"I'll Remember You."

A second obituary 22 years later

(It is from Amy Langfield that I am going to briefly thieve material. The Amy Langfield who taught me everything I know about not thieving material from the internet.)

It's a rare bird who is honored to get more than one obituary. But that's what happened to my friend Michael Fencl.

A month before high school graduation his Vespa scooter with bad brakes was hit by a car. He was on life support and his family decided to donate his organs. The mere thought that someone else might live a little longer because of our tragedy served as an emotional rock to cling to.

And through a number of flukes, a few years later we found out where Mike went.

A 2006 story in the Seattle Times explains how back in 1986, 38-year-old Doug Hoxworth became the 34th person ever to get a heart and lung transplant at Stanford.

That 2006 story ends this way: Hoxworth was not told by doctors who his donor had been. But one of Fencl's friends knew he had been an organ donor, and she attended the same California high school as Hoxworth's daughter Lisa.

The friend told Lisa she knew the identity of her dad's donor. The Hoxworths arranged through a television crew doing a documentary on transplants to meet Fencl's mother. The family still remains close to his mother.

"I think about him all the time," Hoxworth says.

"I talk to him. I say, 'Thank you, Michael.'"

On Nov. 13 Stephen "Doug" Hoxworth died at the age of 61. He passed away after living "22 full years with organs that were generously donated from Michael Fencl by his mother, Marion."

No one that was privileged enough to know Mike has forgotten him or how he died.

I was in the intersection of New Stine Road and Wilson Avenue in Bakersfield, California just last month and it simply numbs the mind how what happened in that intersection on May 13, 1986, what feels like a lifetime ago, has reached so very far into the future. And no one has forgotten how what happened in that intersection on May 13, 1986 has touched so many others. And how you, Michael Fencl, saved another man's life.

I'll remember you.