John Fakan PhD.

For many years, I have had an expression that I really hated using.  I use it now to help John into his next plane.  I am old enough now that I’m losing my memory and can’t recall for sure when I met John, I believe it was 1964 when I was a resident in surgery at Bay View Hospital.  John had just graduated from Case Western Reserve In Cleveland Ohio and had a degree in Math.  He and Helene were in the apartment next to mine and we became close friends.  Helene and i once swam 50 miles that summer in a pool at the apartments.  It only took 5 or 6 strokes to get from one end to the other but still we swam and both did 50 miles.  Of course I had to do it after work while she (cheated  hehe) got to swim during the day.  My wife Fran (at that time) went with John, Helene, and son Steve to Colorado.  IT was a wonderful experience.  After graduating from Case Western, John was employed at NASA in Cleveland and showed me all sorts of magical things.  The first contact I ever had with a computer.  A wind tunnel, computer programs on a business card that one put in a keyboard like a typewriter, and Martha Washingtons monument. 🙂 (it was a deep hole in the ground where they did tests)

John was about as close to all knowing as I’ve ever known.  We could talk for hours on end and he was always the teacher.  I shall miss him very much.  He was the first one to tell me that the more you learn, the more you are able to learn.  I wholeheartedly support this statement.  He showed me that Ham Radio, and learning to type and learning Morse code made big jumps in learning capability.  A topic for another post.

It hasn’t been long ago, that colon cancer was discovered in John and it was already metastatic to the liver.  He put himself thru much (too much in my view, but I’d never tell him that) chemo-therapy and other surgeries.  I suspect he was a patient for science as well as life.

Johns wife, Helene, has been telling me of the coming of the end of Johns life here on earth.  I consider him to be “In a State of Grace”.  I have used this phrase way too many painful times for others.  Being a physician sometimes is painful.  John, you were a wonderful friend and I will miss you.

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One Response to John Fakan PhD.

  1. Sandye Fakan says:

    Hi Bob,

    That was a very nice blog about my dad. We all miss him. I never heard of the story of you and my mom swimming 50 laps in the apartments. That must have been Jamestown Village. One of my favourite memories from my childhood is still the visit to your place in Tampa, Florida. I remember the huge storm, the fire at the circus, but most of all I remember the Manitees and Chris shivering in the boat. I was so angry at dad that day because he wouldn’t let me swim with them because of the temperature of the water. Those huge beasts had me so enthralled. Thanks for a memory that has lasted a lifetime. Keep in touch. Would love to hear from you.

    Sandye Fakan

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