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Jon Byron Bessent

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“Jon.I can't believe he is no longer with Us. What a nice person. He was warm, friendly and had this homespun way of steering you off a bad idea. I...Read More »
1 of 32 | Posted by: George Barry - Smithtown, NY

“Im so sorry Jon passed away he made the best guitar pedals in the world. ”
2 of 32 | Posted by: George Frank - Bronx NY, NY

“Jon, Thank you eternally for your friendship and for making my amp sound the way it does. I will miss seeing you at the shop and will never forget...Read More »
3 of 32 | Posted by: Jeff Martin - Austin, TX

“I am happy to say that I talked to Jon a number of times when he was advising me about my amp and fixing my amp. I loved his prescence in the store...Read More »
4 of 32 | Posted by: Doug Marsh - Austin, TX

“You always knew if Jon was in the crowd at a musical or social event. You'd smell the vanilla tobacco. Whenever that happened I'd go looking for...Read More »
5 of 32 | Posted by: Cynthia Tannehill Faulk Ryland - TX

“I will always treasure the memories of playing with Jon in Gan Anim, How we would hit crazy hot licks me on the bodhran and Jon on guitar and how...Read More »
6 of 32 | Posted by: Bob Ryland - Cedar Creek, TX

“Deepest felt condolences Merlyn...Jon was a good friend and a great credit to our trade. I will miss his counsel as well as his friendship albeit...Read More »
7 of 32 | Posted by: Bill and Linda Geeslin - GA

“I was going through a box of my assorted guitar parts early last week and came across a small bag containing an exploded bias potentiometer Jon had...Read More »
8 of 32 | Posted by: Mark Hobbs - Austin, TX

“Cousin Jon I will miss your laugh, your sweet smile, your goatee and of course your long pony tail. All of which I can remember when I was a...Read More »
9 of 32 | Posted by: Annemarie Mehlow - Cedar Park, TX

“Jon was one of a kind. I never met a nicer, finer gentleman. He treated a hack musician like me the exact same way he did the professionals: with...Read More »
10 of 32 | Posted by: Dr. Jeff Cunningham - Kyle, TX

“John always had a smile for me every time I came into the shop, always upbeat and offbeat. He knew more about amps than anyone I've ever met, and...Read More »
11 of 32 | Posted by: Don McCalister Jr. - TX

“It's hard to believe this day has come. Jon's spirit was so rich and vibrant. I've played guitar on and off for so many years and Jon has always...Read More »
12 of 32 | Posted by: Jerry Barton - Cedar Park, TX

“Jon always had time to listen to my bull and made me feel like a friend. ”
13 of 32 | Posted by: Pooch Brown - Austin, TX

“Jon my friend, We shared some good laughs over the years, didn't we? You certainly touched a lot of lives, including mine, and I will carry a bit...Read More »
14 of 32 | Posted by: Fredy Argir - Austin, TX

“John was a role modle for all of us to follow. He never had a bad bone in his body and was always uplifting to those around him. He never showed that...Read More »
15 of 32 | Posted by: Heather Pierce - Austin, TX

“I was with unspeakable sorrow when I heard of Jon’s passing, so sudden, too soon. It has been my blessing to have known Jon for over 20 years...Read More »
16 of 32 | Posted by: Brad Mock - Leander, TX

“I met Jon on the internet asking about my guitar amp. He was the first person to right off offer help and to send me a few parts. I have never...Read More »
17 of 32 | Posted by: William Jahnkow - Los Angeles, CA

“Jon always shared a smile, a hello, a hug, tons of advise, solved my electrical Barcus Berry problems, and ALWAYS eager to find the right (and fast)...Read More »
18 of 32 | Posted by: Renita Withrow - Austin, TX

“My heartfelt condolences to the friends and family of Jon. Over the years he was very special to us musicians and techs on the Fender Discussion...Read More »
19 of 32 | Posted by: Eric - NC

“I knew Jon through the "FDP" where he liked to hang out. I also got to speak with him several times over the phone while ordering parts for amp...Read More »
20 of 32 | Posted by: Russell Bertrand - Thompson, CT

“Jon, I learned a ton from you over the last few years on the Fender Discussion Page. You helped to foster an excellent learning environment, and...Read More »
21 of 32 | Posted by: Rolf Torgerson - Alexandria, VA

“I have only known Jon for a few years, but he is the reason that I was able to start my amp repair business. No matter how many of literally...Read More »
22 of 32 | Posted by: Ross Schlichting - San Antonio, TX

“I played with Jon in one of his early bands. He was fun to be around and enjoyed playing guitar. When he played, he was quite intense with...Read More »
23 of 32 | Posted by: Bruce Reilly - Austin, TX

“Dear Merlyn: Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. Due to a previous commitment, my time tomorrow is spoken for; but I will wear the...Read More »
24 of 32 | Posted by: Kate Braun - Austin, TX

“What a terrible loss. Austin will not be the same. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. ”
25 of 32 | Posted by: David Weeks - Austin, TX

“Rachel and Jana and Family: I am so sorry to hear of Jon's passing. Please take comfort in the fact that he was loved greatly and admired for his...Read More »
26 of 32 | Posted by: Judy Scogin - Round Rock, TX

“I've known Jon for going on 20 years now. He was a fine gentleman, generous and kind. He will be missed by the Austin music community and the world...Read More »
27 of 32 | Posted by: Carson Gallagher - Austin, TX

“Dear Cousin Jean and David, Thanks for letting me know of Jon's passing. I never knew him, but he must've been a wonderful friend and brother...and...Read More »
28 of 32 | Posted by: Becka Saunders - Boone, NC

“Dear Merlyn, We are close friends of David and Jean. We are very sorry to hear about Jon's passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and...Read More »
29 of 32 | Posted by: Jan Sajdak & Phil Mossbarger - TX

“I have fond memories of Jon from Anderson High School. Although I have not seen Jon since we graduated in 1971, I want to say to the family that I...Read More »
30 of 32 | Posted by: Kay Jones-Peoples - TX

“My sincere condolences to Merlyn and all of Jon's family. Jon always greeted me with warm kindness and a twinkle in his eye. His passing has deeply...Read More »
31 of 32 | Posted by: Linda Mock - Leander, TX

“Merlyn and all of Jon's family please accept my condolences. I've know Jon since the mid 80's and remember many a night sitting around listening to...Read More »
32 of 32 | Posted by: Larry Luckenbach - Marble Falls, TX


Jon Byron Bessent, musician and electronics technician, died Tuesday, June 23, 2009. Jon was born November 8, 1952, in Pecos, Texas. He was the son of Dr. E. Wailand Bessent and Rachel Pfluger Bessent, both now of Austin. Jon attended McCallum High School in Austin for a year, but graduated from the "old" Anderson High School in 1971. He worked at several Austin bicycle shops and in the early 1970s was co-owner of The Bike Shop. He later attended classes at Austin Community College, earned a first-class FCC license, and began repairing and servicing TVs. In 1980 he went to work for Texas Instruments where, among other things, he built power supplies for NASA and NORAD projects. In 1990, Jon – a guitarist who played both electric and acoustic guitar – took up his preferred career of fixing guitar amps, working at Musical Exchange. In 1997, he co-founded Austone Electronics, and in 2001 he and his wife, Merlyn, set up Tonecraft Amp Repair. Jon played with several bands over the years, playing a wide variety of music ranging from rock to Irish traditional to country music. Many people might recognize him as the guitar player for the Irish traditional band Gan Ainm, and as one of the musicians who attended weekly Irish tune sessions at O'Brien's Café (later Senor O'Brien's Café) for more than a decade. Jon's gifts included the ability to attract interesting friends and to connect them to others. He was witty, knowledgeable, and philosophical, and had a way of saying unexpected things that could touch your heart. He is remembered not only by his immediate family – his beloved wife, Merlyn; his father, Wailand; his mother, Rachel; his brother, David Bessent, and wife Jean; his sister, Jana Pankratz, and husband, Carl; and his step-brother, Bill Smith – but also by many other family members, friends, band members, customers, and fans. Memorial services will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 27th at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, North Lamar location.