R.I.P Dowd and Mineck

Over at the much improved Golfweek tour blog, Jeff Babineau express sadness at the sad loss of two people in golf, one I had the privilege of knowing. I'm copying and pasting here since the Golfweek blog posts can't be individually linked...

What a sad couple of days for golf.

Kelly Jo Dowd, who inspired us all with her strength and spirit, passed away Thursday after a long battle with cancer. She was 42.

The Dowd family’s plight became a national story 13 months ago, when Dakoda Dowd, then 13, played the LPGA’s Ginn Open at Reunion Resort, just outside Orlando. I’ll never forget seeing Kelly Jo raise her hands high in the air when Dakoda ripped her opening drive right down the middle. “Proud” doesn’t begin to capture what was filling up her heart that morning.

When Dakoda birdied the hole, she beamed, “My daughter’s a stud.”

Months earlier, Kelly Jo sat on a wooden bench near the practice tee at Reunion as Dakoda hit golf balls. The deep love for her child was so evident in her eyes. The parent-child bond the two shared, and the sense of family enjoyed by Dakoda, Kelly Jo and Mike Dowd – Kelly Jo’s husband and Dakoda's dad – is something every family should strive to achieve. We’d all be richer. Life dealt the Dowd family a tough hand, and they’ve always handled it with incredible class.

The news of Kelly Jo’s passing comes on the heels of  news earlier in the day of the shocking, sudden death of John Mineck in the Boston area on Thursday. It would be inaccurate to say John didn’t have any kids. His “baby” was his beloved Boston Golf Club, and it was there  on Thursday his life came to a tragic end, as he was killed in an accident incurred while he operated heavy machinery on property at the club.

Boston Golf Club, if you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting, is such an incredible place, so cool. It has John’s indelible fingerprints all over it. It always will.

Condolences to both families. Kelly Jo and John were special, kindred spirits who lived life with a vibrant energy we all should carry each morning the sun comes up.

As I write this, it’s nearly 1 a.m., and my – and John’s – beloved Red Sox are on TV, winning a rain-delayed game out in Texas. My 6-year-old son, Luke, is asleep next to me on the couch, no doubt dreaming of something grand that only 6-year-olds can dream. When I carry him up the stairs to bed tonight, you can bet he’ll get an extra hug and kiss.

Too often we’re starkly reminded how short life really is.