Two-and-a-half years ago, in the immediate aftermath of Courtney's passing, my friends Seth Silver and Amber White, who ran the River's Edge restaurant, Courtney's favorite, graciously chose to honor her memory by raising some money for the scholarship fund we had launched at Smith College for aspiring social workers.

They took a few of Courtney's favorite meals and designated them as the entrees from which they would take three dollars to contribute to the scholarship. In the end, they wrote a check for several hundred dollars. They did not have to do that.

There was more. They insisted we join them at their family Thanksgiving at the River the two Thanksgivings after Courtney died, knowing that it was simply too hard for us to go to Baltimore as we had traditionally done. They did not have to do that.

There was more still. Her picture continues to on the wall at the River, not hidden away but right out in the open. You can't miss it as you leave. They didn't have to do that either.

Character always reveals itself. Always. Count on it.

We lost Seth yesterday. Hard as he fought, the lymphoma and the catastrophic byproducts it often brings with it, all of that was too much to overcome. Such a tragedy. For his children first and foremost. For parents. For Amber. For everyone who knew him.

Seth's response to Courtney's death was completely in character. It's trite to say but in his case it's true that Seth really did forever think of other people first. No one who went to the River left without having shared a word or two with him and those conversations weren't limited to food. Seth liked, no, Seth loved people. Not everyone in the restaurant business does. He loved the water and the mountains and being outside too, but he really loved people. You couldn't help but be drawn to his magnetic personality. I was repeatedly amazed by how many people considered themselves "regulars". Obviously, folks returned again and again for the food, but they kept coming back in part because of the ambience too. It was just a warm place to be. You felt like you belonged and that you mattered. Not every restaurant can pull that off either.

When he opened the River in 2015 after having run the Ugly Omelette in Lunenburg for years, he promised to be more than just a business owner and followed through on that pledge, becoming involved in this cause and that one, supporting scouts and schools and more. I am forever preaching about giving back to the community. Seth gave back. Relentlessly. Endlessly.

Bottom line - Seth was simply a good guy. A class act. An awesome chef of course. Fun to be around and fun to count as a friend. I will never forget nor fail to appreciate his kindness and generosity. For all who knew him, there is now a void in our lives which will not be able to be filled. The unfairness and capriciousness of life has struck again but through our grief we will remember Seth for the light and joy he brought to so many.

Rest easy, my friend.