Eighteen years ago, on Sunday evening, September 22, 1996, our good friends, church family and business partners Max and Barbara Garwood and Joan and I with our two sons, were attending the third and final evening of church revival services. The Garwoods were noticeably distraught at the end of the service as they left quickly to find out why their three children, who were leaving the house right behind them to go to the church…..never showed up. It was just a few minutes later when I received Max’s panicky call telling me that he was on his way to the hospital for one of his sons – and asking me to call the Sheriff to find out the whereabouts of his other son and daughter.
Wayne, Eva and Marquis were traveling down one of our country roads (a little over a mile from their home) when a car (the high corn prevented either car from seeing the other) ran a yield sign and broadsided the Garwoods’ Accord. Wayne and Eva were killed instantly and Marquis was thrown from the car. Marquis survived, but struggled for years with migraines and other accident-related issues. Now, in 2014, he is happily married and has a beautiful baby son.
I remember talking to a software customer the day after we put a message on our business phone system explaining why we were closed for a couple days. The comment went something like:
I was a little upset as I was dialing your number because I had this software issue….. but then when I heard your message, all I could do was cry. It made me remember a phrase from somewhere….’the problem is real, but remember that nobody’s dying here’.
Our older son and Eva were both 16 and close friends. John would be 18 before he expressed interest in getting his driver’s license. John is now happily married with three children.
Most QDP customers don’t know Max and Barbara Garwood because they haven’t been involved in the day-to-day operations at QDP since even before 1996. Max was the original programmer for the DOS version of Ultra that we designed back in 1984, just as Microsoft® was releasing PC-DOS (Disk Operating System) for the new concept of Personal Computers.
For several years, we passed daily the two small crosses planted at the crash site. I promised the Garwoods in 1996 that we would “never forget”….so thanks for your understanding and reading as we remember our friends, church family and business partners.
John & Joan Gardner