Saying Goodbye to a Good Friend

Today is a sad day for me - one of my dearest friends, Rich Shaffer, passed away yesterday in his sleep. We met Rich and his wife, Cindy, when we lived in Huntington Beach. Cindy and I met on the tennis courts, and we became fast friends. We were trying to remember when that was, but it was sometime around 1997.

 Katrinka and Mark Reception

After Gary and I moved to Reno, we remained fast friends with the Shafers - they started coming to visit us in Reno once or twice per year, soon it was three times per year. They both liked Reno and around 2006, they sold their place in Huntington Beach and moved to Reno. We were really family - Thanksgiving was at their house, Christmas was always at ours.

 Thanksgiving
 Christmas

At family events, Rich and Cindy were always part of the family - at Gary's daughter's wedding:

 Kirsten's Wedding

In 2010, Rich, Cindy, Gary and I made a trip to Yellowstone National Park. We had all wanted to go, and none of us had ever been. So we loaded up the Jeep and headed east.  We spent about ten days on the road, but went home early because it started snowing (my vacation curse - material for another post…).

 Yellowstone National Park
 Yellowstone National Park

During and after the trip, Rich always said he wasn't seeing the animals the way we did. He went to the eye doctor and discovered cataracts in both eyes. He had surgery which corrected the problem, so in 2012 we packed up the Jeep again and headed east. And yes, it snowed again. But Rich became our #1 spotter that trip!

 Grand Teton/Yellowstone Trip 2012

A couple of years ago, Rich's health began to deteriorate. He never complained, even after a prolonged hospital stay that started on Thanksgiving and lasted until Christmas. 

He will be missed by all…..

 Thanksgiving