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• Proud to be a Gummerus
Proud to be a Gummerus
By Duane Shimogawa – The Garden Island
Death is undoubtedly one of the toughest things a person will go through in life, but it can also be a time for great reflection on that special individual that has been a part of your life from the time you were born.
I heard the news from former basketball teammate and good friend, Chad Gummerus, that his mom, Priscilla passed away on Thursday, September 23 after a long battle with cancer.
The Gummerus boys, Donavan, Dustin, Chad, and sister Cathy are the proud children of Priscilla Gummerus.
I haven’t seen Chad in a while because of our busy work schedules and when he strolled into the Kaua‘i Athletic Club on Monday, I knew right away that something was wrong.
The “normal” Chad would walk right in and give you a big hand shake and a welcoming “wassup,” but this time, something was different.
The former Red Raider basketball standout guard took a seat right behind me and mentioned that he had been out of work for two days.
He didn’t say at first, but after asking him what he did on his days off, he mentioned in a low, sad tone that his mom had passed away.
I met Priscilla couple of times and she reminded me so much of Chad and Dustin.
Both boys are as respectful and polite as anyone and they are truly committed to their mom.
Priscilla had the same type of sense of humor as Chad, but at the same time, they shared even more than a few laughs, they knew how to make someone that’s not a part of the family, feel just like family.
Although Priscilla may be physically out of the lives of Chad and his siblings, they will always carry with them, the proud, respectable traditions of the family.
I’ve been very lucky so far when it comes to deaths in the family. I’ve never experienced a death to any one of my immediate family members, yet when Chad told me about his mom, it struck a nerve in me that gave me chills.
I can’t even imagine how it feels to lose a mother and yet if you know Chad, he will bounce back and make the best out of this experience in his life.
Chad and I started playing basketball on the same team when I was a senior and he was a junior.
We were able to do a lot of great things on the court that we both will never forget. Until this day, we still talk about our last games in Red Raider uniforms.
Our shared love of sports really enriched our friendship and even today in the adult leagues, we’re still able to play the game we both love.
Whenever I hung out with Chad in high school, he’d always think of him mom first.
Priscilla didn’t drive, so Chad offered to take her to work or anywhere else whenever she asked.
I thought this was pretty rare for a high school student to take some time out of his “teenage” life schedule to take his mom to work.
Chad always talked highly of his mom and never had one bad thing to say about her.
I guess she raised her children right because all of them have succeeded in whatever they chose to do. Donavan is happily married after a stint in the military, Dustin is the friendly Coke guy who’s always there to give you a welcoming smile.
Cathy, the only girl in the family, is doing well herself, as a teacher in Las Vegas, and Chad, the youngest of the bunch, is keeping the Kaua‘i Marriot secure, as a security guard. So the next time you see one of the Gummerus’ around, beat them to the pulp, by saying “Hi” first, but it’ll be tough because Priscilla taught them well: To be respectul and kind to anyone they meet!
Duane Shimogawa, Sports Editor can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) and firstname.lastname@example.org
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