FROM BILL WHITNEY
Our year 2013 began with the usual tempo of activity. The year provided some great experiences, but was overshadowed by the passing of my wife, Lu, on June 1, at age 90 and after 63 years of our marriage. .
Lu had been failing the past several years, especially after losing most of the use of her right arm resulting from replacement surgery in 2007, followed by a manipulation breakage in 2008, which severed most of her nerve usage of her right arm. During recent years, her life was primarily restricted to watching television with intermittent naps and a few household chores. Her outings were normally a weekly trip to Port Hadlock for a hairdresser appointment, grocery shopping, and a luncheon with our ham radio club friends.
On the morning of her passing, Lu remarked that she was not feeling well, but declined my offer to take her to emergency care and she appeared to be feeling okay by noon. She began an afternoon nap after lunch and I went to get the mail and clear some brush from the access road. Upon my return, she appeared to still be sleeping and I went upstairs to my ham radio room and fell asleep while reading. When I awoke, I went downstairs and noted that she was apparently taking another nap. I decided to awaken her and found her lying on her bed relaxed with her hands folded. I spoke to her with no reply and then noted that she was not breathing. I called 911 and applied CPR with no results. The EMT's arrived within minutes and continued CPR and additional efforts. She apparently passed away without pain.
We held a "Celebration of Life" for Lu on July 10 at the Port Ludlow Yacht Club facility with 86 friends and fellow yacht club members attending.
Early in the year, I flew to Phuket,Thailand on January 14 to participate in the CCA (Cruising Club of America) cruise of the Andaman Sea, east of Thailand. I teamed with CCA Commodore Tad & Joyce Lhamon and two east coast CCA member couples: Brad & Ann Willauer, and Peter & Liza Chandler. The weather was great and the cruising scenery was outstanding. I returned home on January 28.
Following a joint birthday gathering at our home on Apil 23, (Lu's birthday on April 23, mine on April 24), son David and I flew to Washington, DC for a Stalag Luft 3 (Ex WW2 POW) 3 day reunion. We had an enjoyable time attending several special veteran functions and visiting the Capital sights and museums.
On returning from Washington, DC, I joined CCA Rear Commodore Gil Middleton aboard his great boat "Far Out" for the 4 day PNW CCA Spring Cruise in the San Juan Islands. Baird Tewksbury also crewed with me and we had a very enjoyable time.
In late September, I attended my WW2 344th Bomb Group reunion in Charleston, SC from September 25 - 28. It was the first reunion I have attended of my bomb group and I had a good time visiting with a couple of old pilot friends. Not many of us still around!
In late October, I joined my good friends, Alan and Gwen Buchan, to attend the annual CCA national meeting in San Diego. We had a great time and were able to fly both ways on the same airline flights from and to Seattle. Unfortunately, Alan recently had a stroke with a brain hemorage a few days ago and passed away on December 12. Alan was a wonderful friend and leader. Through the years, I made several cruises with him, both as one of his crew and as a fellow crewmate on charter vessels. He was one of the best that I have ever known. .
I hope all is well with you and yours. My very best wishes and may 2014 offer a memorable, rewarding and enjoyable year for all of us. MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR.