Jonathon Marolf


In Loving Memory of Jonathon Marolf

image of Jonathon Marolf



Early Years

Born in Scottsdale, AZ and then moving up to beautiful Prescott, AZ, Jonathon was exceptional from the start. He drew a crowd at a museum in Chicago at just 2 years of age by naming every whale on a mural. He would often ask other kids on the playground if they were able to talk yet, and he devoured books. (A habit he never gave up.) He used to remark that you didn’t need to attend college if you could read books. He truly was passionate about learning. Dinosaurs, sea life, and science fiction were some of his favorite subjects.  Being ahead as usual, he fully understood and accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord of his life at age 4.

He took to many things as he grew up. He delighted crowds in various theater productions and had a beautiful voice, if you were lucky enough to hear him sing. He also won science fairs with projects like “How to make a hover craft from household items”.

In junior high, his humor and creativity came into full bloom. He had a natural aptitude for using words and ideas in a quick and inventive way that made everyone laugh and enjoy life that much more. He had a passion for writing books and developing characters, as well as spending countless hours documenting his 8th grade year in a video as a gift to his classmates. His creativity seemed limitless, which is a rarity for someone with such a mind. He said, ultimately, the thing he didn’t even know existed, being a complier, was the most creative outlet he could have dreamed of.

Jonathon was also devoted to his family. While making gingerbread houses, dancing in the kitchen, laughing together watching the latest sci-fi movie, analyzing plots, all while the rest of us were trying to keep up with his wit and intelligence, he kept us smiling. We will always hold these memories as precious treasures.

In High School, he doubled down by taking college classes and studied with a professional to improve his SAT score with the goal of getting into MIT. God had better plans for him, though. He graduated from Embry Riddle University in 2010 and after interning there for a summer, accepted a position at Microsoft. Other interns were from prestigious schools, but he could still intellectually spar with the best of them. Jonathon’s success was following his passion and maintaining an impressive work ethic.


Life in Kirkland, WA

One year after arriving at Microsoft, Jonathon had saved up enough money to buy a house. He had no idea what this house would come to mean to so many. He opened his home to a long list of roommates, some that lived there for free or paying what they could.

In 2013, Jonathon connected with Young Life in Redmond indicating an interest to be involved. For the next 10 years, he poured his life into kids at Redmond High School and had so much fun with the other volunteers who became fast friends. In Young Life, Jonathon was able to connect his love for people, quick wit, humor, and creative nature with his faith and advocacy for anyone who needed a little boost in life. He had coffee with student’s parents, texted students early in the morning, bribed them with donuts to show up for a weekly Bible study, and often tutored a handful of them at a time. He went to camps and got away with many (mostly) harmless pranks. He helped kids get settled in their dorms when they graduated and some even came back to serve with him as Young Life leaders. His house was never locked, and all were welcome. His influence for Christ, his compassion, listening skills, lack of judgment, and commitment changed many lives.

Jonathon also loved his world at Microsoft. He worked on the .NET compiler and tools team at Microsoft for over a decade. His quiet humility is outweighed by the magnitude of his professional achievements. Jon’s code, much of which is open source, stands as a testament to his incredible dedication and skill. His software touches billions of people’s lives every day, running on every Windows computer, Xbox, phones and tablets, refrigerators, and millions of devices in The Cloud. Jon was a tireless advocate for the experience that end users have when they use software. He always challenged everyone around him to keep the user in mind, and not to get lost in technical details, no matter how complex they may be. A seasoned developer would tell you, his contributions to code and software design surpass what many achieve in a lifetime. Jon’s influence wasn’t confined to code; he selflessly mentored countless individuals, shaping careers and lives. Every year he took interns and new hires under his wing and taught them everything from the simplest installation questions to how to write an awkward email to your boss. In particular, he spent countless hours helping people overcome Imposter Syndrome, constantly encouraging them, and reminding them that they belong. Jon also kept things light around the workplace. He never missed an opportunity to make others laugh, pointing out how ridiculous some things could be. He reinforced a working culture where it was okay to have some fun and enjoy each other. The memes, pranks, and laughter that his colleagues shared with Jon over many years is one of the most cherished parts of their professional lives.

He was a hero, a dear friend, and role model to many.

As many know, he was not the best at texting or responding in a timely manner, but he was 100% present when he was with you. Now that we have a more enlightened understanding of his vast social circle and intense contributions at Microsoft, we have come to find out that he barely had time to sleep.

What is hard for all of us, is that he was a very private person. Always willing to be generous with his time and money, but it was extremely difficult for him to receive. His unexpected death that resulted from acute appendicitis and infection was the final example of this.

“He left too soon”, as his sweet niece (who was the love of his life) said in her prayer the day he died. We miss him so deeply. We want to continuously talk about him and remember the laughter. Always remember the laughter.

In his almost 36 years of life, he lived fully and contributed more than most who live longer. He is a constant reminder to be present with others; reach out, be generous and laugh.

He is survived by his mother and stepfather: Jay and Kathi Loesche; father and stepmother: Todd and Kelli Marolf; His two sisters and brother-in-law: Caroline and J Mendl and Elizabeth Alexander; The love of his life, his niece: Naomi Mendl and stepbrother: Matthew Johnson.

Celebration of Life

Saturday, September 9th at 4:30p

Salt House Church: 11920 NE 80th St, Kirkland, WA 98033

(Additional parking can be found at Lake Washington High School across the street)

Attire: Come as you are or as you like.

Graphic tees and dinosaur shirts are a welcome tribute to our friend.

Reception Party

Following the service, all are welcome at:

Red Barn Farm: 5703 208th Ave NE, Redmond, WA 98053

Appetizers provided, cash bar and a food truck will be available

Jon would want us to have fun, laugh, and share stories… so we will.

Tribute in Honor of Jonathon

In lieu of flowers, we, his family, are asking for donations to Northlake Young Life, which he poured his time, energy, and soul into.

You can donate and add a message here:

8 Responses to “Jonathon Marolf”

  • Carol Edwards says:

    Such a beautiful, priceless treasure this tribute will always be for you, Kathi, for your family, and for loved ones and special friends. Sending you our deepest condolences and our prayers for comfort and strength during this heart crushing time. We also celebrate with you the amazing person Jonathan was! What a lasting blessing his heart, talents, and generosity have left on so many lives. Much love to you, Carol and family

  • Keith Garfield says:

    So sad to hear of Jon’s passing. He was such a great person to have in the classroom, with his mix of intelligence, humor, and kindness.

  • Massood Towhidnejad (Dr.T) says:

    I had the pleasure of getting to know him, when he joined Embry-Riddle as a freshman, and working with him throughout his time at ERAU. Beyond being a very smart and enthusiastic students inside and outside of the classroom, he was always a pleasure to be around. He always had that infectious smile on his face, even at the times that projects was not going the way he/we wanted. This is a big lost. My deepest condolences to the family.

  • Richard Stansbury says:

    I had Jon in my two-term capstone design course and later traveled with him to Toronto for the EcoCar Year One finals. Over that time, I saw Jon as very smart, motivated for his career in software engineering, and generally fun to be around. Learning about his passing this morning was definitely a gut punch. He will be missed.

    Our EECS department chair, Dr. T, has shared this news with others in our EECS family. You can check it out at:

  • Katie Bendel Spencer says:

    Sending so much love to all of Jonathon’s family and friends. I am thinking of you today, on Jonathon’s birthday and the day of his celebration of life – especially Caroline, J, Naomi, Kathi, Jay, and Elizabeth. My heart is with you all. I’ll be celebrating Jonathon virtually today from Texas. May we all continue to remember him and carry him in our hearts today and always.

  • Katie Bendel Spencer says:

    Sending so much love to all of Jonathon’s family and friends. I am thinking of you especially today, on Jonathon’s birthday and the day of his celebration of life. Caroline, J, Naomi, Kathi, Jay, and Elizabeth – my heart is with you all. I’ll be celebrating Jonathon virtually today from Texas. May we all continue to remember him and carry him in our hearts today and always.

  • Enrique says:

    Jon took my YoungLife group to Canyon back in 2021 and we all had a lot of fun. One of my favorite memories from that trip was before bed, when Jon got us all playing Mafia. He got us all so invested with his amazing storytelling and dramatic effect. I am truly grateful for the time I got to spend with Jon.

  • Stranger from Switzerland says:

    I travelled today by train and I found a Swiss ID card with name “Jon Harry Marolf. I started searching the internet to find a person whom I can message and give an information that his ID is missing. Unfortunately it was not him, but I stayed to read his story nevertheless.

    I relate to him by being a Software Engineer myself and I am deeply saddened by the fact that Jonathon passed away at such a young age. My condolences to the friends and family of his. May his code be prevalent and provide joy to anyone who reads, runs and forks it.


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