In Memorium: Eric McDonald (ECM41)
On Aug. 17, geocacher Eric McDonald (ECM41) was hiking to GCD before the Going APE mega-event with his 13yo daughter KayLynn and his best friend Brian Freek Hoover (Hoovers69) when he had a heart attack. Despite more than an hour of CPR by Brian and other geocachers (including some Finnish cachers) with phone support from EMT Gabe VanKampen (Go-pher-It), Eric died on the trail before paramedics could reach him.
My deepest condolences to his wife Carol and daughter KayLynn, his sister Melissa, and his parents and extended family, as well as his many friends. A Puyallup resident, Eric was only 43 and in good shape, and was at the Block Party the day before, so this was a major shock to all and cast a pall over the APE event.
A memorial to celebrate Eric's life will be held in Puyallup on Sunday, Sept. 14. It's a geocaching event (GC5BHD8) hosted by Hoovers69, and all are welcome to attend. Eric's caching friends also are planning a tribute cache to him along the trail to GCD, and we request that other cachers defer to them in memorializing their friend.
Hoovers69, Eric's best friend for 30 years, remembers Eric as "a very caring and loving father, who would do anything for his family, friends, and fellow cachers. He loved to geocache and give back when he could. His family is very grateful for all the support they've received from the geocaching community."
Go-pher-It, another close friend, says: "Eric was energetic, full of life, and enthusiastic. KayLynn, Eric, and I hiked and cached on Pinnacle Peak in Enumclaw recently, and we had so much fun that we had discussed doing more caching and hiking to complete the Jasmer challenge and get some of the older caches in the area. Eric was always willing to help out and be a team player. He will be missed greatly, but his spirit will live on as we continue to cache and go places that he would have enjoyed."
Rest in peace, friend.