Friend, colleague bids farewell

August 9, 2018

When I heard the news, my heart nearly stopped beating. Longtime friend, co-worker and champion of Clare, Al Iacco died yesterday. I just felt he and I were going to talk sports forever. I thought he would always be in the office on Thursdays proofreading the latest edition of The Clare County Review before we sent it to press. I thought and thought he was invincible. But as I should have known, God had other plans for Al.

Mike Wilcox Mike's Musings Columnist

Mike Wilcox
Mike’s Musings Columnist

Al and The Clare County Review go way back. He was in charge of advertising sales for 20-plus years. He was a natural, because before he joined us he was mayor of Clare for a good number of years. He knew everyone, not only in Clare, but Mt. Pleasant as well. He always had a quick wit and could spin a story faster than a spider could spin a web. He just was one of those people you couldn’t help but like.

The same held true in the office. He always considered himself a lady’s man, and was always teasing his co-workers about the many illegitimate children he had. That carried over to The Doherty as well where every morning he held court and waitresses were his teasing targets.

Lately we had to reign him in. We could no longer allow him to drive, so his job duties were limited to proofreading on Thursdays. He tackled that chore with a vengeance, and I marveled at the fact that at his advanced age he never missed a day of work.

Of course one of the great joys we all had at work was listening to Pat Maurer and he, who shared an office, banter back and forth. It was all in good natured fun but the two of them would argue incessantly all day Thursday over the fact of this story, or the spelling of that word. Al always managed to get Pat in a tizzy for most of the day, and the rest of us laughed until tears came rolling down our faces.

Until the very end his mind was as sharp as a college educated 25-year-old even though he was approaching the ripe old age of 92. He hadn’t forgotten much of anything, especially when it came to Clare or University of Michigan sports. He and I always kibitzed about the latter and it’s a shame that he couldn’t have at least lived through another college football season because that really was one of his great passions.

Al Iacco

Al Iacco

Those are just a few recollections. Al had more friends than the Pope has parishioners, and I’m sure they all have stories that are more compelling than mine. Al was simply one-of-a-kind. He was the life of the party no matter where he was. I’m sure the same will hold true when he re-unites with is beloved wife, Ruthie in heaven.

Many of us might say Rest in Peace, Al, but that would be a misnomer. Al isn’t going to rest. That’s not his style. Mr. Clare will be raising cane, just like he has all those years on earth, and heaven will be a better place because of him.

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