Jesse Raymond Priem: January 8th, 1953 – May 17th, 2012.
My Dad died last week, very suddenly. Sudden as in, he was young, healthy (or so everyone thought) and energetic, helping his friend roof his cabin, and collapsed before he could even say a word of warning he was in distress. The guy with him knew CPR and the ambulance came 10 minutes later and they couldn’t revive him. Preliminary autopsy says Coronary Artery Disease, which I knew little about but apparently is the #1 cause of death and #1 cause of sudden death in the U.S. But, he just had a physical and came back all clear. He was 59.
I could write forever about what he was like, but am not up for it right now. But I got an e-mail from someone he did work for, who I’d never even met (he was a self-employed general contractor and genius in building and fixing anything) that pretty much sums up what people thought about him:
“Hi, Kelly. I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. He was an absolutely great guy. He did our kitchen remodel about five years ago, and from there he did more projects for us and for many of our best friends. He was at one of our friends’ houses a couple weeks ago, actually, when I stopped by to pick up my daughter. He was in the basement and I yelled down to say hello. He came upstairs and told me he was going to Norway and was so excited about it. We talked about how much he likes to travel and how we wanted to start doing more of it. I asked him about his grand baby (Jane) and he just smiled and shook his head proudly and said something like “Ah man, is she cute”. I feel like getting the chance to see him that day, even for a few minutes, was a blessing. It was so nice to see him so recently and to have that memory of him being so proud of his granddaughter.
My husband and I have talked often about how we’d be so happy if our boys grow up to be like your dad – hard working, honest, fair, and dedicated. He was so talented, skilled, and smart. He had an incredible attitude and energy. We feel like we’ve gotten to know him pretty well over the years. We loved his common sense attitude toward life and politics and raising kids.
All of our friends I mentioned above have emailed me or called to say what a huge loss it is to no longer have Jesse Priem in the world. I know you’ve lost an incredible dad too. Please share with your mom and sister that we are all grieving with you and our hearts go out to you. We are all better for having known your dad. ”
My Dad & Mom:
Dad with Jane, last summer:
Hug and appreciate your parents. You just never know.