I know that this forum has provided my friend with tremendous support and determination to fight, so I wanted to give back in some way. The only way to do that is to tell the story of Eric M. Roth (Traveler001).
It's with a heavy heart that I tell you that Eric passed away on Thursday, March 27th. It looks as if he last posted on March 21st. As usual, he was upbeat and looking for new ways to beat his disease. I believe, from putting together the pieces, that shortly after his last post, he went to see some friends at his neighborhood watering hole; he loved getting out and seeing friends. I received a text from him the next day telling me that he was headed to the ICU due to pneumonia. He stated he couldn't breathe and it was getting worse. Shortly thereafter, he let me know that his breathing was better and he had just gotten a bit anxious. Unfortunately from there, things progressively declined and via Facebook and texts with his brother, I realized by Monday that Eric was in critical condition. On Tuesday, I drove from Des Moines, IA to Highland Park, IL. and saw him. I went back on Wednesday and spent a bit more time with him. While I was there, Eric was moved to the Hospice Unit. Eric was comfortable and would acknowledge words of encouragement we gave him with subtle nods. He acknowledged texts from friends which I read to him as well. He would open his eyes at times, particularly in response to a females voice, which we all found to be typical Eric. I drove home that next morning and was subsequently informed that he passed at 2:20 pm on the 27th. Of note, when I had arrived on Tuesday, his dear mother told me that the doctors decided he did not have pneumonia, but rather the cancer had literally filled his lungs. Thus, any planned heroic measures were off the table. I had the honor of speaking at Eric's funeral yesterday, the 31st. It was well attended with family and friends paying their respects. I spoke about three main things in Eric's life: Humor, Music and Friends.
I met Eric at the University of Iowa. We were both members of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He and I, and our close friend Jim, roomed together for a year. It was a year filled with huge, non-stop laughs. Eric was the driving force of all of this. Quite simply, Eric was the funniest guy I knew. After college, Eric attended classes and partook in shows at ImprovOlympic in Chicago. We would see one another about twice a year, and his humor--even while dealing with his illness--never wavered. In fact, it probably became sharper and more "honed," so to speak.
Eric loved music. He played the guitar, did recordings, produced a CD with his band Secret Beach (by that time, the band was just him). Eric was a board member of ensemble Dal Niente, a contemporary music collaboration in Chicago. He was a member of EARS (Engineering and Recording Society of Chicago); he later became Treasurer and President, with one highlight being presenting an award to the legendary Phil Ramone before Mr. Ramone's death. He was well respected and well liked within the EARS society.
And Friends. In his last days I realized how many friends Eric had. He had high school friends, college friends, friends from EARS, Dal Niente, improv, his workplace in the accounting/tax department of Wal-Green's, Norton's (his neighborhood hang-out). He even spent a week or two in Amsterdam years ago and kept in touch with those he met in his hostel. Eric always made you feel like you were his only friend, though, as if you were the most important friend he had. He always had time for his friends and never said a bad word about anyone else.
So, I thank you all for making my friend one of your friends. He spoke to me about topics he’d read about on this board. I frequent a few message boards (most related to Iowa Hawkeye sports), and know that often posters will disappear, and others will wonder what became of them. I did not want Eric to become one of those in which people just always thought, “Hmm, wonder what happened to Traveler001? He always posted and now he doesn’t….” Please know that your community kept his spirits high, and many others flock to your community in hopes of finding togetherness, peace, answers to unanswerable questions, and the courage to continue to fight.
Please feel free to visit Eric’s personal Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/eric.roth.771?ref=ts&fref=ts
) as well as his cancer support page at Cure Eric
Finally, a link to his obituary: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/chicag ... =170413467