Have you ever had a friend who epitomized a saying? I did. His name was Lyle Eugene Williams. He was the epitome of the expression, “a peach of a guy”.
Lyle was sweet and positive and kind. He had an unlined face and a kind of peach fuzz haircut as well. He was the gentleman friend of my neighbor and friend Gerri Fahrer. He died suddenly last Friday of a massive heart attack.
Lyle had been my friend, too. He, Gerri and I had many meals together at the Bootlegger Bistro, The Tuscany Suites and Casino and the M Resort Spa Casino. We also traveled Las Vegas showrooms using our House Seats memberships. We had seen “Soundtrack”, “Cocktail Cabaret”, “Wow”, Carrot Top, “Sex Tips for a Straight Woman from a Gay Man” and “Gordie Brown” (for a birthday celebration). Thursday night the three of us had gone to the D Las Vegas for “Defending the Caveman” with Kevin Burke. We loved all the shows and laughed and had a great time together Thursday.
Then early the next morning…Bam.
Gerri will be sad for a long time. Lyle not only was an important part of her life, he was well known among a group of their mutual friends who will, no doubt, be telling Gerri how much Lyle will be missed. You see, Lyle was the kind of guy who was concerned when a friend died and made sure his widow was available for nights out with him and Gerri (he did that for me, too). He was kind to everyone he met. He was open to what he called “adventures”.
Lyle could also sit next to a woman playing a slot machine and not make her nervous; in fact, he would be chief cheerleader and be genuinely happy at another person’s success (trust me, a rare accomplishment for a man). A Montana native, Lyle was a meticulous housekeeper, loved antiques and appreciated beautiful flowers. He was also somewhat hot blooded (literally) and loved wearing short pants just to stay cool. (The former athlete and teacher had good legs.)
Lyle was part of Gerri’s life for more than two years, filling a void left by the death of her husband Eli. Lyle and Gerri didn’t always agree politically, but Lyle preferred to keep the peace and just not talk about such things. Lyle was also stubborn, not wanting to visit doctors, despite “advice” from Gerri, his sister and others about trying to fix an aggravating limp that sometimes made walking difficult. At age 71, the only diagnosis Lyle knew about was a touch of gout.
As with any death of a loved one, regrets are part of the aftermath. Should Gerri have hog-tied Lyle and taken him to doctors? Even Lyle’s sister and closest relative, Arletta, says that would have been impossible. Lyle was that stubborn. A nice guy…but stubborn when it came to doctors.
So in a sense, Lyle lived and died on his terms. The lifelong bachelor often told my friend he loved her and spent the happiest months of his life with her. She loved him as well. And love is grand whenever and wherever.
We knew a peach of a guy…and we will miss him.