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AllisonA(Animaterra) Obit: Bob McQuillen, NH contra dance pianist-2014 (30) Obit: Bob McQuillen, NH contra dance pianist 04 Feb 14


Where do I begin? Bob "Mac" McQuillen aka Mac the Quack, Mr. Mac, died this afternoon at the Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, NH, one day after suffering a massive stroke and heart attack. He was surrounded by friends and loved ones, who never left his side, and sang and played his beloved music the whole time.
Mac had "retired" from the weekly Nelson Monday night contra dances about a year ago, and in the past year gradually slowed down. He had a faithful band of friends who checked on him every day, and he didn't miss his daily coffee at the local bookstore cafe until just last week. He told all of his friends that he was ready, and not to use extraordinary means when it came time to let him go. He said, "You'll all be sad, but that's ok. I won't care, I'll be dead!"
He had a raucous sense of humor- who knows how many dance callers he interrupted:
"WAIT! Which side of the chicken are the feathers on? THE OUTSIDE!!"
...and other similarly brilliant examples.
He will likely be remembered for his hundreds of tunes- he published 15 books of his tunes, which he first wrote down in a solfeggi (do-re-mi) shorthand which he created for himself, then tried out on a mandolin to see if a fiddler could play the tune easily. He named most of his tunes after folks he knew- Alouette's Waltz, Byron's Jig, and Owen's Reel are just a few examples of tunes named for friends of mine. I was just on the outside of the circle and never got a tune (that I know of!). But the one he'll most likely be remembered for is Amelia.

He was 90. He lived a long, full life. He loved everyone, treated everyone with kindness. Go well, Mac.

Lots of remembrances going on in Facebook land: Remembering MAC


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