Issue 22, May 31, 2015

This past week, we lost one of our own.  Tom Whicher was at our Wednesday meeting just 3 weeks ago.  Shortly afterward, he complained of chest pains.  Eric Ramshaw took him to Memorial Hospital, where he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and placed in a medically induced coma.  His relatives asked that all this be kept quiet, which I respected.  Upon removal of life support late Tuesday, there was very little time for visitors.

Tom had no relatives near Jacksonville, but he did have a lot of ‘family’ here.  His brother, Tim and his wife Laurie Whicher, flew in from northwest Washington State, this week.  Both mentioned to me how much they appreciated the SBMC ‘family’ that were able to share our last moments with Tom before he faded away Wednesday afternoon.  There will be a Celebration of Life Tuesday at Greenlawn Cemetery on Beach Blvd at 4pm (check the email blast that was sent out Friday, for more details).

Tom, (aka The Wine Guy) was an SBMC member for 11 years, and was a previous SBMC Board member.  He inaugurated the annual Thanksgiving Wine Tasting for our club.  His favorite ‘parlor trick’ was to slice open a bottle of champagne with a sword.

For years, he worked alongside his good friend Eric Ramshaw at the Putting Competition for our annual YAP Charity Golf Classics.  They would enjoy the grape while the rest of us were enjoying the malt beverages on the course.  Tom’s infectious laugh was sorely missed at this year’s event, merely two weeks ago.

Folks, I make a lot of pleas for your help, to make our community a better place to live.  Now, I’m asking you to take some time for yourself.  Enjoy some time with the people who are important to you.  If you have some sort of Bucket List, start working on that while you are able.  Literally, smell the coffee at the Maxwell House plant and ‘live like you were dying’.  Your life’s story hasn’t been completed; but no one knows what the future holds.

So tell the people in your life that you love them and that you are committed to them.  Live with no regrets and make sure your ‘house’ is in order.  Spend the time with your kids/grandkids that you’ve been saying you will.  Take your wife on the ‘date night’ that slipped away from you.  Don’t allow your ‘daily life’ to become the excuse that keeps you from reaching true happiness.

Be grateful for your blessings, and stand shoulder to shoulder with your ‘family’.

President Message Archive