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Goodbye to a friend

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by JShirley, Jan 9, 2010.

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  1. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Byron E. Quick III, 55, died Monday, Dec. 7, 2009 at the University Hospital in Augusta, Ga.

    Mr. Quick was a native of Richmond County and a longtime resident of Waynesboro.



    I met Byron Quick in 1998 at the Bujinkan Atlanta Dojo. I was going through a rough stretch as my marriage was ending, and we hung out several times after class, going to local restaurants for dinner. Byron lived in Waynesboro, and drove about 180 miles to attend class. He worked weekends at a hospital, and attended class during the week. He eventually asked if it would be okay if he spent a few nights a month at my house. He would try to drive down every other Tuesday, go to class, spend the night, go to class Wednesday morning and Wednesday night, and then drive back Wednesday or Thursday.

    Byron and I became very good friends. He had been training, on and off, in the martial arts since the 1980s. He read extensively, so he had great background knowledge of Japanese martial arts, in fact he had a surprising knowledge of a wide range of subjects. He supported me when I joined the Army after 9-11, storing many of my things, and offering a place to stay when I left active duty in late 2003. I took care of him after his stroke in 2004, as he emotionally supported me during the same time as my father died an early death from cancer.

    Byron was a complicated person, in some respects. Born in small-town Georgia, he had never quite fit in with most people of his generation. A bookish young man, he had explored the world through his reading, beginning at a young age. He had joined the Army Reserve when members were permitted to wear “short hair wigs” over longer hair in the post-Vietnam era.

    Byron was no stranger to adversity. His father had neurofibromatosis, a hereditary disease that causes tumors to grow on nerves. These tumors can cause incredible pain or become malignant. Byron had this disease, as well, and feared he might eventually lose some or all of his motor functions, as his father had. He had recurrent pain in his legs from tumors, and had several of his exterior vertebra removed during a spinal operation in 1994. A hard blow to his upper spine after that date could have killed him. Byron also was diabetic, and had a stroke in 2004 that left him with balance problems and almost no vision in his left eye. Byron was also a recovering drug addict and alcoholic, in addition to being a heavy smoker. Between recovering a lot of property from customers who had defaulted while he was in the furniture business, and drawing a strong line in the sand to the bullies in his high school class, Byron was no stranger to physical danger.

    Byron loved shooting and the shooting community. He had long enjoyed good firearms, and he blamed me for his renewed interest. After we became friends, his firearm collection grew extensively, with most of his discretionary income going for firearms and gear. I joined The Firing Line when it started in 1998, and told Byron about it. He joined and loved the online community, and was a staff member of The High Road since it began in December of 2002. After I left the Army in late 2003, several of the THR staff members met together at the hunting cabin on land Byron had hunted since he was a child. This was one of the high points of Byron’s life. Though not everyone could be there at once, some of the pictures taken from that meeting can be seen here.

    Byron’s friendship with Al Thompson, Art Eatman, Derek Zeanah, hso, Johnny and Matt Guest, Jeff White, Kaylee, Oleg Volk, Rob Pincus, and especially Tamara was a source of pride and great joy. Byron had no living close relatives, and we became his family.

    Byron was afraid of growing feeble as he aged. Several months ago, a mutual friend in the medical community estimated Byron had four years left. Byron estimated less. He could have died from any number of causes, and I am somewhat sad I’m not sure exactly what killed him. Byron won’t grow feeble, but he will be missed as a stubborn, ornery, argumentative, frequently brilliant man and loyal friend and fascinating raconteur.

    Byron’s idea of the afterlife was interesting, and a bit hard to characterize. I am happy he is finally at peace and without pain. Goodbye, buddy.

    Here is a picture Oleg took at the Thanksgiving, 2003 get-together. Byron was always very proud of it.
     

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  2. sm

    sm member

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    We are diminished.

    Words cannot express how sad I am to hear of Byron's passing.

    RIP

    Steve
     
  3. NinjaFeint

    NinjaFeint Member

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    RIP Byron. We lose too many good men at far too young an age
     
  4. tc54

    tc54 Member

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    very nice write-up for your buddy. i'm sure he was proud to call you his friend. i have a brother in law who also has neurofibromitosis. like you friend byron, my bil deals with the issues caused by the disease. may byron rest in pece.
     
  5. Oleg Volk

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

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    He shall be missed.
     
  6. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    Blessed be the true judge.

    (A customary Jewish saying that one says upon hearing of someone's passing.)
     
  7. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    I've met a bunch of THR members, including a lot of Staff.

    I never got to meet Byron, though I valued his counsel when I was learning the ropes.

    My loss.

    Vaya Con Dios, my friend. Rest in Peace.
     
  8. Nugilum

    Nugilum Member

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    I had the honor of meeting Byron once in Augusta. He is now at peace and at rest from his pain.

    We'll miss you Byron.
     
  9. Boris Barowski

    Boris Barowski Member

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    I can tell by that nice text you were fond of him.
    May he rest in peace.

    Vaarwel
     
  10. cassandrasdaddy

    cassandrasdaddy Member

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    i am saddened i never had the honor but enjoyed his perspective even when it opposed mine.
     
  11. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    Hello. Sad news. May he rest in peace.

    Best.
     
  12. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    I'm very sad too learn of Byrons passing. My condolences and sympathy
    to his extended THR family and friends~!
     
  13. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

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    I knew him only as a "One of the Mods", but he sounded like a hell of a guy. Good journey, Sir.
     
  14. Tacbandit

    Tacbandit Member

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    Sorry for your loss...
     
  15. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    I always respected the hell out of you, and valued your points of view.


    We'll miss you, buddy.


    Try not to get in too much trouble, too soon in the next life.
     
  16. sensop

    sensop Member

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    Rest in Peace, Spartacus.















    Well done, John.
     
  17. Lonestar49

    Lonestar49 Member

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    ...

    I agree, very nice of you to write about Byron and share with us.

    RIP,


    Ls
     
  18. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    It was "our" loss. There is a difference,
     
  19. george29

    george29 Member

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    The term friend aptly applies, he was blessed to have good friends. Nice eulogy.
     
  20. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Rest in Peace, sir.
     
  21. Felonious Monk

    Felonious Monk Member

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    We've lost a good man and a class act. RIP, Byron.

    Monk
     
  22. prism

    prism Member

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    Rest in peace.
     
  23. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

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    Unmet Friends

    Byron and I shared an odd mix of viewpoints.

    We never met, we never talked. Nonetheless I had great respect for his knowledge and experience.

    It was a comfort just to know that he was there, that he was available, that someone else out there knew things that I knew.

    Now that balm is gone. I'll miss him. I know it's selfish; he's got other engagements now; his business in our here and now is done.

    But, selfish though it be, I will miss him nonetheless.

    Petty of me. Too bad.

    Miss you, Byron.

     
  24. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    Terrible news, but glad to hear he is in a better place. He'll be missed.
     
  25. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

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    One of our best crossed over. To those close to him, my heart goes out to you. As for me personally, I never met him in person, but got to know him quite well via PMs. A most high class individual.
     
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