One of our own passed away last week suddenly; Ron Andersen formerly of SOG and a long-time moderator here will be missed. He leaves behind a wife and two sons. The service was today, and I will share the letter I sent to his wife. If anyone wishes to send condolences, or a contribution to the education fund for his two boys, please let me know. I will forward any replies posted here as well. As I sit here, still in shock over the sudden passing of a friend I never met, I think back to many hours of conversations, and the words of an old song echo in my mind: A little shy and sad of eye, but very wise was he And then one day, a magic day he passed my way And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings This he said to me: "The greatest thing you'll ever learn Is just to love and be loved in return" I first encountered Ron about 12 years ago when he worked at SOG, and he amazed me with his customer service. In the course of the exchange we started to chat, and soon the issue I had became strictly secondary as we discussed our worlds. First we discovered we shared a love of gadgets big boy toys: from the knives of SOG, to watches, cameras and cars (the 300Z was one of my favourites too). Then there was our love of our families, and both have wives named Michelle, whom we married on the 24th of June Over the years we talked a lot. Sometimes wed go for months without, then wed both apologize at the almost the same time, and pick up where we were. We talked in happy times, and sad, in contented times, and in troubled. We each knew that the other would listen without judgment, and support without reserve. When I was unemployed, I talked to Ron, when I went through a difficult time with my wife, we spoke again. His message was always of hope, and to love my wife unconditionally and let her know it. When my daughter was born, Ron was wonderful! He sent books with wonderful dedications, and gave advice to a father-without-a-clue He was not shy to say that love was the most vital of ingredients in a home and family. I know that he loved his family without reserve, and would do anything for them. In an e-mail from last December, he wrote about all the challenges and then said this, with a dose of his dry humour: With all this stated and with Thanksgiving just behind us, life isnt all that bad when stepping back out from under the microscope and examining the big picture. I have a wonderful, loving wife who is concerned about me and my welfare. I do have two excellent sons of whom I am extremely proud. I have health (let me put it this way it could certainly be worse much, much worse!!!) and a sound mind (though some might wonder just kidding). There is love & peace in our home there are daily hugs and kisses to/from all. I look at the pictures of the boys, and see that Ron lives on in them. I would like to come to visit and meet Michelle and the boys and share happy memories of Ron. Perhaps through them, I will get to know him better, he was a good man. Ironically we never met. Every time I was to come out, something got in the way. Perhaps it was because of this that we could talk so freely; we were kindred spirits who found each other across a continent without actually meeting. I know that one day we will finally meet, but until then I will miss my friend.