Bruce, I am going to miss you dearly. I have very fond memories of the good times we had together in our years together in Mount Vernon and then on occasions too infrequent throughout the rest of our lives. What great parents we had although we must have driven them nuts! The gas can that caught fire, the sheep in the house from leaving the door open, hosing down the ducks to get their reaction, the before dawn treks to the barn to milk the cows, getting to the prune tree before Mom. You know what I mean. Really good goofy times growing up together with lots of laughs and on occasion a tear. Then the college years, with the jeep – really started in high school but mostly in college when we were home together. Red, right rear spring welded back higher than it should have been, always ready for the next night out either in the woods or cruisin' main street. You know, maybe they have Tokay where you are, gone here that I know of, probably because we gave it such a bad name on occasion.
My career in the Navy kept us at a distance for the remainder of our lives but never so far that we could not get together by phone or by email and even a cross country trip to the homeland of Skagit Valley to renew our bond (and compare hairy backs – my second lost bet of that day). Over the past several years I appreciated your occasional call to discuss your growing family, your latest project in and around your home, and of course the Washington weather. I think you got Dad's gift for gab. I am going to miss those calls an awful lot, more that those around us will ever know. You were my anchor to the land and location that has always been my roots and tether wherever I have been. Even now, I have a yearning for the solitude of the dense Doug Fir forest and the alpine meadows where you hiked with me for my refreshere on Cascade beauty. I really had started to look forward to more visits with you and Chris and to hike yet another path in the world's most beautiful mountains.
Darn!!! I am missing you already. One of your last emails to me was your regret for not seeing Mike McKeehan before he passed away. I now am having the same regret - I have been putting off duty and responsibility to us to make more frequent trips to see you. I suppose if they had not been filled with so much fun, I would not have these regrets but I do and a lot had to do with you and our close relationship when young that extends to today.
You will be missed dearly, Bruce. By Chris, Nate, Pete, Rachael, Katie, Michelle, Sydney, Cooper, Bennett, Amelia, Trish, Scott, Bruce, Amy, Stephanie, and my grand children whom you never met, Skylar, Yonas, Finn and Brigid. And that is just those of your and my families. You have left behind an extended family of friends that joined us at the celebration of your life. It was a wonderful out pouring of love and affection for one fine man, husband, father, grandfather and brother. You have left behind one wonderful family and family of friends who all were touched and benefited from your concern for them. I regret that you have left us for now but I will always cherish my memories of our time together. As I have been writing, I have been oscillating between smiles and tears – I think you know what I mean. Love always, Bro Bob