July 21, 2012 05:00 AM - 03:00 PM

Memories of Randy

  • Memories of Randy Pfriem, by John Rogers (JR), of Puget Sound Anglers

    Just like anyone else who met Randy Pfriem, he became my friend at our first conversation. The great thing about friends are that they are willing to tell you what you need to hear not what you want to hear sometimes. Randy was willing to speak against the majority if he felt it was in the best interest the club. I have so many great memories of Randy it is hard to decide which ones to share. So many have spoken about Randy the PSA member. I thought I would share my memory of Randy the person, the dad and great friend. It has been very difficult for me to be able to put my feelings to words, but I think of what Randy would have done, so here it is.

    I have been told that you see the TRUE person when they are faced with adversity.  I can say I have experienced the True Randy over this last year and I am a better person because of that. Randy and I had talked on many occasions for hours about anything and everything. Randy did like a good conversation even if you had a different view. I saw Randy sacrifice his own comfort, stomach, time and will to battle with this damn disease, cancer. Never once did he pity himself or, for that matter,  hide what he was going through.  His only concern was how his family would be without him. Sometimes I would come away from a visit with Randy wondering who was in the battle, me or him.  His strength and positive attitude would make me feel better about myself and I would believe that there is no way he is losing this war.

    Then one day he mentioned that he was done with his battle against the cancer and was going to enjoy whatever time God was going to grant him. He said he was going to experience everything he could with his family. We talked about a bucket list and the fact that he had a fairly full bucket already, but there were some items he would like to do. He wanted me to make sure my bucket was just as full when my time would come. He shared a couple of items from the list like, flying in a hot air balloon, catching a salmon with Ben&Emily, and making sure his family was going to be all right.

    I was blessed to have had the opportunity to take one of those off his list when he, Ben and myself went fishing this fall. We had planned on getting up in the balloon, a BIG balloon if we are both in it, and taking Emily out to get her salmon, but the time was never right or as long as we had hoped.

    One of my favorite conversations is when he shared with me many memories of his sometimes misguided youth growing up in Ohio. One of his more fun stories was how he was in a band. I must have had an odd look on my face, because he admitted he had little to no musical talent, but he did have the technical savvy to be the sound, lighting and recording dude. Randy had a great time growing up and he never forgot how to have fun.

    In almost every conversation Randy would talk about his family. He said how proud and blessed he was to have a wife like Sue, five great kids, each of them smart, loving, and independent “even in political views that did not match with dads,” and to be a GRANDFATHER to two beautiful grandkids. That was extra special. Randy was deeply concerned about how they would be after he was gone, but he took a great deal of satisfaction in what he was a part of and leaving behind.

    In the end I experienced the TRUE Randy, the Father, the Friend, the Fisherman and the person who made everything and everyone who he was involved with BETTER. Randy Pfriem died at home in the loving hands of His God, surrounded by family and friends in the afternoon of December 2, 2009.

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