James & I were shocked and saddened to receive the news today that our dear friend, Duncan Rogerson, passed away on Thursday. We grieve for fruitbat, for he has lost his dear partner.
Many of you know “‘bat and Dunc” who live in the U.K. and some of you have had the pleasure of meeting them on one of their visits to Frisco. We met them through our friends Mike & Tim, who were early adopters of “the internets” and enjoyed meeting and talking with people from around the world via that new (at the time) way of communicating. It was also through Mike & Tim that James & I originally connected.
Duncan and fruitbat love to travel around the world, meeting people and seeing new places and experiencing new things. They have visited us and we have visited them. We even caught up with them in 2000 when ‘bat & Dunc and James & I were in Sydney simultaneously.
Duncan collapsed on Christmas Eve 1999 while he was visiting friends in Australia. It turned out to be a brain tumor, and it was malignant. Their six week holiday turned into a six month stay so that Dunc could have surgery to remove the tumor and have chemotherapy. His surgery went remarkably well and his recovery was nearly 100%; he had been told to expect to lose motor function on his right side.
James & I were delighted to see Dunc in the flesh – bright-eyed and bushy-tailed – just a few months later when we caught up with them in Australia. We have seen Dunc & bat several times since then, about once a year – not as frequently as we’d like, but as often as we can.
Unfortunately, the cancer returned. I don’t know all the details, but ‘bat called us earlier today to say that Duncan had been in the hospital the last few days and that he deteriorated very fast and that he passed away on Thursday.
Duncan is truly one of the nicest and kindest people that I’ve ever known. His personality is in sharp contrast to ‘bat’s free-spirited and, dare I say, hedonistic outlook. Duncan was always the “proper” gentleman, trying (often in vain) to rein in ‘bat’s more outgoing nature.
My biggest regret is that we didn’t get to see them often enough. If we lived nearer, no doubt that Dunc & ‘bat would be among our closest friends, doing things together constantly as we do with our near-neighbor friends. Still, we consider them to be among our very best friends.
Duncan cares a lot about his family and friends. He is well-liked, easy-going and made friends very easily wherever he went – and he went a lot of places and saw a lot of the world. Duncan is very generous and always went out of his way to take care of other people. We saw Dunc & ‘bat whenever we could and Dunc was always the most gracious host. He and ‘bat have shown me a lot of the U.K. each time that I have visited. My last 3 visits, in particular, have been among the most pleasant. In October, I had the great pleasure and honor of being shown about western England around Cheddar and Bath by Duncan and fruitbat. They took me literally everywhere worth seeing. They let me sleep in the bed in their caravan (motor home to the Yanks) while they slept outside in a tent. They fed me most days and Duncan made us coffee every morning and afternoon.
The only time Duncan would get a little bit cross was when I tried to do the dishes or put fuel in the caravan. He felt it was his obligation as the host. He wanted to make absolutely certain that his guests were comfortable and felt at home. He always went out of his way to ensure that I had anything I needed or wanted and he and fruitbat always make sure each time that I visit that I see and do so much. That is the kind of people they are and the kind of person that Duncan is.
Duncan also cares a lot about the environment. He hates wastefulness, particularly when it comes to natural resources. His family has asked that his friends around the globe plant a tree in his memory so that, as fruitbat so beautifully says, “wherever in the world the sun is, it’ll find a reminder of somebody that cared about him.” I’ll bet there will be a lot of trees planted in Duncan’s memory, because there are so many people who care about him, as he did for them.
So long, Duncan. You’ve made an indelible mark here that will not be forgotten or erased.