Last Wednesday I found myself in Seattle, checking out with my employer, Alaska Airlines, as a medical retiree. This was the only option I had while I wait to get my medical certificate to fly again. I was just finishing my last meeting when I got a message from the Chaplain of Banner Baywood Hospital in Mesa, AZ. I sat down and with my wife, Tina and our three boys who had came a long, and called back knowing this was not going to be good news. I can remember thinking who was in distress, Mom or Dad.
The Chaplain answered and gave the phone to my Mom. She told me Dad was gone. I told my family, and after the initial shock booked the next flight to Phoenix which was at 6:35 pm that evening. I arrived at the Phoenix airport at 10:30 pm and Mom, along with Dad’s lifelong friend JoAnn and her husband where there to pick me up. Tina and the boys headed home from Seattle the next day to Long Lake near Spokane.
The next couple of days were spent with Mom. Friends and fellow musicians came by to visit. The director of the Chorale here came by to ask if he should cancel the scheduled Sunday performance. Dad was a tenor and the piano accompanist for the group. He had practiced this summer for this performance in which one of the pieces was “Phantom of the Opera”. I told the director, that Dad would say that the show must go on. It did and it was a beautiful show Sunday night.
The folks from the 5 musical groups that Dad was a part of down here expressed their desire to put together a musical tribute and service. Mom and I agreed and they went to work along with one of the Pastors here. Mom stayed busy the last few days working on the printed program and I started on this website. Tina and the kids came down Sunday night and Dad’s sister and daughter arrived Tuesday.
Right now the program is being printed (which I will upload to this site), Tina and my daughter are working on the picture board and artwork and I am trying to figure out what to say at the Service this evening. It is going to be big they say. Five musical groups singing and playing as a musical tribute to Dad. It is tonight at 7:00 pm.
- From Joy Roberts
- The Family Shepherd