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Monday, March 29, 2010

Deaths in the family

I just got the news that a family friend died: Gus Dobish, a long-time friend of my in-laws, father of my brother-in-law Chris's wife Katie, and a larger-than-life guy who always had a story. He had plenty of life experience to draw on, too: Gus worked as a pharmacist for years, was also an actor (including a performance as a heart attack victim in a hospital plan commercial that was so realistic that people contacted the hospital to see how he was!), and late in life got his law degree, becoming so successful that he was a vice-president with Rite-Aid. Gus always had something going on, had energy popping off of him, and could do a beat-pause in a story better than anyone I know. My heart goes out to his wife, Nancy; to Katie and Chris and their kids, and to his other two daughters, Deb and Heidi.

We lost another good friend last week: Edith Lelak, who was Thomas and Nora's "nanny" when they were babies and I was still working corporate. Edith and her husband John quickly became a third pair of grandparents for the kids, and as my father said, "If I couldn't be there for the kids, I can't think of anyone I'd rather be there than John and Edith." She was a loving, sweet person who the kids simply adored. The two of them sang with me at her funeral last Thursday; we sang The Prayer of St. Francis.

Go with God, Edith, Gus.

1 comment:

The Professor said...

Sorry for your losses.
I've had to deal with this sort of thing myself too many times in the past year...a close friend, a beloved family member, and recently one of my childhood show-biz heros who ultimately became a good friend.

A number of years ago acknowledging the fact that no one gets out alive (as he was often wont to do in his brilliant song lyrics), In his last public appearance and suffering from advanced lung cancer the late and great Warren Zevon said of his impending fate to David Letterman during an interview: "Enjoy every sandwich."
Simple, silly, and a bit flip, but it does sum it all up.