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Friday, January 22, 2010

from the email stack... Della Fleetwood Memorial

Della tribute



There are special people in this world and then there are really special people. Della Fleetwood was one of the latter. She left us far too soon, passing away suddenly on Jan. 6 at age 66.



There also aren’t too many people who meant more to the sport of darts. Della quit her teaching job to devote her time to darts with Tom. She was there when the Southern California Darts Association began in the late 1960s. She was there to launch the American Darts Organization in the early ‘70s and she was there to help the World Darts Federation get off the ground in the mid-‘70s. She conducted so many tournaments in her lifetime that it would take a roomful of people to equal her effort.



She stuck with it through good times and bad times. She stuck with it when it grew and when it didn’t. She stuck with it when it was a global community of friends—and when it wasn’t--and she always did it with a smile. People were drawn to Della like a magnet. And she never forgot a face. Those of us who worked closely with her saw that time and again. A dart player would approach the stage at the North American Open in the midst of an event with more than 600 entries and Della would be able to call that person by name, ask about his/her family and recall the last time that player had come to the tournament. For years, I tried to match that skill, but couldn’t even come close.



After Tom passed away in 2004, she stuck with the WDF, taking over for him as treasurer and tackling it with the same attention to detail she brought to every task. She also continued their work on behalf of children and families with the Exchange Club in Downey where they lived. She cared passionately for the sport and its people and continued the Las Vegas Open under Triple Crown Productions in Tom’s memory. The remaining Triple Crown crew members had that in mind when they went on with this year’s event just three weeks after her death. They knew she’d want that.



Della made people feel welcome and included no matter where they were, no matter when. She so dearly loved her family and Tom’s family and their Exchange family that eventually they all melded into just Tom and Della’s family. I met her in 1972 when I was a newbie tournament committee member in Cleveland. She made it a point to come by and commend us on the job we were doing. And in a strange turn of events (especially for those who don’t know that Della once was a good player) we both ended up in the semi-finals of the ladies’ singles that year. We were friends from that year forward.



We counted on her for everything—phone numbers, addresses, a shoulder when we were down, an ear when we needed advice. She was simply one of those people who loved life and everything in it. I was proud to call her my friend and can’t even comprehend all the ways she will be missed.



If Della was here right now, she likely would tell us she’ll be fine and that we shouldn’t worry about her, but instead we should move on and do the ‘right thing’ for the sport and its people. It was always so like her to put everyone else first.



Somewhere up there in darters’ heaven, she and Tom and a host of dart friends we’ve lost over the years will be watching to see what will happen next. Without Tom and Della Fleetwood, there may never have been a national darts organization in the U.S.A. She leaves a legacy of high standards and expectations to the rest of us here on earth. I hope we can all make her proud.



Sandi Cain, past president, American Darts Organization.


Please join with fanily and friends to
Remember, Celebrate and Honor
the life of Della Ann Fleetwood

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Barbara J. Riley Community Center
7810 Quill Dr.
Downey, Ca 90242

for questions, directions oor additional information
please contact Georganne Bruce
(562) 904-9590
gabruce'at'earthlink'dot'net
Memorial Service .PDF flier link: http://vcda.org/DellaMemorialService.pdf


2010-01-22 - Della Fleetwood
Condolence cards and notes may be sent c/o the American Darts Organization, 230 N. Crescent Way, Suite K, Anaheim CA 92801 Those wishing to make a contribution in Della's memory might choose between the two charities she was passionate about: The ADO Memorial Scholarship Fund, at the same address as above (it is a separate fund for youth scholarships administered by trustees chosen by the ADO board). Or ... Exchange Club Child Abuse Prevention Center of Downey Inc. 8320 Iowa St. Downey, CA 90241 Footnote: The organizing committee of the Las Vegas Open darts tournament have today decided that the Las Vegas Open, scheduled for 29-31 January will go ahead as planned. The committee are certain that this would be in accordance with Della’s wishes.
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