Monday, January 10, 2011

Wayne Blasutta Passes - Obit by Rick Graham

It is with incredible sadness that I report that my dear friend and former handball partner, Wayne Blasutta, passed away on January 8, 2011 at the age of 69. At the time of his death he had been living in Scottsdale, Arizona enjoying the sun, the handball courts and the surrounding golf courses. Wayne retired in 2003 after selling his businesses, Northwood Engineering, Skandia Furniture and the Rug Emporium in Michigan. I have never met a man with more zest for life than Wayne. He was always upbeat and on-the-move. Wayne travelled the globe on business and for personal pleasure and I had the opportunity to accompany him to France, Italy and Switzerland in 1984. It was one of the best vacations of my life and, through Wayne, had been planned out to the nth degree as was his wont. Wayne loved handball and played throughout his life. I was honored to have been his partner for several years and together we won many local tournaments. In 1989, Wayne and I won the 3-Rivers Invitational Masters title in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Wayne had also been the club champion at the Fairlane Club in Dearborn, Michigan for five straight years from 1982-1987.

On August 1, 2004, Wayne married the love of his life, Barbara Demman, on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. Although Karel and I were unable to attend, the picture of the wedding and the location was incredibly beautiful. Wayne and Barbara enjoyed seven years of wedded bliss and were devoted to each other.

About twenty months ago, Wayne was diagnosed with brain cancer, similar to that of the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Wayne fought the bravest and most valiant fight of his life and endured two cranial surgeries, two radio surgeries, IV chemotherapy and many other treatment protocols, refusing to yield to this insidious disease. He, unfortunately, lost that fight on Saturday the 8th of January. Wayne donated his body to the University of Arizona for research and Barbara is planning a life celebration on Saturday the 15th of January in Scottsdale at the Bellasera Club House. More details will follow. I humbly ask all of you that knew Wayne to remember him and Barbara in your prayers.

Rick Graham

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