Our friend Dirk Carmichael is not doing well
Dear fellow train enthusiast-
It saddens me to be written this, but our great friend Dirk Carmichael is not doing well. This past Saturday he was found unresponsive at his residence. Dirk was air lifted to a hospital in Tucson. Upon examining him they found two masses on his brain. Dirk has been placed on hospice care, and will remain in the hospital until he passes. Please pray for him and his family. This is a very tough time for all.
I’ve only been a member on LSC for a few months. I know Dirk has never been a LSC member, but many of us know Dirk from MLS. I've been a MLS member for a few years and in that time Dirk and I became very good friends. All though we never met in person we had great conversations via text, email, and over the phone. We pretty much talked daily.
Dirk started an emailing group with Michael Galvin, Craig Townsend, Stuart Wakefield, Keith Stratton, Nordywiggles (sorry name is escaping my mind right now), and I. We had great conversations and shared a lot about our hobby, what we’re working on, and more. This past summer Michael had a big work project. It was tough for Michael to stay caught up on our emails. Dirk and I had fun (and laughed a lot) at spamming Michael with over 100 emails that were train related, bust mostly friendly banter back and forth.
Over the last month or two Michael and I noticed changes with Dirk in his written and verbal communication. Difficulties speaking and lots of typos in his emails/texts. We became concerned over the past weekend and early this week when emails, texts, and phone calls were going unanswered. Dirk disclosed to me at the end of March he was having medical problems. Issues with vision and just not feeling well. I asked him if we could help arrange anything for him with getting to a medical facility, he declined. I asked him to reach out to his son and let him know, to which he did.
So with Michael’s and my concerns I reached out to Dirk’s son, Nathan. I spoke with Nathan last night and learned of Dirk’s current condition. Nathan said he knows Dirk has lots of train friends. I told Nathan I will communicate info to the train friends. Nathan also said I can share his number with any train friend who would like to reach out. So if any of you would like to contact Nathan send me a message and I will give you his number. I asked Nathan to give Dirk’s hand a squeeze for all of us and send our love to him.
It pains me to write this like an obituary since he’s still with us, but I want you all to know. Dirk, like all of you, have taught me so much about our hobby. I am going to miss our friendship. I will miss the late night texting of train photos and ideas of things we want to model. But I am SO proud to call you my friend and to have had this time with you. I’m grateful for it!
Greater Minnesota Railroad (GMRR)
"An Adventure in Garden Railroading"