"Cowards die many times before their deaths
The Valiant never taste of death but once"
It has been said many times in the past that the day we are born is the day we start dying. Cynical as that may be it is true; the question is how long the journey will be and what will we do on our way. I don't think anyone has uttered "I wish I could have worked more" as their last words before they pass but many I believe feel that there was so much left for them to do.
As we reported, Pat Lundemo passed away yesterday afternoon due to complications of a Carcinoid tumor that had metastasized to his liver and affected other organs, particular the valves of his heart. Pat was diagnosed with this disease many years ago and had undergone many therapeutic interventions through the years, but kept working as that is what he wanted to do. Many of you may have known that Pat underwent surgery recently in an attempt to have these valvular abnormalities repaired mainly for symptomatic improvement of his remaining life. By all accounts, the surgery went well but his disease was too advanced for it to have much benefit. Pat spent his last few days at his daughter's home and from what I understand he was surrounded by members of his family when he passed. I was told that he appeared to be at peace.
I first met Pat when he was an adult leader bringing scouts up to camp from Bremerton where he lived and owned a plumbing business. As the years passed, Pat would come up to our adult work parties and bring along not only his van, but some of his employees as well. They were a great help in some of the construction projects we had at the time. During the summer months if we had a plumbing issue, Pat would hop into his van and come right over and help out. When Bob Enzler retired as Camp Director and Ken took over that position, Pat was Ken's first choice to be Ranger. However that position was given to another individual. Two years later however, the position opened up once again and Pat began working as the full time Ranger in 2003. He continued in that position until 2010 when he was promoted to oversee the Camp Brinkley property and help with its renovation as well as eventually taking on the responsibility to run the Cub Scout program. Unfortunately as Pat's disease progressed it ultimately affected his ability to work as he was constantly tired and drained of energy. I give credit to his professional supervisors who did everything in their power to get Pat the help he needed but as many of you know, Pat can be stubborn. The last time I saw Pat was just a little less than a month ago at the downtown breakfast when I sat and talked to him.....I should have just put him in my car and taken him to the hospital that day as his disease was obviously taking a toll on his body.
I was never close to Pat but we worked together for many years. He had a love for Scouting that was quite obvious and he was a friend to all. Many staff members have looked upon him as a mentor and have a deep respect for him as he treated all of them like equals. This is one of the reasons the staff selected him as Staff Member of the Year a few years ago. He cared about his community and participated in many activities including being a volunteer firefighter and EMT. When Pat received his promotion, he was reluctant to leave Camp Parsons as he had such a love for the property, the people and the program.
For the camp and the program, the journey will continue on. Over the past year we have lost many camp icons from the old days; Loody Christoferro, Bob Lamm, Jim Nussbaum to name a few. We are coming up on the second anniversary of the tragic death of Ed Dayton whose life ended unexpected and unfairly. Today, we mourn Pat, who brought joy and happiness to many scouts and staff members who came to Camp Parsons during the years he was there and will live forever in their hearts and memories.
...softly falls the light of day, until our campfire fades away....... Goodnight and good bye Pat Lundemo, may you rest in peace.
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