I was juggling other entries on top of everything else I was trying to do today and before I go to sleep I wanted to at least end my day with this sad announcement.
Today was my nephew’s birthday so when I called my brother’s house he told me the bad news right away about Uncle Chief passing away over the weekend. I had heard that he was diagnosed with stomach cancer over the year but never received any details.
Although I only saw him a few times in my life, he was pretty decent person to me. He was the first Maggi to earn his college degree (my dad is younger which why he “lost” the race). Chief had been an executive with food packaging companies (I think). His time with M&M/Mars was memorable since all kids dig candy. He also managed several of his own businesses which I thought was fitting because he always was a boss-type person. That’s not meant to be a dig, there’s just some people who like to be in charge and they always have a plan.
Sadly, the last time I saw him was the Summer of 1986 before I left for Marquette. Chief and his wife Mary were in the process of moving to Seattle to start a new business or something, it was 19 years ago, I don’t remember the details. I only wish I had at least one more interaction with him as an adult since I was still a smart-assed, know-it-all teenager in 1986.
One great thing I will always remember about though was a discovery I learned about him in 1985. That Summer, Grandma (Maggi) was terminally ill with cancer. Before she died, she left me her vast collection of sci-fi paperbacks. I had no idea she liked that stuff but it did explain why I liked it. However, why didn’t my dad read sci-fi? Dad preferred mysteries, especially Agatha Christie. Turned out Chief was a big fan of Tolkien and Herbert so he inherited Grandma’s hardbacks of those novels. At least I wasn’t alone in my family for liking that “nerd junk.”