After a lovely paddle at Bon Echo Provincial Park yesterday we got into our vehicle to hear the tail end of a news report listing the accomplishments of Jeopardy game show host, Alex Trebek. We were certain that this was not good news and within a few minutes we'd ascertained that Alex had succumbed to the pancreatic cancer he'd battled so valiantly, although in an understated Canadian way. It was a shock because he was on the air Friday evening, but of course that episode was taped several weeks ago.
It seems that Trebek has become more of a Canadian hero in recent years and particularly since his cancer diagnosis. We were all amazed that he continued to work through his chemotherapy and joked about fulfilling his contract for a couple more years. It's surprising how many people of all ages have come to enjoy Jeopardy. Our younger daughter, Emily, never struck as a candidate for Jeopardy nerd-dom, but she has become an enthusiastic fan and is a strong home contestant. Back in the days when people actually went to an office to work she had a Jeopardy calendar on her desk and her young colleague stopped by each day to test their knowledge. Jeopardy is the one show I really don't like missing, and while sometimes I mutter "c'mon Alex, you have all the answers!" when he was a little condescending to a contestant, he really was an excellent host.
During interviews after he announced his cancer Alex nearly always mentioned the importance of faith, along with the prayers of many, in sustaining him through the challenges of the disease. I was disappointed that interviewers didn't delve deeper into what this meant to him, perhaps a comment on our secular age. Guideposts magazine mentioned his comments in the video posted to his Twitter account in March of last year: