What do you call a man who:
* Was born to a truck driver in the Bronx in 1936
* Skipped two grades in school, graduated from college at 20, and from medical school at 24
* Had a pet rabbit during 1st year of med school; her name was Brenda Susan
* Served a couple years as an Air Force physician at Otis AFB in Massachussetts
* Created a successful private practice in Phoenix, Arizona
* Was one of the original limited partners in the Phoenix Suns basketball team
* Owned a minor league football team (Phoenix Blazers)
* Was recalled to the Air Force and spent the next 26 years as a physician, five-time hospital commander, and eventually the Chief of Medical Standards for the USAF; locations included Eglin AFB, Rickenbacker AFB, RAF Bentwaters, Edwards AFB, Fairchild AFB, Tinker AFB, and Randolph AFB
* Held the rank of Colonel for 20 years (Feb ’79 – Mar ’99)
* Owned a talent agency in San Antonio with a roster of about 200 performers, mostly celebrity impersonators
* Was married five times and had four children
* Loved loved loved loved sports, and could probably beat anyone in a sports trivia contest
* Absolutely LOVED jokes, gags, puns, and wordplay
I called him DAD. He passed away on Saturday in Arizona, the place that captured his heart way back in 1965.
He visited me in Great Falls a few times in recent years, and he enjoyed our community – he really appreciated the hospitality that he encountered – for which I am very grateful to several people, notably Dona Stebbins, Aaron Weissman, and Jim & Jody (of 5th Street Diner).
Rest in peace, Dad. Truly an amazing man.
Here are a few photos; I’m kind of in shock at this point, still, but will try to write up something a bit more fitting soon.