The father of one of my best friends (and I have known them both for about 40 years) died today in a traffic accident. My friend thinks that his dad may have dozed off during a drive to a medical appointment, but we may never know. I found out through phone calls from family members and was really depressed and hesitated calling him all day until my wife told me that I had a responsibility to call him. I did, and he ended up consoling me as much as I consoled him. Bill's dad was a scary-smart guy who was a whiz in mathematics and physics and held top-tier security clearances all through the cold war. For Ivan's benefit, this guy steadfastly insisted that the Earth had been visited by extraterrestrial life-forms for all the time that I knew him, and his security clearances and access to "odd" stuff would have put him in a position to know. I could not beat his youngest dilettante son at chess, (much less him!) and very few people could approach his domination at bridge. I've lost a nice guy and a real positive influence. His kids (50-65+ years old approximately) are spread all over the country and plans for a memorial service are sketchy at best. I've offered some basic services (arranging meetings with real-estate agents, etc) but I'm at a loss to what might be valuable/comfortable to an extended family that is strung out across the county. Suggestions are welcome.