Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I Lost Another Friend Yesterday

I sensed in my wife's voice that something was up. While at the debate I didn't hear my phone ring, but when I left I noticed a message. The message, from the lovely Mrs. Flash, sounded stressed. I'm thinking 'What did the boys do now?' I called her back and she insisted that the boys were fine, nothing was 'wrong' but that I needed to hurry home because the neighbor was waiting in the garage. So I did. Turns out my senses were spot on. Soon after I got home, she told my about Mike.

I've known Mike for over 20 years. We met at the Sears Auto Center in Brookdale. He was one of the best mechanics we had, I was a service advisor. We became good friends. Soon after, he dated a gal I went to high school with. When they decided to 'tie the knot' Mike asked me to be his best man. It was an honor for me to say yes.

Over the years we have stayed in touch through many trips to Rock Bottom. He was a far Right big 'L' Libertarian, which made for some pretty intense political discussions. He labeled me a Commie more then once *laughing* but it was all in good fun and appropriate context.

Presently his marriage of almost 20 years was all but over and his kids grown. Mike had taken up flying and was a licensed pilot. He also loved to hunt. Next weekend we were all going down to Iowa for pheasant opener, a trip that will have one less passenger.

Mike was down in New Mexico Colorado this week, big game hunting. While out in the field, with his guide, he dropped of a heart attack. The guide did his best to revive him, but he didn't make it. An autopsy will be performed in hopes of finding some answers. Mike was in his early 40's, relatively fit, non smoker, light drinker, no drugs, Triathlete (#294, #263), 3 times a week at the 'Y'. Seems like he was doing everything right.

You never know when it is your turn, and after Joel passed last year, I had already had an eye opener, but now Mike. Next weekend's hunting trip will take on a whole new meaning, and you can bet we'll be sharing many stories about our good friend.

A couple of my endorsement screeds will have to wait a day or two. I lost a big chunk of my blogging time last night. I am sure you all understand.

God Loves ya Mike, and you will be deeply missed.


UPDATE: From the Rocky Mountain News:
He said his search crews are weary after being called out Sunday by a report that a hunter had been found dead in the remote backcountry of northern Routt County. That hunter was identified as Michael Wayne Fanaris, 42, of Champlin, Minn.

"The coroner suspects a heart attack, but that'll be determined by the autopsy,"' Warner said.
Steamboat Pilot and Today:
Cause of hunter’s death still unclear
By Alexis DeLaCruz
Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Steamboat Springs — A hunter who died Monday morning in a remote area of California Park has been identified as 42-year-old Michael Wayne Fanaris of Champlin, Minn.

Routt County Deputy Coroner Mitch Locke released the man’s information Tuesday morning after speaking with the man’s family.

The man’s cause of death is still unknown, but does not look suspicious, Locke said.

An autopsy most likely will be performed Wednesday to determine the man’s cause of death, he said. A toxicology report also will be prepared, though it does not appear drugs or alcohol were contributing factors in Fanaris’ death, Locke said.

Fanaris most likely died around 6:30 a.m. Monday while hunting with two other people north of Hayden in California Park.

Fanaris was hunting with the Craig-based outfitting company, Beaver Creek Outfitters, officials said Monday.

The death was reported around 7:30 a.m. after outfitters with the company were able to get to the Kum and Go in Hayden and call 911.

Locke said he pronounced Fanaris dead around 5:45 p.m. Monday at the outfitter’s staging area near Armstrong Creek.

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