An obituary is about the person who died and not about the feelings of those left behind. That's why when a few of us recently and quietly started drafting the obit for our dying colleague and friend Tim Cuprisin, who passed away this morning, we left out most of the personal stuff. That's what blogs are for.
I'm not usually short on words, but it's hard to write succinctly what I want to express about Tim in a way that honors his memory. In fact, with his health taking a turn for the worse, he and I had planned to talk today. I wanted to delicately offer him the chance to contribute to his own farewell piece since we both knew it was coming. Unfortunately, that meeting never happened, and now we must hope that our tributes to him are what he would've wanted.
I'll do my best.
Tim wasn't exactly a shy guy, but he didn't especially want to talk about himself, either. He was never interested in making himself the story. After his cancer diagnosis, he was forced to talk about himself more, both with concerned friends and family and also with his coworkers. We're a small team; we had concerns about his health and well-being, and he didn't want to leave us high and dry. I told him that from the day he found out he had terminal cancer, he should never worry about work or deadlines again. Write if he felt like it, don't write if he didn't. The rest of us would pick up his slack and never say another word. He would have a job at OnMilwaukee.com for the rest of his life, even if he never wrote another column.
But Tim said that the routine of writing his column, like he did for so many years, helped keep him going. He wrote most days and merely hinted to his readers about his condition, only because the column's occasional absence was getting hard to hide.
Tim didn't give up, either, on beating melanoma. He took trips to the Mayo Clinic and University of Chicago and was undergoing a brand-new cancer treatment until last week. But he was also getting weaker and had two blo…Read more...