Sympathies, and thanks, to Mike McNamara’s family

To the Editor:

I never had the opportunity to meet Mike McNamara, but during the last week in March, I started seeing posts on social networks and hearing about a longtime member of the the Milford community passing.

What caught my attention was Mike’s passion for tournament bass fishing, and several of the New Hamp­shire fishermen I knew were writing and talking about all the special mo­ments they had with Mike while he shared his enthusiasm and love for fishing.

The following day, Mike’s sister-in-law, Jayne Champagne, reached out to me with an offer from her family to make a donation to the Milford High School Bass Club in Mike’s honor. In doing so, she asked what the club’s needs were.

I explained to Jayne that the 17 anglers were responsible for buying their own equipment, that we always need boats and boat captains for tournaments, and members were pre­paring to raise funds for auto/manual inflatable life vests, transportation costs, club hats and possibly team jackets. Jayne’s family was excited about the idea of outfitting all the club’s anglers with hats that honored Mike.

Several days later, Mike’s wife, Sara, and two daughters, Kelly and Katie, delivered amazing gift bags to the high school containing a variety of artificial baits and tackle for club members.

Everyone from the office secretaries to the club members were moved by their generosity during this emotional time.

The McNamara family’s generosity has taught these students a lesson in how to preserve and honor a person’s passion. Today, these students know a lot more about Mike, and every time they put on their new Milford High School Bass Club hat or reach into their tackle box, they will be remind­ed of one man’s passion and the debt owed to future aspiring tournament bass fishermen.

So a huge thank you to the McNa­mara family during this difficult time, and our deepest sympathies go out to all for your loss.

Richard Parent

Bass fishing coach

Biotechnology teacher

Milford High School