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:
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.