An open letter to my late uncle who died unexpectedly last week

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What can I say ? I can not believe it. My uncle Dave, who was 66, passed away suddenly last Wednesday night; pulmonary embolism was to blame.

One of my earliest memories of my uncle was his shiny blue ’70s Chevy blazer. He and my aunt would pick me up on weekends and take me to the zoo or whatever.

Another good memory is a trip to the movies with my brother and my cousin. It was Christmas time in 1990 when we all went to see “Home Alone”. I especially remember the digital speedometer in his car (Chrysler New Yorker 87), I had never seen one before!

My uncle was doing well financially and he always had the coolest toys. New cars, computers, always on the cutting edge of technology, you get the idea. I remember the first CD I listened to was at his house.

He worked for GE at one point because he loved aviation. I remember flying for the first time when I was 12. Can you guess who booked the ticket?

He loved life and appreciated health. As a former smoker, he challenged my brothers and I to never smoke. If we’d hit 30 and never had a drag, he was going to pay us $ 1,000 each. We did not succeed, unfortunately.

My uncle was a smart man who cherished his family. He was THE go-to guy. If you needed help with anything he was the first to help and he really appreciated it. He was truly a selfless man.

Uncle Dave was instrumental in helping my mom when my dad passed away. Whether it was Social Security papers or reducing his mortgage payments, Dave was there.

Even after losing the sight of his right eye due to an abnormal bungee injury, I never heard him complain, even after a few years of nerve pain from another injury. He never complained, telling me that “it is the spirit that takes precedence over the material”.

Thanks for all the chats, ideas and tips. I can’t believe I’ll never see you again.

-Brian

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