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A message from David Fritz, President
A message from David Fritz, President
Jun 27, 2011
Dear Quackers, Friends and Family,
This has been a very difficult time for all of us with the passing of Jeanne Bice. I was in Europe when I received the news and I can’t tell you how great of a shock it was for me. Before I left on the trip on June 2, I was sure that Jeanne was on the mend and making progress to recovery. After learning of her death, Scott, my staff and I mourned the loss of a woman that we all truly loved and made such a difference in our lives. I appreciate the outpouring of condolences, love and understanding from all of you during this difficult time. Jeanne truly loved her Quacker friends, and judging by the many emails and calls we have received it is easy to see why.
Our prayers go out to Jeanne’s children, Lee and Tim who loved their mother so much. I’m sure you can understand how devastating this has been to them. Therefore, out of respect for Jeanne’s family, we needed to give them their privacy to grieve and handle this great loss with respect and dignity over the past two weeks. The cruise was something that had to wait.
To be honest, I also could not get myself to move forward on the cruise. All of the past Quacker Factory trips have been a labor of love that Jeanne, Lee, Tim and I have worked on together so closely for almost ten years. Facing the prospect of cruising without Jeanne was something I could not dream of. After returning to the US, I stayed away from my office and mourned just as you have.
My first meeting with Jeanne for the first Quacker Cruise took place at her home in Boca Raton. I was introduced to Jeanne by Jenniefer Kirk of Kirks Folly, whom I had done several cruises for in the past. I was told that I had better come to this meeting with an open mind and the belief that anything is possible. Jeanne would never allow me to say no to any of her dreams or designs that she had with the Quacker Factory trips. If there was something she wanted to add to a cruise program and I thought there was no way it could be done, Jeanne would say to me, “David, I don’t want to hear it can’t be done.” She would add, “Dream big and make it work.” And you know, she was right, the higher the goal, the harder she worked to achieve it.
Over the years I have come to know Jeanne, Lee and Tim as family. In fact Lee and I have become such close friends that when my father passed away in late 2009, it was Lee who first came to my side to console me. I now want to be there for her and Tim as they grieve their mother.
Jeanne planned this cruise to be her biggest and grandest voyage ever. She truly wanted to spend time with her Quacker friends on the most spectacular ship ever built. In her eyes, Jeanne always felt the cruises were about all of you and not about her. This was not an ego trip for her, but a way to have Quackers meet other Quackers and form friendships that would last a lifetime. She was proud that her trips were like no other cruises, just as her Quackers were like no others. Jeanne loved the fact that single ladies could come alone and return home with dozens of new friends, all the while feeling the unconditional love that only her Quackers could understand and provide. No judgments and no sadness on her voyages!
I made it back into my office this week and while sitting at my desk, heard on the radio the song “Smile,” which has the lyrics, “Smile though your heart is aching” and at that moment, I knew it was Jeanne telling me that we had to carry on her dream of the cruise, even if it hurts at this moment to do so. I immediately realized it was my responsibility to continue Jeanne’s dream and make this cruise the vacation she intended to share with all of you.
Jeanne was never a “Debbie Downer” and thus this cruise needs to be filled with laughter, fun, fellowship and the seven words she lived by…Believe, Touch, Grow, Share, Feel, Soar and Love! She would have wanted the show to go on, so in her spirit, we will keep the majority of the events and amenities she planned in this program. We will of course celebrate her life and legacy with a tribute that we will want all of you to participate in. Please don’t bring with you on this trip any tears or sadness, only smiles and happiness, just as Jeanne would want us to carry on together in making one of her final dreams a reality.
I am pleased to say that our cruise is almost sold out which is a wonderful tribute to Jeanne. Jeanne touched so many people in such a special way, that we now have several new guests wanting to join our group and celebrate her life. Since we are behind in our office, we will now process your final payment automatically on July 8. Please feel free to call Scott or myself with any questions or just to talk, we would love to hear from you.
Now more than ever we all need something to look forward to. Along with the Quacker Factory and QVC, it will make me very happy to see each and every one of you aboard the Oasis of the Seas for Jeanne Bice’s Quacker Cruise.
Love to all,
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