Janet Sears; close friend in my early newspaper days. Sweet-faced, wryly-sardonic woman whose laugh I can still hear, as she nursed me through a broken heart, as we shared musical tastes and made fun of the men who broke our hearts. Janet'sweetness concealed a tough determination to control her life, which came in handy, because her life was a tough ride. Died of cervical/ovarian cancer in the late 1990s. I kind of loved her, and I miss her.
Mary McAndrew: newswoman extraordinaire, poker player, sardonic to the point of being frightening. How amazing was she? This amazing. I'll always be grateful to her for introducing me to percogesic, an amazingly effective over-the-counter anti-headache medicine, which no longer exists. Died of cancer in 1999. I respected the hell out of her, and I liked her and I miss her.
Ed Sunden: unforgettable, unbearable and unbearably wonderful. Brilliant, over-the-top, horrid and lovely, sometimes at the same time. Gun lover, deer-hunter, non-stop smoker, beer drinker, tequila consumer, inveterate prankster, nonstop in every sense of the word. I met him at Suncon, the 1977 World Science Fiction Convention. SF fan, friends with some of the most amazing people, one of whom was my Best Beloved, to whom he introduced me. He changed my world. Died of an apparent aneurysm while sitting down to work, Dec. 6, 2000. I loved him, and I miss him.
Rona Malk: nurse and educator, mother, brilliant - yes another one whose intellect glittered - and occasionally dangerous. Joined Ed in making nights at our favorite bars an unpredictable adventure. Wanted a family, and found it when she fell in love with her husband, and had two children with him. Died of cancer in 2001. She made me laugh and think. I liked her, and I miss her.
William Cardwell Routliffe:absent father, bon vivant, convivial train-wreck, whose live lurched and stumbled because of alcohol, but who always got back up. Maker of friends, teller of tales, a man who knew his life wasn't what it could have been, but loved it nonetheless. Died following a stroke on January 26, 2009. I didn't know him nearly enough, but I think I loved him, and I miss him.
Nick Katz: my first friend at Pioneer Press. Incredible reporter, long-ago blues guitarist, purveyor of the darkest, blackest of humors, one-time romantic idealist turned wounded cynic. Lover of cooking, to a near-chef level of talent. Detective noir fan. He babysat my son when FB was a little guy. He was an amazing, wonderful friend, and a vastly talented individual, who, at the end, hated everything about his job and his life, but he kept going. I wanted so much for him to be happy. Died of a possible heart attack or maybe an aneurysm on May 11, 2013. I miss him very much.
Mary Glen Keirstead Routliffe Stirling: my mother. This is how amazing she was. I can't begin to say how much I love her. Died after a year's fight against cancer that wasn't found nearly early enough. I miss her like crazy, and I still like to talk to her.
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