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, originally uploaded by kevdonahue.

My brother Chris’ father-in-law, Ernie Maxson, shown here over my mom’s place on Christmas Day, passed away Saturday night, Jan. 22. Ernie had lived with heart problems and was at a local rehab center after a hospital stay, but he had not appeared especially at risk. We’re all still a little shocked.

So please say a prayer for Ernie, his wife Kim, daughter Judy, grandkids Hannah and Nick, and my brother Chris.

The bittersweet thing for all of us now is that Chris’ family, Sue and Justin and my mom visited Pa. on Saturday and we all had a very fun day. Caught a bunch of basketball games, devoured a pot of chili, and had a raucous game of Monopoly. So the news has landed a bit like a shot to the gut.

Most likely the viewing will be Thursday, and the funeral Friday.

Despite his health problems, he was always a really kind, sweet-hearted guy who loved his family with everything he had. That love will live on, and that’s about all the comfort I can find on this very cold winter’s night.

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