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1961 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
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September 20, 2018

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Preview Entry
September 20, 2018

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January 26, 2018
Dear Reinecke Family,

I am sorry for your loss.

I was enormously blessed to meet Alan way back in 1971, when we were both in Mrs. Sallie Parnkopf's fourth grade class at Holly Avenue Elementary School in Arcadia, California. It was my honor to sit in the desk in front of him the entire school year. He was smart, talented, kind, and funny.

Sitting next to Alan, I could not help but notice that he had a love for learning complex subjects. As we used to say in those days, he was like a walking encyclopedia. If I did not understand something we were being taught in class, I asked Alan. I am uncertain if I would have passed fourth grade without his help. Because of him, I began to appreciate the opportunity to learn in school; and I was inspired to start putting my best effort into my schoolwork for the first time in my academic career.

Alan's immense passion and talent for percussion were on display even then at the age of ten. It seemed like the most obvious thing in the world that Alan would go on to be a professional percussionist. I had no doubt that he would do so, and I admired the clear sense of direction he had along his career path. None of us in Mrs. Parnkopf's class had personal computers back in 1971, but I have a distinct memory of Mrs. Parnkopf presciently telling the entire class that one day computers would play an instrumental role in all our lives. It is unsurprising to me that Alan would also go on to be a computer technologist.

Looking back, I am surprised that Mrs. Parnkopf allowed us to remain seated next to one another for the entire school year. We often whispered or passed notes to one another in an attempt to make the other one laugh. We must have been good at being discreet because only or twice did Mrs. Parnkopf catch us. I am grateful that Mrs. Parnkopf never separated us because now what I remember most about fourth grade in 1971 is the laughter that Alan and I shared. We worked hard and learned much in Mrs. Parnkopf's brilliantly run class, but we also laughed along the way.

When our class put on a talent show in the school auditorium, Mrs. Parnkopf paired us together as a dancing, singing, and joke-telling duo. The script we followed described us as hobos, and we wore oversized suits and shoes. More fun.

I had my first childhood sleep over at Alan's house. I still remember dinner with his family (even down to the lima beans), talking late into the night with the lights out, and trying hard not to laugh so we would not wake people up.

After fourth grade, Alan and I never had another class together; and we did unfortunately lose touch with one another as the years passed and we went off to different junior high schools.

I knew that Alan started life with a loving, supportive family; and I am pleased and comforted to know that he went on to know the joy of having a wife and two stepchildren.

I will always remember and be grateful for the friendship and laughter Alan and I shared in fourth grade. The short, fun-filled period of time we shared as friends was a gift from God just as every perfect gift is.

Peace be unto you.

Gratefully,

D. Shipman
January 23, 2018
Dear Sue and Wayne,

We have just learned of Alan's death and are so very sorry. Losing your child is devastating. We wish you the strength and courage to continue during this difficult time. Music is a good way to heal and we hope it is still a part of your lives.

Our very best to you both,
January 8, 2018
Dear Wayne, Susan and Janet, I am so sorry to read this. My heart goes out to you all. Susie Saunders Brusa
January 4, 2018
Deepest sympathy to the entire family. Marge Hier