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Today in My History

2001: Just Shoot Me
World Wide Journal Web
2003:  Round and Round and Round
2004:  Ghosts
Copy Cats
2006:  Going to Hell

2007: A Claque of Critics   
2008:  A Restful Day
2009:  Saying Goodbye
2010:  Swiss Cheese
2011:  The Third Death
2012: Sunday Stealing

Bitter Hack
: 3/8
"Beauty and the Beast"

Books Read in 2013
 Updated: 3/4
"Buckingham Palace Blues"

Most Recent on My flickr_logo.gif (1441 bytes)

Karen's Wedding

Mirror Site for RSS Feed:
Airy Persiflage

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mail to Walt


11 March 2013

We've made it all the way to March without the sad news of a death of a friend, but our luck ran out today, with this notice posted on Facebook:

It's with great sadness for me and my whole family that I share with you all that my wonderful uncle Bill Dahn passed away today after a sudden medical complication. ... I know you will all miss his thoughtful and humorous posts. He was a ray of light for so many people...his family most of all. Simply, the best uncle anyone could ever hope to have. I love you, Uncle Bill. I know you're at peace now. We will miss you.

BillDahn.jpg (54427 bytes)I've titled this entry "one of the girls," but Bill Dahn was a manly man, and every bit the gentleman.  He describes himself, in his Facebook profile, thusly:

I am a very complicated individual with some personality quirks. I am a very nice man that is kind and intelligent but shy. I am anything but cheap but will use coupons. I've been known to on the same day use coupons at the grocery store and spend five hundred dollars for concert tickets. I'm humorous at times, a deep thinker at times, very compassionate, like solitude as well as being with people. I would really need about ten thousand words to give the whole package about me.

Back in the dark ages of the Internet, when our group began to form on the Women's Issues forum of CompuServe, Bill started dropping in to leave a comment or two.  He was very polite, very supportive, and always apologized for being a man in a women's discussion group, but said that he enjoyed talking about issues with us.

He was concerned that we might feel uncomfortable if he joined us on our first group get together, our "Netstock" in Boulder, Colorado in 1996, but we urged him to come.  We had begun to know him by then and were eager to meet him.  He fit in perfectly, even as the only man in the group.  None of us thought it was odd at all.

We readily accepted him as "one of the girls" and though most of us had husbands who knew about the group and sometimes joined us at Netstock gatherings, Bill was really the only man who ever became one of us.

We had several subsequent Netstocks, including one that Bill hosted in Portland.  Knowing our love for creme brulee, he found us a restaurant with the best creme brulee ever (restaurant is gone now, but I still remember that creme brulee!) and Mary remembers his love of ducks--and his duck pajamas!  "His football team was the Oregon Ducks, and they did extremely well this past season.  Every time they played he would put on his lucky Duck pajamas and sit in his recliner to watch the game".

We were able to meet his parents on that trip and found them lovely people.  Bill's father died in 2003 and he has been devoted to his mother ever since, the son every aging parent would wish for.  She is going to miss him terribly.   As we all know, parents should not have to outlive their children.

BillsMom2.jpg (38110 bytes)This item from his blog, The Dahn Report (which he started in December 2007) shows his concern and care for his mother:

Every year of their marriage at Christmas time dad would buy her Chanel #5 perfume. Even when he had to work two jobs to afford it. When Dad died Mom had to let go of so many things I decided that she still needed the Christmas memory of Dad giving her perfume. Every Christmas I buy a Chanel #5 gift set for Mom. I get a friend whose handwriting mom wouldn't recognize to sign a card that says "With love. Watching over you from heaven. Your husband." On Christmas Eve when mom isn't watching I place the gift under tree. The next morning she always finds it.

.His love for his mother shines forth in most of his blog entries, including this one, which was the last entry he wrote about her, a week ago, a few days after his retirement party:

Mom is doing well but truthfully not as well as she does when I am involved. ..I've reached the state where I know I'm not going to have Mom that long so I view as a joy to spend time with her. I'm also a lot less controlling than the others involved in her care. She feels free to do things when I am there and it makes her feel more valuable. When the others are there they won't let her do things; they even get a little upset if she gets out of bed by herself. For me the more she can do for herself the better. For me. For her.

Bill's self-deprecating humor is also evident from his bio, which he posted with his Blog.

First, I think the birth sign is wrong. 6-21, some papers say Gemini, some Cancer. Guess that means I have so many personalities that I can do group therapy alone. For those that don't know how to read Google profiles I have put what I really mean in ( ). Hot (Good looking enough to be in movies (if I buy at ticket). A body like a God (Buddha). Romantic (Thinks begging is foreplay.) Physically fit (Heart trouble. Put 911 on speed dial before we get initmate.) Good Provider (has good life insurance in case you forget to put 911 on speed dial.) Loyal (has reference letters from Mom and parole officer.) Intelligent (scored 1600 on his SATS but you have to total the scores of the four times that I took the test.) Looking for someone compatible (Be between 30 & 99 and not inflatable.)

BillDahnStanding.jpg (29282 bytes)He listed his interests on The Dahn Report:

Interests: Walking, Movies, Reading, Fantasy Football, Writing, Family, Friends, Women, Coffee Chats, Food, Learning New Things, Award Shows, Ten Thousand More, I just like about everything except, hate, discrimination, and cruelty.

Favorite Movies: I just love movies, there is nothing like being in a theater when the lights go down low and a beautiful piece of art magically appears before you on the big screen. For two hours you are transcended out of life into fiction. If you have someone with you to hold hands with during the love scenes or to hide under the seats with during the scary scenes, all the better.

Bill's blog reflects his generosity, his interest in people, and his desire to be inclusive.  He encouraged participation from all of his readers and stimulated some lively discussions by posting biographies of famous people, quotes that he liked, and links to news items he found important and asking for comment.  Again, most of the regulars seemed to be women.  Sadly, though Bill got along so well with women, he was never able to connect with "that special someone" that he desperately wanted to find, though it wasn't for lack of trying.

About three weeks ago I got up in the morning and it just hit me. I am alone and don't want to be. Time to make some changes. Stair Step. First, get in shape. Second, get out in the world. I have a lot to offer someone but before someone gets to know me I have to take a risk and put myself out in the world. I immediately went on a diet. Started walking every morning. In just three weeks I've changed for the better. Feeling better. Looking better. Walking two miles a day. I can hardly wait until I reach my goal.

When Pat died, Bill wrote a memorial and posted this poem:

Is anybody happier today because you passed their way?
Does Anyone remember that you spoke to them today?
The day is almost over and its toiling tolling time is through
Is there anyone to utter a kindly word of you?
Can you say tonight in parting with the day that's slipping fast,
That you helped one of the many that passed your way?
Is a single heart rejoicing today over what you said or did?
Does the man or woman whose hopes were fading, now look ahead with courage?
Did you leave a trail of kindness?
As you close your eyes in slumber will God welcome you in his home?

He said that in Pat's case, she could answer every questions with a resounding "yes."  I think it's fairly safe to say that the same holds true for Bill Dahn as well.  He will be sorely missed by many. 


Netstock1.jpg (110258 bytes)

This is an historic photo from Netstock I, which I know I have posted before.
When I look at all these wonderful people and how most of us have remained friends. 
Bill is the third of our group to have died, the first one being Judy, who is not in this picture,
then Pat, who is second from the left in the back, who died of cancer last year. 
I like to think they all had a lovely reunion when Bill arrived.

I'd love it if you'd leave a comment!

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