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Prayers for a Friend

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I am saddened to tell you that Roger Turk is ill and is now on Hospice with Thyroid Cancer. He is no longer able to stay connected with us on the list and I was only able to reach him through his cell phone. Roger mentioned to me that he felt a very special closeness with the professionals on this Listservice and I know that many of us feel the same.

 

I intended to visit him each time I passed through Tucson, but for one reason or another we never linked up. A little less than a year ago I told Roger I was considering looking for land in Southeastern Arizona near Tombstone area. At the same time I lost my dog – Jess – after 12-1/2 years of loyal friendship. This was about a month or two after Jess died and Roger e-mailed me a link to the local newspapers so Mari and I might look at land prices. Instead, we found our Golden Retriever puppy – Maggie. With next to no sleep, I picked Mari up from work (she finished a 12-hour night shift at the hospital) and drove the 8-hours from La Quinta to Tucson to look at Maggie and her parents from the breeder.  Again we missed Roger as we left the next day to be back for work on Monday morning. Maggie was a year old on May 27th and I will always be indebted to Roger for this small deed that brought us a dog we love so much.

 

I spoke with Roger less than an hour ago and still can’t get over the shock. He no longer has use of a computer to visit with us on-line, but if you would like to reach him then please write me privately and I will give you his Cell Phone Number. He is resigned to his fate – having chosen hospice rather than prolong any suffering. I was not sure where he was (home or elder care), but from the background noise I would say that he is in some form of hospice care rather than at home. They are treating his pain, but his mind is still sharp – as he recalled all of my professed aches and pains which seem so trivial at this moment.

 

Steve Gordin, another of our Listservice regulars, wrote me of his concerns trying to reach Roger. Steve and I have been friends (as I have with many of you who I see or talk to on the phone from time to time) and he wrote me asking if I had heard from Roger. From past experiences, we have developed a lifeline to the profession through this Listservice. If someone drops off without saying goodbye, we become concerned and track them down. Once Steve wrote me, I called Roger’s office in Tucson which had only his answering machine. However, his message also indicated his cell phone number in case of emergencies. I left a message and then called the cell phone - Roger answered.

 

I’m not a religious person, but I know many of you are. Please keep Roger in your thoughts and pray for his strength. I know he would appreciate that. If you wish to call him, please e-mail me privately and I will pass along his number – I think this would brighten him up quite a bit – at least that was the impression I got when he answered my call.

 

This is a difficult message to pass along – Roger has been an inspiration to our list and the thought of not hearing from him again saddens me. Many of us who design in the desert relied on Rogers wisdom and engineering judgment and sometimes his simple stubborn lack of respect for anything that was Windoze :>). I plan to stay in touch with our friend and let you know how he is doing. If any of you have information about his family (if any) or professionals who are in the Tucson area and who know Roger, please let me know. If there is anything he needs, I am sure we can find a way to make him comfortable – just let me know what you have in mind and I’ll find a way to arrange it.

 

My fondest thoughts and good wishes go out to Roger. It’s an uphill battle, but he is a cantankerous old guy at times and I believe he has the fortitude to take on any obstacle life throws his way. He needs your prayers and your thoughts, but I think he needs to know he is not out of the professional loop. If anyone can find out where to send letters and cards, please let me know – I will let you know if I find out as well.

 

Sincerely,

Dennis

 

Dennis S. Wish, PE

California Professional Engineer

Structural Engineering Consultant

dennis.wish(--nospam--at)verizon.net

http://www.structuralist.net

 


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