Today in My History

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I Don't Understand People
2007:  I Remember--A Father's Day Memoir
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17 June 2019

We have reached the age in life where we probably attend more memorial services than birthday parties, but even with that in mind, three in one week is a bit excessive.

On Monday, we went to the memorial service for our friend Pat Hutchinson, whom we have known almost all of our 45 years in Davis.  We knew her first through the Davis Comic Opera Company and then through Citizens who Care, that organization that helps the frail elderly and provides respite for their caregivers.

When Pat and her husband Jim received an award for volunteers who give service to the elderly, the newspaper reported, The Hutchinsons have been a dynamic husband-and-wife team who have helped others develop, nurture and foster the growth of Citizens Who Care over the past 36 years, a news release said.

They have been the “heart and soul” of the organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for elderly residents of Yolo County and their caregivers, the release said.

The couple participated actively in CWC’s annual Beerfest and Winter Concert, which celebrated its 20th year in 2012. Both have been members of the agency’s board of directors and Jim, who died in April, was president of the board for five years.

I didn't actually go to the second memorial service, which was Thursday.  It was for a former co-worker of Walt's and was in Sacramento.  I didn't know him and didn't really recognize his name.  In fact, I was asleep when Walt left in the morning.

Then today was the memorial service for my friend Joan, about whom I wrote last month.  Like Pat, she was someone who made a big difference in the world.

It was another big service with a table set up to display photos and stacks of postcards she and others wrote to people about various political issues (mostly getting people out to vote in 2020).  There was another table with all of the books she had written, and a third table with all of the awards she's won.

It was a lovely service with memories from many, including our friend Grainne, who sent an email from Dublin.  We sat in front of The Psychiatrist and I was able to thank him again for the recommendation of Eldervilla and let him know how much my mother is "enjoying" it.

But the hardest part of today was Walt coming home from Mass, a look of shock on his face, to report that our friend Tom Sallee had died yesterday.  Tom and Walt shared a birthday and were about the same age.  He was a retired math professor and one of the sweetest guys around.  We didn't see them often socially, but always ran into them at group fact his wife Joan was at Monday's memorial and I briefly thought it odd that Tom wasn't with her.  Tom and Joan were parents of the first child we knew who died in Davis, in an auto accident more than 40 years ago.  They were wonderful to us when David died, and the only people we really felt comfortable around in the beginning.

Many of their friends attended the memorial today and we learned that Tom had three brain bleeds in the past few days.  Earlier in the week, he had flown across the country to help his daughter and her partner bring their babies to California for their first visit.  So all of his family were there when he died.  But it just seems unreal that he's gone.  This one was just too close to home.  We both feel numb tonight.


Tom Sallee and his family, 2016
(stolen from Facebook)


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