In Memory

Jeff Tharp

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02/26/13 10:40 AM #1    

James Girard

Jeff was one of the 14 National Merit finalists in our class. He was a year younger than the rest of us, having skipped a grade in elementary school. He seemed even younger than that, and lacked some of the social skills of his peers. He was therefore often the object of (mostly good-natured) humor. But he was consistently cheerful and never seemed to bear anyone any bad will.

After high school he attended MIT for a year, but then returned to Kansas, transferring to KU, because (he said) he missed studying liberal arts, especially language. During his time at KU, he began writing poetry, some of it very good. He also hosted a regular penny-ante poker game at his apartment, usually 7 or 8 people at a time. He was a terrible poker player but a geat guy to hang out with that way.

Around the time he graduated, it was discovered that he had a brain tumor. He moved to Chicago (I assume to seek treatment) and died there a year of so later. I think that all of us who knew him, especially in college, will always remember him as a young man with what should have been a great future ahead of him. The older I get, the more I regret the loss, so early, of people like Jeff. They remain young in our memories.

--Jim Girard


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