting with you in San Diego. Rest in Peace Buddy! God Bless!
Jennifer Wood from Las Cruces wrote on December 5, 2023:
I know we will meet again, dear friend. Thank you for being honest and caring. You always brought a loving attitude and new perspectives to our visits and chats. Fair winds my friend.
Karen Koedam from Hastings wrote on December 5, 2023:
This perfectly captures who Jason was to those of us who knew him. Those who didn't will wish they had. I'm really going to miss that guy, so very much.
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