Saying goodbye to friends and a dying year

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As we do every year around this time, The Press is about to publish its Top 10 stories of 2017. The retrospective will appear Sunday, and as with all such attempts, it will leave much to be argued. The Press editorial staff hopes its Top 10 stories list makes for some lively dinner table discussion and debate before we all raise our glasses and kiss 2017 farewell.

What did not make the Top 10 story list also has everything to do with farewells. And it requires some explaining.

Our community lost some phenomenal people this year, people whose lives made a real difference to many, many others. Bob Templin was a pillar around whom not just a hotel but all of Post Falls grew. Duane Jacklin, one of the brothers whose names became synonymous with grass seed and economic development, passed away in March. Esteemed hamburger king Todd Hudson called it a wrap, as did the tireless foe of Agent Orange, Dick Phenneger.

The list goes on, which might give you an idea where this is headed.

Gary Ingram, the father of Idaho’s public record laws, and John Adams, longtime defender of the defenseless, both died in November.

Jack Bannon made his last appearance on stage. Coeur d’Alene native and popular educator Samantha Ramsay died far too young.

Dan Davis and Doug Magnuson had their obituaries published in the newspaper this year, leaving families grieving and forcing important businesses to move on.

There are many others, literally too many to name, and that’s the point. The group of reporters and editors tasked with trimming down a list of hundreds of 2017 news stories to a final 10 was simply unable — no, make that unwilling — to rank the significance of all these lives well-lived. So rather than putting one or two on the Top 10 list, you’ll find these names acknowledged at the end, with what is hoped to be an implied understanding.

One could argue that any of these people, and others who joined The Great Majority in 2017, was more important than any trial, purchase or project.

You would get no argument from The Press. Just a sad acknowledgment that our community lost a little of its heart and soul in 2017 and will never be quite the same.

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