Rest in Peace – JED68/72

I haven’t been contributing much to this blog the past few weeks, as you may have noticed. Because blogging is a very personal enterprise, I feel comfortable sharing the news of Monday’s passing of a great Wolfpacker – my father.

My father received his B.S. in civil engineering in 1968, and his Masters in 1972. He also started taking me to Wolfpack football games before I was out of diapers. My first distinct childhood memory is of Carter-Finley stadium – the deafening roar followed by stunned silence as Penn State kicked a last-second 54-yard FG to beat the Pack. A little less than 5 years later, a better memory followed. My Dad got us tickets to the 1983 home victory against UNC, complete with Dean Smith technical. I was so deliriously wild (and deaf from the noise) afterward that I almost got hit by a car in the parking lot.

The Wolfpack memories followed, good and bad, and my father was with me for almost all of them until I left to start work towards my own NC State engineering degree in the Fall of 1991. Dad intervening with Mom and letting me stay home alone to watch the 1983 ACCT final alone (skipping a family trip to the circus), despite only being 9 years old. Staying up with me very late on a Monday night during the school year to see V finish the miracle run and dash around madly looking for someone to hug. Had we been living in Raleigh (instead of Charlotte), I have no doubt he would have taken me to the bonfire. Pulling me out of school to fly to Nebraska for the 1988 NCAAT opening rounds – a great trip despite the outcome (loss to Murray State). We went to every home football game (even after Hurricane Hugo crashed a tree onto the roof of our van – we duct-taped black plastic bags over the seams and made the trip anyway), and watched or listened to pretty much every basketball (and road football) game. It was part of the fabric of our lives, and was something we always had in common despite the various other tensions that every father and son experience through adolescence and beyond.

After I left home, the trips together continued – the Mississippi State Peach Bowl win, and the smackdown of Notre Dame in the Gator (surprise Christmas present from me). Every phone call or visit home included discussions of NC State. His Wolfpack legacy is unbeatable – he married a State grad, and together they raised 3 children, all of whom graduated from NC State. Not only that, all 3 of us also married (or are engaged to, in my sister’s case) NC State alumni.

More than just a great Wolfpacker – he was a great father and a great man. Like Jim Valvano, he was taken from us far too early (age 60) by an aggressive, incurable cancer. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for memorial donations to The V Foundation for Cancer Research. I know that the hardest part for me (even more so than speaking at the funeral service Thursday morning) will be sitting in Carter-Finley this fall, and seeing his empty seat directly in front of mine. So, if you see an apparent basketcase in Section 27 on opening night this September, go easy on me.

Without the passion for Wolfpack athletics that he instilled in me, I likely never would have starting writing for a blog – and certainly wouldn’t be determined to keep doing it for years and years. I take great comfort in knowing that my father was a man of great faith, and can only hope that Heaven comes with internet access, so that he can follow my rabid ramblings until the day I join him.

Thanks to all of you for reading.

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

Alums General

49 Responses to Rest in Peace – JED68/72

  1. tobaccordshow 07/17/2007 at 4:24 PM #

    Wow, very touching. I’m sorry for your loss and my prayers are with you and your family.

  2. pack80 07/17/2007 at 4:29 PM #

    Out thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones. I know he’s bending Jimmy V. and Norm’s ear at this moment. God bless.

  3. Six Pack 07/17/2007 at 4:33 PM #

    That reminds me of my father and how important the Wolfpack has been in our relationship. My father graduated from State in 1968 as well. My prayers go to your family during this sad time.

  4. Big Worm 07/17/2007 at 4:57 PM #

    Ditto with regard to State-related activities being a fair portion of the fabric that makes up our metaphorical family quilt. It’s a tie that transcends sports, and one that will undoubtedly bring out some happy memories for you and yours in this terribly sad time.

    Thoughts and prayers with you and yours-

  5. DRW 07/17/2007 at 5:07 PM #

    I’m very sorry for your loss.

  6. PackGirl 07/17/2007 at 5:18 PM #

    What a great dad.

  7. Mike 07/17/2007 at 6:05 PM #

    Sorry to hear of your loss BJD, but I hope you still share the memories. Those are something that can never be taken away.

  8. GAWolf 07/17/2007 at 6:10 PM #

    I haven’t posted in a while, and that is the first thing I’ve seen on here worthy of me quitting work long enough to post. Great story, great dad, great memories. I’m sorry for your loss, but clearly you are fortunate son.

    This is clearly the part of NC State athletics that means the most to me as well. Getting together with good friends and family for quality time spent together to go to or watch a game means much more in the big picture than whether we cheer or jeer at the end of the game. Well… your dad (and my dad) would probably say: maybe not much more important, but at least slightly more important.

  9. VaWolf82 07/17/2007 at 6:57 PM #

    I am so sorry for your loss. I’ll be thinking about you on Thursday morning. I’m sure that it will be very difficult and I’m equally sure that you’ll do a great job.

    When I get where I’m going
    There’ll be only happy tears…

    I’m gonna walk with my …….daddy
    And he’ll match me step for step
    And I’ll tell him how I missed him
    Every minute since he left
    Then I’ll hug his neck


    I guess it’s not what you take
    When you leave this world behind you
    It’s what you leave behind you when you go

  10. kool k 07/17/2007 at 7:02 PM #

    Very touching. Sorry for your loss.

  11. SaccoV 07/17/2007 at 9:37 PM #

    I feel for you BJD. Although my father could not attend NC State, I was able to live his dream and graduate from the Red and White. Best wishes to you and your family. Long live the Wolfpackers who gave us our passion.

  12. Cosmo96 07/17/2007 at 9:38 PM #

    I’m sorry to hear about your dad. You wrote a really great tribute.

  13. highstick 07/17/2007 at 10:09 PM #

    Sorry to hear about your father and my prayers go out for you and your family. I guess he and I were probably classmates twice at State having been there at both times that he received his degrees.

  14. BoKnowsNCS71 07/17/2007 at 10:15 PM #

    Sorry to hear the news. I lost my father some time ago but still remember when he had the game tickets to CF and would take me and my brother. I know you have the same memories — and they will last forever.

  15. dubpack 07/17/2007 at 10:21 PM #

    My dad being an NCSU grad I know how much athletics build the father/son relationship….it is quite special. I have no doubt that the way you speak about your father he will still be there every Saturday at Carter-Finley. My prayers are with your entire family and God bless.

  16. dallas-pack 07/17/2007 at 10:47 PM #

    Sorry for your loss – he really does sound like a great father.

  17. brown pelican 07/17/2007 at 11:03 PM #

    great stuff—my dad was a dookie—raised me that way until i saw the light and went red—still—the memories you describe remind me of my time with him—one of the many blessings that athletics can provide us with is the intimacy that we can share with loved ones through the bond of affiliation with that special group—in our case the pack—may God bless your dad and you family—go pack!

  18. branjawn 07/17/2007 at 11:06 PM #

    I’m sorry for your loss. Thanks for reminding me I should talk to my own dad more often, I’m going to call the old man right now.

    “Our hearts ever hold you, N.C. State in the folds
    of our love and pride.” …and our great Wolfpack dads too.

  19. chris92heel 07/17/2007 at 11:11 PM #

    my condolences BJD. May our dad RIP.

  20. Sw0rdf1sh 07/17/2007 at 11:59 PM #

    Thanks for sharing this about your Dad. I hope I can pass on some of the same to my son.

  21. CaptainCraptacular 07/18/2007 at 12:11 AM #

    Thank you for sharing a little bit of him with us. What a wondeful tribute to what sounds like a wonderful father who will live on in spirit and memory.

  22. bTHEredterror 07/18/2007 at 4:09 AM #

    My condolences to you and your family. My prayers are with you.

  23. whitefang 07/18/2007 at 7:25 AM #

    BJD your story touched me very deeply. You have my deepest condolences. Sports have provided so many great father-son moments and memories for all of us. I hope everyone will forgive this long reply but here is the NC State memory it brought back to me.
    I lost my 20 year old son to cancer last August. He was a huge sports fan and being the son of an NCSU graduate he grew up a huge State fan and hated UNC with a passion (although he ended up going to UVa for what he wanted to study). Back in 1997 (or maybe 1996 or 1998 – you history guru’s will know) we were playing UNC in the Dean Dome. I THINK they were ranked #1. I had gotten to know the UNC chancellor, Michael Hooker (also a victim of that sorry disease) as he spent some time at a company I was running, and in our rivalry kidding around he challenged me to come to Chapel Hill to the game as his guest. We weren’t that great that year, but my son knew about the challenge and he INSISTED we come. Well he comes out of his room that morning to leave for the game and he has on red State sweat pants, a red State sweatshirt, and a red State hat. I am ashamed to say I asked him to tone it down a little as we were going into enemy territory. He refused though so off we go for the 3 hour drive to Chapel Hell with him dressed in red from head to toe. We get in the game and obviously have pretty good seats. Actually the Tarheel fans around us couldn’t have been nicer to my son (he was 11 or 12), and they sort of “adopted” him as he was yelling for State the whole time. I am sure they thought he was cute.
    Well you history buffs know we actually had the game won easily with a minute or 2 to go so I told my son we needed to get out of there and beat the traffic as we (I) had a 3 hour drive home. He said, “Dad we aren’t leaving here until the horn sounds. I am going to enjoy every second of this.” So we did and when the horn blew he stood there with his arms straight up in the air going “Yes, yes, yes!!!” Other State fans were running up to him and high-fiving him as he stood out from most of the crowd the whole game.
    Man what a great memory. Thanks for bringing it back to me.
    The other purpose of this post is to encourage everyone to give to the V Foundation or another cancer fighting group of your choice. This disease is taking too damn many of our good people whether they are 62, 20, or 5. We can beat it if we “never give up.”

  24. Trout 07/18/2007 at 8:19 AM #


    My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. I never met your father, but he sounds like the kind of man any kid would love to have as a father. What you wrote is exactly what V had in mind when said:

    “To me there are three things everyone should do every day. Number one is laugh. Number two–spend some time in thought. Number three, you should have your emotions move you to tears. If you laugh, think, and cry, that’s a heck of a day.”

    Your father created the laugh, think and cry memories you will carry with you forever.

    He’s up in heaven now helping V with a junk defense, and no doubt your father has already given V that hug he was looking for in 1983.

    God bless you and your family.


  25. eas 07/18/2007 at 9:29 AM #

    Sorry for your loss…It’s great you have so many wonderful memories to take along with you. Our prayers are with you.

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