Toast to a Great Father and Poker Player

On January 13th, the world lost a great poker player. Not necessarily “great” in the sense of being an internationally famous card shark—sipping martinis and playing alongside James Bond at Monte Carlo, although maybe in spirit—but teaching his kids and grandkids the fine art of winning or losing at poker was part of his being an overall great father.

Poker was just one of Dad’s many joys in life, along with drumming, drawing and painting, flying (both piloting jets in the service and private planes as a flight instructor), designing buildings, building things with his power tools, collecting and selling antique tools, puttering at the family cabin and playing the occasional game of football.

I’ll always remember what he told me about going that extra yard to receive a long bomb: “If you can touch it, you can catch it.” Dad always went the extra distance to be kind and social. Parties and family get-togethers were high points for him, and he was always up for a friendly poker game.

In his last weeks, though he’d been in the process of withdrawing, Dad suddenly perked up when he realized he’d been dealt a winning poker hand. He won nearly every round that night, talking, laughing and smiling more than he had in weeks.

That’s how I’ll always remember him—a martini in one hand and a full house in the other.




24 thoughts on “Toast to a Great Father and Poker Player

  1. It sucks to say goodbye and try to put it all in perspective. He did a great job raising you as you have an intelligent & compassionate outlook.

  2. I am sorry for your loss, your old man seems to have done right by you and yours. I’m glad you had that final couple of hours of him being himself. May Allah welcome into Jannah

  3. Jim, I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad’s legacy of kindness is certainly being passed forward through you. I hope that your memories of him and knowing that his lessons of kindness live on in you bring comfort during these early days of loss. Thinking of you. Linda

  4. What a sad time for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your loss with us. Wishing you much comfort during this time of grief.

  5. Jim, he sounds like a very fine man and I’m sure he was very proud of your kindness, empathy and talents. Sincere condolences to you and your family.

  6. I wish I could have thanked your dad, for you! He must have been very proud of you, and your talent. You have been an inspiration to all of us that read your posts. Thank you, and I thank your dad!

  7. Condolences, Jim. Your post is a touching memorial and a presentation of gratitude at having shared your life with your Dad. As a fan of martinis myself, I will remember his good spirit next time I raise a glass.


    • Thanks Donna, I’m glad my message of gratitude was clear. I’m a beer and dark ale man myself, so the glass I raise will be a mug. He enjoyed what he called “the best drink in the house” right up until his last week. I guess he figured if you’re too sick to live it up, it’s time to move on.

  8. Sincerest condolences, Jim. I didn’t know your father but judging by the son he raised, he must have been a pretty good man!

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