I was with many of his friends yesterday evening, at the monthly Mat-Su Democrats' Egan Dinner. When Mat-Su Democrats Vice President Pat Chesbro announced that Eric had been killed in the crash, many were stunned, including my wife, Judy. Some already knew, but most of his friends there didn't, and one could feel life and warmth being immediately sucked from the room, as so many of his friends tried to digest the sad news and real loss.
Eric thought of his painting and musical performance similarly, and expressed his vision of painting in a musical way:
Like music, a good painting has harmony and rhythm. My goal is to be fluent at a wonderfully different language, the music of form, value, and color.
Besides his paintings, blues & jazz piano work, Valley Performing Arts set designs, and volunteer work in support of our fledgeling Valley arts community, Eric was one of the key people at the Radio Free Palmer project. Fellow RFP board member and close friend, Mike Chmeilewski described his last meeting with Eric, this past week:
We just had as wonderful a time as can be when doing that kind of thing. Working for a non-profit, you have the ability to go the long distance, and Eric had that quality.
That quote is from Anchorage Daily News reporter Debra McKinney's portrait of Eric in today's edition.
images - Eric Deeter self-portrait; Sally Hitchcock and piano student, by Eric Deeter