Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Absent Friends of 2015

Time to take a look back at all those Absent Friends that The Grandstander saluted in 2015.  These are people whose deaths were noteworthy to me because they were important people in sports, entertainment, history, pop culture, or people who I just found, for one reason or another, to be interesting.  As always, I salute the late, great sportswriter Red Smith, who always used the term "Absent Friends" when he wrote about the death of someone.

Here is the final roll call:

Edward Herrmann
Donna Douglass
Mario Cuomo
Rod Taylor
Anita Eckberg
Tony Verna
Ernie Banks
Billy Casper
Dean Smith
Ed Sabol
Gary Glick
Lesley Gore
Chuck Bednarik
Cynthia Lennon
Ray Graves
Dan Farrell
Sid Tepper
B.B. King
Kathy Kerestes
Ken Stabler
Alex Rocco
Frank Gifford
Melody Patterson
Judy Carne
Moses Malone
Yogi Berra
Patty Nelson
Charles Herbert
Wendy King
Marjorie Lord
Elizabeth Wilson
Ray Matthews

Among the 32 names above you will see the name Patty Nelson.  Patty was a fellow volunteer with Marilyn and I at the Highmark Caring Place, who passed away suddenly and quickly this year.  The children with whom she worked at the Caring Place loved Patty, as did the Staff and her fellow volunteers.  Her death came so suddenly and unexpectedly, that it rocked all of us who worked with her.  For Marilyn and I, at least, Patty was very much on our minds as we celebrated this Christmas Holiday season, and her memory reminded us of how precious the time given to each of us is.  Even after her death, we were learning from Patty Nelson.  We miss her so much.

Rest in Peace to all of all of the Absent Friends in each of our lives.

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