Commentary: Loss of Jamie Fay is a loss for us all

Everytime I attempted to write about the Jack Zduriencik firing, or the Huskies keeping their starting quarterback a secret, or the Seahawks, or the incredible showing for the Sounders-Portland match at CenturyLink Field….. I couldn’t help but think about the horrible tragedy that struck in Gig Harbor this weekend:

The unfortunate death of Jamie Fay, the assistant general manager at Chambers Bay.

As we shared with you in the newscast, Fay was killed while driving in yesterday’s windstorm, when a tree fell and struck his car. Fortunately his three-year-old daughter, also in the car at the time, was unhurt. But the thought of that poor girl witnessing such a shocking catastrophe is not only hard to imagine but absolutely heartbreaking – as is the fact that he leaves behind two adorable daughters, along with his wife.

And as our thoughts go out to his family, it also goes out to the entire staff at Chambers Bay – clearly a tight-knit group that went above and beyond in the lead-up to and aftermath of the U.S. Open in June.

Even Michael Greller, current caddie for Jordan Spieth and a former caddie at Chambers, tweeted his condolences this morning. I spoke to Greller this afternoon, and he described Jamie as “a gentle soul with an infectious smile” – a man, in charge of coordinating Greller’s wedding at Chambers Bay, who went out of his way in taking care of the smallest of details. Greller says he’ll write something on his hat next week in memory of Jamie as well.

I didn’t know Jamie well, but in the number of times I saw him before and during the Open, he greeted me with a handshake and a huge smile. A big man with an even bigger heart, who was loved and looked up to by his co-workers. A hard worker - a wonderful leader - who hardly deserved such a terrible fate.

Admittedly, tragedies and unexpected deaths happen every day. We lose members of our local sports community on a regular basis, and we’re unable to dedicate the time to honor every one of them. But that doesn’t mean their contributions go unnoticed. Instead, let us use the example of Jamie Fay – his inspiration, his dedication, and his leadership – to represent the impact made by many others we’ve lost.

Because, the Northwest sports community is as proud as it is intimate. Every loss affects us in some way.

The death of Jamie Fay is no different. An enormous loss for Chambers Bay – yet an equally large loss for the region as a whole.