I just found out this morning that Dennis Aprill died suddenly yesterday of pancreatic cancer. He was a long time journalist for the Press Republican writing a column on the outdoors. He also wrote books, several of which I illustrated over the years.
The sad part for me was that we had just signed a contract with History Press to do a new book together called Adirondack Tales on his animal columns.
He’d been having terrible back pain which came up suddenly this winter and had delayed him getting the manuscript completed (and much of his outdoor activities). He was also trying to solve the mysterious pain so he could go to Alaska this month with his daughter Carolyn.
I spoke to him a couple of weeks ago, after we’d finally come to an agreement with History Press to go ahead with the book and signed all the paperwork. He’d had an MRI which had explained his pain by revealing a bulging disc. It obviously was not the only issue.
So early this week he went to the Adirondack Medical Center when the pain got too much to bear. His pain must have been significant as this man once walked down his long driveway in an ice storm to meet an ambulance when he was in the middle of acute appendicitis. Sadly this time they discovered that he was harboring late stage pancreatic cancer. He lasted less than a week.
I am so sorry for his family and for all of us who enjoyed his columns, endless energy and obvious joy in experiencing the outdoors and sharing it with us. Dennis, you will be missed.