I just learned that Tom Florentine passed away in his sleep last night. Over the five years I've known him, he'd had several serious heart operations. He was very lucky not to have died sooner and, no doubt, lucky to have died so peacefully. He was a DCM during my first panel as Area officer. A very friendly guy, quiet, but with a great sense of humor. He had a full head of pure white hair. I remember being surprised to learn that this "older gentleman" (and he was a true gentleman) was a couple of years younger than I am. He was the most supportive DCM I've known and was always making nice comments, sending me e-mails or including notes in his snail-mail about the great job I was doing. Of course, he was saying the same things to the other officers as well, though I didn't know for sure that till today.
Our Delegate said about him, "He was always enthusiastic about service" and pointed out that he had just agreed to serve as moderator to one of our roundtables at this year's annual Convention. Our Area Secretary said, "We have all lost a dedicated member of A.A.; he provided us with a wonderful example that service truly is gratitude in action" and noted that she had just e-mailed him asking him undertake another job at the Convention. No doubt he would have accepted; but I doubt I ever even got the message.
Good-bye, Tom! No doubt he's already asking what service positions are available in heaven.