My friend Joyce passed away last night. It was not unexpected. “Death is part of life and I don’t fear it”, she said. Fortunately, I got to say goodbye to her a few weeks ago. She was so peaceful and so accepting. That makes her passing so much easier. I’m not sad; I’m happy and lucky to have known her.
I met Joyce probably 15 to 20 years ago when she became involved with the Boulder County Nature Association. I’ve gone on hikes with her, taken nature classes she taught, and for a few years we attended the theater with other close friends. Joyce has spent her life learning and teaching aspects of the natural world.
Joyce happily digging a hole to show us the different layers of snow. Winter Ecology class, March 2002.
It’s been a whirlwind the past week. I made a trip out to Utah and back. I was able to get a website set up for Jack so that people could leave remembrances and condolences.
It’s here: http://drjackcrandall.com. The comments that people have posted are quite touching, everybody from old friends, former patients, to a person that works at the senior center where Jack visited.
I can’t remember when I first met Jack, but it was probably 15 years ago. He quickly became part of my extended family.
Jack loved music, and big band, jazz and blues were probably his favorites. He made me dozen mix tapes over the years. The song posted above was on one of those tapes. I have pages of his hand-written notes wherein he shares his knowledge and history of the various artists on these tapes. I think one of his favorites was Count Basie. One Christmas I gave him a book on the early blues and the following year I received a blues mix tape.
Jack spent most of his life in Aspen, Colorado. He was the town doctor back before Aspen became the glitzy community for the super rich. He made housecalls in his jeep and delivered babies, including his daughter. He built his house and the commercial building that housed his practice, both of which were designed by Tom Benton.
After he retired from medical practice, he continued to manage the commercial building (now re-named The Crandall Building). His office located in the basement boiler room was his man-cave and it was a treat to see Jack’s other side.
Jack was the epitome of “easy going.” He never let stuff bother him very deeply. If it was something out of his immediate control, he didn’t spend much time dwelling on it. He was extremely easy to talk to.
Several times a week, he would go to the Weinerstube for coffee and breakfast and join the Stammtisch. I joined him on a dozen occasions and met some of the old-time colorful characters behind Aspen.
Jack had been living with cancer for years now and he’s been a real trouper — another thing he didn’t let bother him deeply.
He passed very peacefully with his immediate family at his bedside.
Goodbye, Jack. My life is better for knowing you.
Gesine and Jack Crandall on Jack's birthday Sept 22, 2002.