Monday, March 30, 2009

Relentlessly Positive

Today I went to the bank to deal with financial stuff. The guy there who took care of me remembered Jack as soon as he saw the death certificate. And he was, of course, saddened and shocked at Jack's passing. At the end of our business there, he told me that the word Jack frequently used to describe how he was doing that day was "groovy." Or sometimes "groovitational." (That was one of his favorites I think.)

And that kind of sums up Jack's attitude on life. He was always "groovy." He always concentrated on the positive, not the negative. I don't know how he did it.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Online Guestbook

The online guestbook is now up at
Also, his official obit is published in today's Seattle Times. It can be accessed by searching on any website.

Thank you to those who have made donations already. They will really help us.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Contribution Info

For those who have been wanting to make a memorial contribution, I finally have that info posted in the sidebar. I wasn't able to install a PayPal button, so it's a little cumbersome.

Here are the choices: to contribute directly to the support of Linda & the girls, you can go to any WaMu bank and make a deposit to account number 313-624370-0, or you can use PayPal and make a payment to account name Those funds will go directly to support Linda and the girls for the next little while.


The charity that Jack and I have always favored is Seattle Children's Hospital.

Seattle Children's Hospital
PO Box 50020
Seattle WA 98145
in memory of Jack Darkhand

Thursday, March 26, 2009

At Last ~ Memorial Service Details

Finally, here are the details for Jack's memorial services and memorial contributions:

Seattle area:

4/4/09 Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church
19020 Woodinville Duvall Road
Woodinville WA 98072
Time: 12:30 to 3:00

There will be an opportunity for folks to gather at local restaurants to continue remembering Jack after the service if they choose.
If you are interested in helping with set up or clean up or refreshments we need a few volunteers, please call Jack's little sister Celia Alario at 310.721.6517

Santa Cruz services:

Hosted by Herne’s Oak and Friends

Saturday, April 18th, 2009
Gather at 1PM, Ritual at 2PM

Forty Thieves Picnic Area, George Washington Grove, in Lower DeLaveaga
Park (850 N. Branciforte Dr.)

Join us for a memorial service for our wonderful friend Jack Darkhand who passed on to Summerland March 22nd, 2009. All are welcome, especially those who were unable to make it up to the funeral in Seattle. There will be a simple ritual, followed by a picnic potluck social.

What to bring: A white flower (natural, not synthetic), food & drink to share, pictures of Jack, your stories and memories, drums and
instruments to play. Donations towards the cost of the site rental fee will be much appreciated.

The Forty Thieves site is accessible to those who are physically challenged, with plenty picnic tables and grills, potable water,
brand-new accessible bathrooms and paved, accessible parking. Please leave your all your animal friends (Dogs, Cats, Ferrets, Toads, Owls, etc.) at home. Santa Cruz weather can be unpredictable at this time of year so you may wish to dress in layers, bring sunscreen and a hat. Poison Oak is widespread in the park, please use caution if exploring away from the cleared areas.

Memorial Contributions in lieu of flowers:
fund to help support Linda & the girls in the interim:
WaMu account 313-624370-0
There will be a PayPal link on the here soon for this donation


Seattle Children's Hospital
PO Box 50020
Seattle WA 98145
in memory of Jack Darkhand

There will be an online guestbook at soon.

Lodging Info

For those of you who will be travelling from out of town for Jack's memorial service and are planning on staying in a motel, here is a list of accomodations that are in the area:

These are the closest hotel/motels to the center of Kenmore. I have included only those that advertised rates of $100 per night or less. I ASSUME that if you tell them the event that you are attending, they will give you a deal, but this is not confirmed. Most of them do advertise special rates for AAA or AARP, Military or other special groups.
If you need more information for any specific place, Google the name with the city, and there will be full websites.

Country Inn and Suites Bothell-
19333 North Creek Parkway Bothell, WA 98011 US (425) 485-5557
** These folks have offered a special $89.00 rate if you mention the Darkhand Memorial, and will have directions to the memorial venue.

Residence Inn by Marriott Seattle Northeast-Bothell-
11920 Northeast 195th Street Bothell, WA 98011 US
(425) 485-3030
**Jack & I had a good experience with this chain in Portland. They have small kitchenettes, fridge and dishes in the rooms.

Kenmore Inn Motel-
8042 NE Bothell Way, Kenmore, WA 98028
(425) 485-9575
**The rooms are clean and neat

Sierra Suites Hotel
22122 17th Avenue
Southeast, Bothell, WA 98021
(425) 482-2900

Extended Stay America Seattle-Bothell-
923 228th Street SE Bothell, WA 98021 (425) 402-4252

Holiday Inn Express Bothell-Canyon Park- I-405, W
22922 15th Avenue SE, Bothell, WA 98021 US
(425) 483-8100

Comfort Inn and Suites-
1414 228th St., SE, Bothell, WA 98021 (425) 402-0900

Springhill Suites by Marriott-
3850 Monte Villa Pkwy Bothell, WA 98021
(425) 398-9700

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

From a co-worker at AT&T

"Linda and family, We do not know eachother but I feel compelled to share my memories of Jack. Jack and I became friends when he began his employment with AT&T. He was placed in a cube at the top of my row. Jack's desk was a tribute to his family, filled with pictures of his wife and children. He also had a few glass blocks stacked neatly on his desk. Curiously, he never told of their significance but he proudly displayed them like they were made of gold. I had no idea of their symbolism for the future. It was evident from the day he moved to his cube that he was a character! He spent hours noisily arranging the shelving to his specifications and arranging his boxes of tea in specific order. Within a few days, we were talking like we were old friends. Jack was so open about his childhood, his family and his life. We shared a love of sweets and talked about our favorite bakeries, cakes and cookies. Jack always had a story to share about his Irish heritage or his mother and the sentences always began in an Irish accent and started with "My Irish mother used to say..."A while ago, Jack's department moved him to another location in the building and I didn't get to see him as often. When we would cross paths in the lunch room or the hallway, he always made me feel like he was as excited to see me as I was to see him. Occasionally, he would come by my desk to say hi or share a story. Recently, I had nicknamed him "Hijack". One day while passing in the hall, I called out a greeting "Hi Jack!" and without skipping a beat he turned to me and smiled and said "Don't call me that at the airport!". I almost fell over with laughter. He had an uncanny ability to make people smile. This is what I will miss the most about him. My heart breaks with the knowledge that his children will grow up without him but I hope it gives them strength to know that their father could touch a strangers heart so deeply. He was funny and silly and magical and wonderful. If there is one thing I have learned from Jack it is this: To some, a friendship may look , on the outside, like it is built of glass blocks. But to someone on the inside, those blocks are pure gold. Thank you "Hijack" for our golden friendship, no matter how brief. Stephanie Saltzgiver"

Classic Jack stuff. (BTW, he was Scottish, not Irish. No matter.) Yes, he was quiet the character, even at home.

PIctures Wanted!

If you have pictures of Jack, I'd love to have a copy. We can paste them up and put them up at the memorial. Feel free to email me copies at That email works better for me when it comes to moving pictures around.


Thank you

I just wanted to say a quick thanks to folks. Some have brought freezer meals so we don't have to cook. There are a few flowers. And, today, we received 2 edible arrangements, one anonymously. I just wanted to say thank you to everybody for these things and the kind thoughts and words.

Memorial contribution info will be placed here on the blog soon. We're still working out a few details.

Also, I understand that there are a few other blogs out there with stories of Jack. Would folks please forward those links onto me, either here or through email? Thanks, I'd really appreciate it.

More details as they become more solid.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Jack Darkhand Day

Jack's last job was as a contracting business analyst at AT&T. He loved that job. He loved the people he was working with. He felt accepted and appreciated there. He would talk about wanting to continually earn their respect. He was amazed when the "smartest guy in the room" came to him for advice. It seems that they felt the same way about him.

So . . . last month, he told me that somebody had announced that Fri. March 13th had been declared Jack Darkhand Day at work. Everybody was going to wear black just like him. He was touched and moved almost to tears when he told me about this. He also loved that it was on Friday the 13th. How appropriate. I jokingly told him, "You know, you should wear something like your hawaiian shirt just to be different." (Yes, folks, Jack did own clothes that were not black.) He liked the idea, so that's what he did. Today, Aaron, his boss, sent me an email with this picture:

Just wanted to share more of his (and our) silly side.

From the man who married us

I received this in this morning's email. Made me cry:

Jack Darkhand is one of the most vivid people it has ever been my great privilege to know. He was just Big; such an unmistakeable presence. Expansive, active, outgoing... I know no one else who is his match -- such a force!

I have a number of memories, but the one that is strongest, and has held the most meaning for me was standing beside him as Linda appeared at their wedding. The moment she came into view, Jack was so full of sighs and sounds -- the depth of his love consumed him. He left no doubt that Linda was the most beautiful, desirable, wonderful woman in his world. I was in awe of his love, and still am.

I'm, as Jack said, "That damned Wiccan Priest who won't take money" for marrying him and Linda. It was my pleasure, my great pleasure and privilege to do so. Seeing them, seeing Jack as bridegroom, performing the marriage, remains one of the very finest moments of my life.

When I think of love, of marriage and what it can truly be, I think of Jack. I always will. In this, Jack gave me the greatest of gifts, and I am forever grateful for his example of love and devotion.

As heartbroken as I am to learn of his passing, for all the tears that has brought me, I will stop, think, and be grateful for the honor and privilege of having met and known this wonderful man.

Until we all meet again, know and love one another again.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Now we know

I heard from the coroner. It's official. It was a massive heart attack. I was told that even if there had been a defibrillator nearby, it probably wouldn't have helped. He was very young to have had that kind of heart disease. I'm horribly saddened that the diet, exercise, and natural medicaion route that Jack took (and was able to tolerate) was not enough to fix this problem.

The date for Jack's memorial service has been set for 4/4. It will be around noon or 1:00. Exact time and location to be determined.

I have been amazed by the outpouring of support and love that I've been receiving. I am so aware that Jack was such a multi-faceted person, and he was well known and liked in all of his endeavors. I will be working on an obituary for the Green Egg. I will also do one for the paper here and the one in Santa Cruz.

How This Works

Just a quick note to let folks know how this works, just in case you're new to the whole blog thing. I post the titled entry. Whoever wants to comment, add a story or condolence, can add a comment by clicking on the comment button at the bottom of the posting. It's not a bulletin board, per se, but it is a way to get information out there.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What a day

Jack and I were married for 6 1/2 happy years. Last night, he died suddenly while taking a late-night shower before bed. It appears that it was a sudden massive heart attack. The firemen and paramedics came, but there was nothing to be done. We are bereft. I have spent much of the day on the phone letting people know what happened and generally taking care of the business that needs to be taken care of when this kind of unexpected death happens. I'm thankful for our friend, Dionne, who came when I called her in the middle of the night last night while the paramedics were here, and who stayed until my mom arrived this afternoon. Jack's sister, Celia, is enroute to here now. She'll be here tomorrow late morning.

At this time, no services have been set here in the Seattle area. I hope to have something arranged in the next couple of days. Also, some friends of ours are working on putting together a memorial ritual for Jack in the Santa Cruz area. I will post information here when I have it.

Feel free to post stories about Jack here. He was deeply loved by me and his children. There is an unfathomable void left in our lives where his larger-than-life presence once resided.