1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

My Dad Passed Away

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Sonya, Nov 16, 2016.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 1999
    Messages:
    31,345
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    I have mentioned this to a few people in private messages and of course among the VMB moderators, but I thought I should explain to all the VMBers why I've been "here, but not here" for the last couple weeks.

    On November 5th, I was running some errands with my husband and we had just one more to do. I told him that we were going to go to the grocery store to get stuff for dinner and I was planning to spend the rest of the weekend on the couch with some knitting and the Tivo. Life apparently had other plans. My mom called and said something about paramedics and my dad and I was on my way back to the house to pack some clothes and catch the next ferry to head to Idaho. I was so frantic to get on the road, that I threw my wet laundry into a garbage bag and threw it in the trunk. Mom and I got some laughs at the fact that I managed to pack about 20 pairs of socks and probably another 20 shirts and sweaters, but only one pair of pants.

    I was somewhere around Yakima when they took him off the ventilator and didn't arrive at their home until after 11pm. The next several days were a whirlwind of making arrangements, figuring out what he would have wanted us to do and trying to support my poor mother, who finds herself alone for the first time after 53 years of marriage. The whole time I was also trying to keep my sister updated as she's on vacation in Japan.

    My dad was amazing. I know that almost every daughter thinks that about their dad, but mine really was. He was born in the family's small rental house in rural Kansas during the dust bowl. Somehow he managed to get himself through school on sports and academic scholarships. He played basketball with Wilt Chamberlain at Kansas Univ. and met my mom at Univ. of Utah. He went on to graduate from Stanford University with his PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics, while working at Lockheed, taking care of his wife and his baby daughter, me.

    In his business, he worked with NASA and many companies, marketing his systems for earthquake, rail/automobile, and space systems analysis. He even traveled several times to China in the 1980's as a Distinguished Visitor, teaching analysis and data acquisition theories.

    If you're a golfer, you may know my dad. Even if you don't know his name, you know his work. He was on the Executive Committee of the USGA for over a decade, a member of the Royal & Ancients in Scotland, and president of a couple other California golf clubs. His mark is all over the golf community as he served on the Implements and Ball Committee, the Rules Committee, and the Handicap Procedures Committee, among others. He also produced the math behind the Equitable Stroke Control System, the SLOPE system, and the GHIN (Handicapping) system. As VP of Handicap Services for EzLinks Golf, he created the EHIN Handicapping system. He's also the one who made the rule that Rules Officials at the USGA had to pass a Rules Test. And he brought the R&A and USGA rules into parity. He was Rules Official at over 30 US Opens, Senior Opens and several Masters Championships. Golf was truly his passion.

    But mostly he was a good husband and a doting father to my sister and I. Despite his modest upbringing, he always made sure we had everything we could want, including birthday trips to Disneyland and Christmas in Hawaii. He traveled a lot for business, but never forgot about us at home. He would always find ways to remind us that even if he was on the other side of the globe, he was thinking about us.

    One of my favorite stories about him involves a chance meeting with the lead guitarist for REO Speedwagon at a hotel front desk. He said, "I think my daughter has your picture on her bedroom wall." They talked about me wanting to take guitar lessons and Gary Richrath gave him a guitar pick to give to me. Being a typical teenager, I told my friends how "totally embarrassing" my dad was, but I carried that pick in my wallet until I was 20 and still have it in a box of memories at home.

    I got to spend some time with him on my way to Las Vegas this past September. As usual, he just shook his head about my enthusiasm for the casinos and shared my disdain for the dwindling VP pay tables and new table game rules. I had asked him a few times before why he didn't like to gamble and his answer was always "I was a math major." I always loved listening to his stories about visiting Vegas in the late 50's/early 60's when he was a student at University of Utah and he and his friends would drive out for the weekend to grab some surf & turf and a show.

    He was truly one of the good guys. I will miss his logic and pragmatism when I had a seemingly unsolvable problem in my life and especially his wickedly dry sense of humor.

    I've got a crazy calendar through the end of the year and will be going back and forth between here and Idaho to do the memorial and funeral service, plus helping my mom through the holidays and then I hope things will settle back into some kind of normalcy. As if that's even possible.
     
  2. crm1310

    crm1310 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2016
    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    Denton Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    8
    Sorry for your loss, thoughts a prayers are with your and your family.
     
    • Dislike Dislike x 1
  3. darlene

    darlene Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Central Florida
    So sorry to hear of your father's passing. He sounds like a wonderful man and exceptional father.
     
  4. Geogran

    Geogran texas yankee

    Joined:
    May 1, 2014
    Messages:
    4,453
    Location:
    TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    53
    @Sonya - what a beautiful and loving tribute to your Dad. Heartfelt condolences to you and your family.
     
  5. wormhole

    wormhole VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,151
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    16
    You have my prayers and I feel your pain. I lost my mother this past Sunday after a long illness. My father has been gone for 25 years. My siblings and I are in the middle of the arrangements now. I don't have the traveling you do, but we will make it through this.
     
  6. DESPERADO

    DESPERADO VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2014
    Messages:
    1,136
    Location:
    California
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    37
    :angel:sorry for your loss! don't despair for you will be with your Dad again. GOD is GREAT. i'll pray that your Mom will be able to go on. prayers to all.
     
  7. wanker751

    wanker751 Dutch Rudder Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    Messages:
    7,420
    Location:
    Chicago
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    16
    Sorry for your loss Sonya, thoughts and prayers for your family.

    Condolences
     
  8. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Messages:
    5,032
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    8
    My deepest condolences Sonya, thank you for sharing your Dad's incredible story. Best to you and your family at this time.
     
  9. Miller12pack

    Miller12pack High-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2013
    Messages:
    696
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
     
  10. VegasGroove

    VegasGroove VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,413
    Location:
    3H-30M Away
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    56
    Oh Sonya, please know I am thinking of you during this rough time. I pray you are blessed with comfort, strength and peace - especially the same for your Mom.
     
  11. M0rtyC

    M0rtyC TBD

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Messages:
    915
    Location:
    North Shore Massachusetts
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    So sorry for your loss. As I read the headline I remembered that you got a nice visit in on your way to Vegas.

    Reading the biography you wrote, I was happy to see you are already remembering the good times and the impact he had only many lives. What a great and important guy he was and still is.

    Life will be hectic for a while as you help your mom adjust.

    Best wishes
     
  12. LV2GAMBLE

    LV2GAMBLE Certified LOW Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2012
    Messages:
    806
    Location:
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    23
    Sorry to hear of your loss. Sound like a great guy he was. Hugs! :angel:
     
    Whooping it up with the in-laws
  13. 93 Octane

    93 Octane Chief bottle washer

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
    Messages:
    2,717
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    37
    Very sorry for your father's passing, lost mine three years ago and still think of him everyday.. He's the one who got me hooked on Vegas

    I noticed your father was very tall in the pic you posted. Playing with Chamberlain is a great story in itself
     
  14. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Messages:
    9,590
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    113
    Sonya....such a beautiful, loving tribute to your Dad. It makes me sad I never knew him and I'm sure makes you a thousand times more blessed that he was your Dad!

    When I lost my Dad in Dec '94, before Christmas, my emotions were raw for a very long time. There truly is a very special bond between Dad and Daughter. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    There are many "firsts" ahead....as you approach the "first" holiday season, I hope you all find comfort in the wonderful memories you shared through your lifetime of holidays together. Share those happy stories; your Dad would want that. No one that remains in our hearts and memories is ever really gone.

    22 years later.....my love of Christmas remains even though I lost both my parents, '94 and 2000, during the Christmas season.....my love of the season came from their love and how special they made it for us. It is a time to be celebrated and keep those no longer with us close through cherished memories.

    xoxoxoxo
     
  15. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2014
    Messages:
    7,514
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    90
    Sorry for your loss, my thoughts are with you.
     
    Playstudios Friends and Family party at Park MGM!!!
    First GGWU/HGS ballroom event
  16. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 1999
    Messages:
    31,345
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    Thanks everyone for your kind words. I still feel a bit like Alice through the looking glass, but my dad would want us to shake it off and move on.

    @wormhole sorry to hear about your mom. It's pretty awful. One thing at a time.

    My dad had his share of health scares the last several years. I had been assuming it would be an illness that would get him. In a way it was a blessing that it was so quick. Shocking for us, but he didn't suffer or have time to worry about us.
     
  17. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2015
    Messages:
    8,138
    Location:
    The Island
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    11
    Sorry to hear this news, Sonya!

    I can imagine your dad up on the heavenly links right now, playing with Arnold Palmer and Payne Stewart!

    Keeping you and your family in our thoughts...

    RICHARD and family
     
  18. Backagain1

    Backagain1 High-Roller

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    Messages:
    738
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    8
    I am so very sorry for your loss. What a beautiful post though. The love you experienced.
    Hugs and prayers.
     
  19. deansrobinson

    deansrobinson VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    3,128
    Location:
    Tampa
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    Sorry for your loss...and I sounds like he lived a good life.
     
  20. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    11,853
    Location:
    Somewhere in Middle America
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    70
    So sorry to hear that, Sonya. Condolences to you and your family. :(
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.