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Sunday, July 03, 2011


Three people I knew died this week, so it’s a time for thinking.

Bill Hash

Yesterday, a high school friend died in a way I can relate to:

(Ray Williams) With a heavy heart, I hate to inform you that Bill Hash passed away yesterday (Sat) afternoon. He was enjoying a 50 mile bike ride around Springfield, Ky when he suddenly collapsed (cardiac arrest) & fell off his bike.  Bikers passing by immediately tried to revive him until an ambulance arrived to rush him to the nearest hospital. Funeral arrangements will be made today & I’ll pass that information along ASAP. Most likely the funeral will be at St. Barnabas Church on Hikes Lane here in Louisville.

Bill & I were not only friends, but also related when my son Michael married his daughter Jessica 5 yrs ago. Bill (known as “Pop Pop”) & I were grandfathers to their 2 sons: Elliott (3 yrs old next month) and Bennett (1 yr old in about a week). Please keep the Hash Family in your prayers during this sorrowful time.

Yesterday afternoon I was on a 40+ mile ride in the 90+ degree heat, and about 10 miles from home I started to get very tired. I pulled off to rest, but there was a guy there who asked to borrow my pump – but he hadn’t fixed his flat, didn’t have a spare tube, and didn’t have a patch kit, and had never fixed a flat, so I ended up fixing it using my spare tube and thought these minutes of messing around had given me enough rest. But when I started again I still felt tired and slow, so only 3 miles from home I laid down under a tree, polished off all my water bottles, and took a nap.  I think I’d inadvertently become dehydrated, to judge from the amount of liquid I drank later yesterday.  Weird to think that while I was just taking a nap, Bill’s heart was giving out.

Gerry Eskin

Gerry was an economist who started doing some consulting for Dudley Ruch at Pillsbury, taught marketing at the University of Iowa, and with John Malec founded IRI, where I have worked since 1989.  Gerry was semi-retired when I started, and fully retired in 1995.

His obituary in the Chicago Tribune is here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-eskin-obit-20110703,0,5507288.story

So what did Gerry do with his money? He retired and became an artist, becoming well known for his ceramic works.  In short, he did what he wanted to do with the last couple of decades of his life (until felled by the complications of heart surgery).  And he didn’t just putter around with it, either.

Sandy Parker

Sandy Parker was the wife of a friend, who died of ovarian cancer, leaving a 3 year old son and many friends.

All 3 died young relative to expectations (even Gerry at 76), but Sandy more so. The memorial service is later today.


Is there a divine pattern or meaning in all this?  If there is, it is too subtle for us to understand and it is best to consider these are simply random events related to genes and environment but otherwise at the whim of chance.

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