Paddlers and friends,
I have some very sad news, as we have lost one of our dearest friends. Okie O’Connor unfortunately passed away while paddling on the lake on Sat. April 20th. This is a huge loss to all of us….no-one has been more helpful to us on the water than Okie during the 10 years that we’ve paddling on Tempe Town Lake. Always behind us, he was responsible for ensuring that our festival runs as smoothly as it does, for navigating the City of Tempe’s requirements, for helping us with all of our on the water needs including setting up our festival course, coaching us, paddling with us, and always ensuring that our safety was paramount. He walked over to us every Saturday morning to see if we had full boats, if we needed anything or just to chat before he took his kayak out, and always did it with a smile. He knew all of our names and made a point of talking to everyone, whether new or around for ten years.
During this time he gladly offered all of his services despite the fact we were not allowed to offer him anything in return, yet he was still a full member of both the AZDBA and the Gila Dragons.
He will be greatly missed.