A mere “thank you” seems so inadequate to express the way I feel about your assistance and support in the past, present, and (likely) the future. My daughter, Summer, and I will make every effort to offer our gratitude in person at the open house. As an added thank you, the gorgeous red and white floral arrangement was absolutely stunning.
To Chaplain Greg Gibson, my pillar of strength, literally and figuratively, a resounding “thank you.” He grounded us before the services with his advice, encompassing the big things and the little things (cloth hanky better than Kleenex – great tip!). He presided over Rick’s services with ease and elegance, lent me his strength during the uphill climb to his graveside prayer, and brought my attention to special moments/visions that would otherwise have been missed.
To the men at 69’s, I can’t begin to express my thankfulness for your presence behind me in the chapel. When I saw the truck and chief’s vehicle it filled my heart to overflowing for your tribute to a man who thoroughly enjoyed being a fireman, and whose family loved and admired the department. Your presence provided us with a visage to carry in our memories into the future, something so very special that we will never experience again. We are eternally in your debt.
To the firemen, active and retired, who attended Rick’s memorial services – please know our gratitude for your journey to Conejo Mountain to honor Rick. It was great to see you! Wish we had more time . . .
Finally, to John Keys – bless your heart! Summer was so tickled to visit with “Donald Duck” again. We were honored that you were able to play at Rick’s service. It was a no-brainer in planning because Rick had been emphatic (many times) about having you and your bagpipes at his services. The chaplain and I were a bit winded from the climb up the hill to graveside, but you played the entire way!
In the last few years of Rick’s retirement, he was a kinder, sweeter, and more thoughtful man than ever before (he told me it was his waning testosterone levels :-). He had become my safe harbor, and we wanted to reunite under one larger roof, hobble around together in old age togetherness, re-tell our story of 44 years, plant kisses on grandchildren, and annoy our adult children with our “wisdom.” He left much too soon, but I’ll be forever thankful that we had “found” each other again, even for a short time. Rick had suffered with PTSD as a result of Vietnam, but when it came to claiming a benefit, he felt there were more needy men who deserved it. He was like that. The fire department provided Rick with a great sense of purpose and brotherhood that he so desperately needed. I can’t say which was greater – what he received from the department or what he gave. But this is for certain, there was never any question that he had made the best career choice. And I can’t emphasize too much that my children and I benefitted immensely from our lives as a fire dept. family.
If one should happen to be in the Camarillo area, please stop by to say “hi” to Rick. We chose his final resting place for its panoramic views – he wanted all of us to enjoy visitations. His stone will be emblazoned with the shield, other affiliations, and a photo of the handsome devil that he was.
Jo, Michael, Sean, and Summer Matthes
Newbury Park, CA
Good morning Craig, Tim, Peter and Bob,
Today is 3 months to the day and time since Brian passed away and I wanted to send you all a note of Thanks that comes from my heart.
It was 3 months ago that I met each of you and each of you were there everyday to help get myself and our family through the most difficult time in our lives. You held our hands and you guided us through the decisions that had to be made.
Peter, you flew with me to Colton and you were there right next to me when I was told that my Brian was gone…. you picked me up off of the floor and help me walk through that horrendous day. You flew with me to pick up the girls as I silently agonized knowing that their Daddy was gone. Thank you!
Tim, you were there to pray with me that day at the hospital and to help me rely on my faith for what was ahead. You were here at the house for the kids with magic tricks and laughs for the family. Thank you!
Bob, you were with me at the hospital to make decisions and at home each day after that. You were there at the cemetery to make choices on Brian’s final resting place and his headstone. You reassured me that we would be ok and you cracked jokes when things were getting tuff. Thank you!
Craig, you guided me through difficult decisions and lead me when struggles arose. Your delicate way of solving the struggles was amazing. Our private conversations and prayers meant so much to me. Thank you!
To all of you, I know that this was a collective effort with a massive amount detail! Thank you Peter for the arrangements for the service to be at Air Opts and all of the heart touching tributes! Thank you Tim for the beautiful eulogy and tribute to Brian’s life! Thank you Craig for the beautiful service and tribute to Brian’s fire department life! Thank you Bob for all of the details which were massive that made Brian’s passing, service and the future details for our family so beautiful and smooth!
The road the last 3 months has been heartbreaking but I must trust God and know he has a plan for myself and the girls. I am telling myself I have made it 3 months and I will make it another 3 months. I know that this is only possible by the grace and love of God.
Again, from the very bottom of my heart, Thank You ((Hugs))
Santa Clarita, CA
Please accept the enclosed donation in memory of our dear friend Bev Harris, wife of retired fireman F.E. Harris. Thank you for all the hard work and assistance you provide the fire family. We really appreciate all of you.
Richard “Sully” and Peggy Sullivan,
Carson City, NV
I read in the Mailbox about Don Beaver’s passing. I knew Don from being in the CSFA and the LA City contingent for a while. “Beaver” as he was known, was a fun guy and loving husband of Chris Beaver. I wish to make a contribution in his memory.
To LA Fire Widows and Orphans,
Charlie McCown was the maternal grandfather to our mutual grandchildren. We thought of him as a good and loving grandfather who was a positive influence. We will miss him.
Donald and Majorie Olson
Sun City West, AZ
The breakfast gang got together again and a god time was had by all. We miss you too by the way. Collected $71 from the guys to give to you. Thank you so much for putting the notice in the Grapevine. Thanks for all you do.
Newbury Park, CA