Dan and Hannah and Their Friend Milt

It was just three years ago that a neighbor called and said Milt needs a fourth for pickleball at his private court.  Soon, Milt, who didn’t know me from Adam, welcomed me to his place with open arms. 

The next day they needed another player so Hannah came along.  Taken with Hannah’s spunk and power, Milt had us back again and again.  To his credit, Milt in his 80s wanted to learn the game not just whack the ball as hard as he could.  Still quite the athlete (Milt was once a scratch golfer), he worked on his soft game and his serve. 

You see, Milt and his wife Carolyn live in northern Virginia.  Each summer around Memorial Day they come to their place in Maine, which happens to be just five miles from our home in York.

To welcome them back this first Friday in June, 2021, I dial Milt’s number.  No answer.  No surprise as Milt has been working remotely ever since the pandemic grabbed the country and world by the throat.  I try Carolyn’s number and she also does not pick up.  Still not out of the ordinary.  Carolyn has a full life here in Maine, too.

I then text their son Rick, to see if they are even in Maine.  In minutes, Rick replies, Hi Dan, Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Milt passed away last week.  Family in mourning.  Thanks and give my best to Hannah.

Stunned does not do justice to this news.  Disbelieving!  Incredulous!  I could empty the thesaurus describing how much I was blown away.  When Hannah and I last saw Milt this past September on the pickleball court, he looked great, full of pep, and talkative as ever. 

Many was the time that Carolyn came to watch us all play.  From her courtside vantage point, she kept score, complemented good shots, and sassily commented on what Milt should have done better.  In time, Carolyn learned that Hannah cut hair in people’s homes.  Soon Hannah became their barber and hair stylist.

Milt always said, Come and play anytime you want, and we did.  And despite his many business interests, Milt was often able to get away for an hour to play with us.  Upbeat, complementary to others, and sometimes tough on himself, he was always a joy to be around. 

The last time we saw him, we parked just twenty feet from his driveway so we wouldn’t block any cars coming and going.  He gently admonished me, What are you doing parking on the side road.  You’re friends of mine, park up front by the house.  And so we did.

Rest in peace, my friend. 

Click here for the obituary of this amazing, generous man. 

Images

Top – Milt Peterson

Middle – Our friend Fran with Hannah at Milt’s pickleball court

Bottom – Our friends Alan (red) and Genny (yellow) at the court with Hannah serving, Milt in the distance

10 thoughts on “Dan and Hannah and Their Friend Milt

  1. I am so sorry, Dan. I have 36 cousins in my mother’s side. This hits home for me because I leave this afternoon to drive to the funeral of my closest cousin who suddenly died at just the age of 65. Shocking. Stunned. Really can’t believe it. I am only 5 months older than her and lived with her family many, many summers. Yes, we had years we drifted apart, but when we get together at family reunions or the much-too-often family funerals (our mothers were part of a family with 9 children and only one aunt is left), we always picked up where we left off and laughed and laughed and laughed. She was one-of-a-kind. I take for granted with my planning that I have at least another 20, if not 30 years! This has been somewhat of a cold bucket of water in my face. I am NOT looking forward to attending a “McClung” funeral where she and I cannot sit together. I am so sorry you, too, lost a friend you assumed would there for you much longer. He sounds like an awesome guy!

  2. Dan, oh, so sorry for your recent loss of Milt. But as you know, as we age, it’s apt to happen more. Remember the good times ! Love to all, cally😁❤️

  3. Beautiful tribute!!!!! Rest in peace, friend of Dan and Hannah. ps – we were happily on the road, Mike and Jacob, driving and navigator, to Huntington Beach, to attend a fabulous family wedding, postponed from last June. We ate sandwiches in Blythe, . . Targe, tired, but, okay, often tired. Then he became unresponsive, and seizing. We told Pam who was an hour ahead of us – we had to turn around, back to Mayo!!! Hyatt in Huntington, didn’t blink – returned our deposit on $3000i two night stay, in two bedroom suite, ocean view. Targe is at Mayo, sedated, meningitis. Sad, but will pray for a few more golden years.

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