Len Vreeland, a strong but gentle man, a husband, father, grandfather, an accountant, a wrench, a bike shop owner, a cyclist, a runner, an adventurer - the man who faced challenge after challenge, passed quietly and nobly from this life on Wednesday, September 7, 2005.
Len faced his final challenge with strength, grace and dignity. Len's passing did not come swift or unexpected for he and those he loved and cared about and who loved him in return were aware that he was in a final battle for his life, a battle that he would ultimately lose. But even in death he was triumphant. There came a time in Len's long difficult struggle against the decease that consumed him when he came to the realization that quality of life was more important than longevity. He chose to suspend medical treatment that would prolong his life and to face death on his own terms. Accepting that the end would come sooner but that his final days on this earth would provide a measure of dignity and grace.
Len, throughout his life was a man of strength, fortitude, character and courage. He was never more courageous than when he accepted his fate, passing from this life in a heroic manner much in the way he had lived it.
For those who knew Len Vreeland, we are the better for having known him. It is appropriate that we grieve for him, for it is a sad day indeed, but it is also important that we celebrate his life and what he stood for, remembering the good times and all the grand things that he accomplished, all the friends he made along the way.