Longtime FLRC member John Sholeen in hospice

Sad news from another core FLRC member of yesteryear, Joe Dabes, who was the founder of a number of our trail races and served as president; he’s an FLRC lifetime member.

John and Dorothy Sholeen are also both FLRC lifetime members. John was FLRC’s treasurer for many years, and Dorothy directed the Ithaca 5&10 three times.

Hello FLRC old time friends,

Saturday, I got an email from John’s wife Dorothy that now was now in hospice care at home. I spent all day Saturday thinking about all the things I’d done with him, and Sunday I wrote up a two-page summary that I shared with Dorothy and John. Dorothy said these memories brought tears to John’s eyes. These included:

  1. Helping me as Assistant RD when I directed the first four Skunk Cabbage Classic races in the early '80s.
  2. Running with John and others at the SMAC (Sunday Morning Athletic Club) runs from Teagle Hall - sometimes up to 20 miles.
  3. Signing on as FLRC Treasurer when Ed Hart reorganized and rejuvenated the FLRC in the mid '80s. I was VP of Trails.
  4. John and I founded five FLRC trail races - four still exist.
  5. Travelling with John to oh-so-many marathon and ultramarathon trail races, especially the 50-milers that we loved.

John has ATTR amyloidosis of the heart - diagnosed 6 years ago. At that time, they told him he had only 2 years to live, but he’s made it to nearly 6 years. I’m so sad that I’ll soon lose this friend. I walked with him, his wife, and Kathy a little over a year ago at Cass Park in Ithaca and he wasn’t affected by his condition much - just a little short of breath at times.

I talked with John on the phone for more than an hour yesterday. His voice was faint, but his mind was clear. We talked about his close friend, John Beach, who passed away this August. They loved the NY Yankees. John said it would be a relief when his weakness and pain were gone.

As for me, Kathy and I sold our home in Dryden two years ago and expected we’d survive the hot humid summers in Florida. Not so, as we are outdoors people. So, we bought a home in Cortland this last September, becoming Snowbirds once again. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease nearly two years ago, but like 30% of PD patients thankfully have no tremors or freezing. The levodopa therapy has helped my muscle stiffness somewhat, but my neurologist says my main problem is old age - I’ll be 85 in a few months. However, I’m able to hike or walk 3 to 4 miles most mornings and bike ~7 miles on my recumbent bike most afternoons - slowly!

Joe Dabes, aka “Java Joe”

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