Mr. Eric Lahoda Sunday January 13, 2008

A few years ago I used to run the University of Calgary’s Ski-Club. One of the trips we ran was our yearly New Years trip. Which consisted of 3 days of skiing and 4 nights of partying. We always offered the option of skiing on New Years day and on a whole, nobody ever took that option. After three nights of intense partying and debauchery, most individuals could barley withstand a third consecutive day of skiing, let alone waking before noon.

The year I was president, there was this one 19 year old kid with thick glasses and curly black hair who signed up that was hellbent on skiing on New Years day. I warned him that nobody has ever done it before, but he was more than welcome to give it a try.

Fast forward a few months and it was New Years morning. I was nursing a trashbag of a hangover and a pounding headache, and awoke to a loud thumping on my door at 7:00am. Upon opening the door I saw a young Eric Lahoda in my door way all dressed and ready for an entire day of skiing.

I looked him up and down and threw a few Irish expletives his way. My memories’ fuzzy about that morning, but I think I eventually conned him out of the ski day.

That morning was the first introduction to the life and personality of one Eric Lahoda.

The Pano Royal Rumble

A few months later and with my tenure as president up, Lahoda signed up to be an executive of the club. As things with the ski club always unfold, Eric eventually became the de-facto president of the club in early November.

Over the next year, I got the opportunity to mentor and watch Mr. Lahoda grow from a scraggly haired goofball into the face of the Ski Club. Sure there were the odd conversations regarding accounting issues, bounced checks and the odd Student Union violation but on the whole the kid did an amazing job. He took a position that is filled with intense time commitments and little financial reward and excelled at it. It made it his own – he injected his own sense of adventure and humor into the club.

Over time I lost significant touch with the kid. We drifted, as most people do. I became self-centered on my chaotic life and Eric worked to keep the club afloat and accomplish his own goals. Occasionally we’d run into each other over a few beers or an elaborate drinking night and reminisce about the insanity. It was always a pleasure to see his goofy face, insatiable sense of humor and laugh at his somewhat inappropriate comments. But I was always secretly proud of his growth and transformation into a established leader and a young adult.

Mr. Eric Lahoda

Eric passed away this weekend after a week long struggle on life support. My well wishes are with his family, friends and all the people his life touched.

Mr. Lahoda, as your cousin said, I hope your enjoying the intense pow-pow of the afterlife my friend.

We’ll all miss you.

As an addition to this post, there is now a facebook group and a flickr group dedicated to the life of Eric.

His funeral is this Friday (January 17th, 2008) at the Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Calgary.

Categories: The-Comrades, The-Personnal, The Future, The Past

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