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The Death of a Friend

I lost my very good friend, of fifty years, to cancer, last week. Dean Beguhl Way back when I was in high school and jr. college, 1955-1958, Dean Beguhl and I were very good friends. He wasn’t my boyfriend, but he was my very good friend. Dean 1956  He was a year ahead of me in school. Dean was from Idaho and I was from Iowa. He was a wonderful singer! The best, my favorite! anita 1957 We lost track of each other after leaving Wessington Springs Jr. College in South Dakota. He went to New York, I came to Michigan. But our friendship remained even though we lost track of each other. In 2000 I saw a post on Facebook about a man splitting logs. It was on a mutual friend’s page. It said the man was Dean Beguhl! So I wrote a comment: “What is my favorite singer doing, splitting logs?” Then Dean and I became friends on Facebook. He explained to me that when he and Norma retired they moved to Michigan, bought five acres of woods and built a log home. They lived by their daughter and family. I wrote back immediately: When Jerry and I retired, we bought five acres of woods and built a log home! We live near our son and family! That was the beginning of our renewed friendship. We invited them to come for a visit…they came! This picture of Dean and Norma is in front of our spiral staircase!


Norma & Dean Beguhl

It was the first time for Norma to meet us and the first time for Jerry to meet both of them and for them to meet him. Dean and I picked up our friendship from about 50 years ago! We had a great time!


Norma & Dean at the Midland Tridge!


Two sets of grandparents!

One day he mentioned a wood carving class he’d sure love to attend but just couldn’t pay for the class and also for a motel for a week. I asked where it was and he replied at the Midland County Fairgrounds! I immediately told him it was only about four miles from our house! He was welcome to stay in our guest room! So he came. It was a very good week for him! He was a very talented wood-carver! We have several of his masterpieces in our curio cabinet.

Dean Beguhl at work

Dean Beguhl at work

When Dean was staying that week with us, he and I renewed our own friendship from 50 years ago! We had great visits. One night we stayed up just talking, in the sunroom, way past 1:00 AM. Jerry had gone to bed early so we just reminisced, looked at old pictures, we discussed our happy marriages and our children, and our relationship with God through Christ. I’ll never forget that night.


Dean is eating a piece of my blueberry pie.

We were invited to visit them in their home and had an enjoyable time with them. Our log homes are different in style but both are unique and we all loved both of them!  Their logs were from British Colombia, Canada. Ours were from the upper peninsula of Michigan.


Archer’s log home.

Beguhl's log home

Beguhl’s log home

They came back to visit us one more time. We had another very good visit and time together.


Jerry, Norma, & Dean.

Norma was beginning to have some serious problems. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In between cancer treatments, they began fulfilling some of her bucket list. A concert by a favorite singer, tandem skydiving! Norma Skydiving  Dean Skydiving  What an exciting adventure for both of them.

About six months ago, Dean revealed to us that he also had pancreatic cancer. While Norma has outlived all the predictions, Dean’s life ended May 24, 2015. It’s so sad to think about. But at the same time I’m so thankful for the past couple of years when we renewed our friendship from so many years ago! We’ll meet again someday when it’s my time to go, there’s no doubt about it! But I truly thank God for giving us this time of renewing our friendship.

4 thoughts on “The Death of a Friend

  1. How wonderful to renew a friendship later on in life – and just in time it seems! As long as the pixels and electrons hold together, you will have this tribute to share. It seems you and Dean have much in common, including lovely log cabins.

    You high school photo is lovely!

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