Man Dies After Long And Painful Battle With Life

In This Section

Vol 37 Issue 43

New Harry Potter Film Turns Children On To Magic Of Not Reading

LOS ANGELES—Around the world, children are being turned on to the magic of not reading by the blockbuster film Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone. "My daughter Julia never liked to sit passively and stare at a screen, but this new movie has really locked the power of her imagination," said Hannah Foss, 38, of Dayton, OH. "She can't put her books away fast enough." "Movies are great," said Tarzana, CA, 10-year-old Emily Hart. "You can see exactly what the characters look like without having to guess."

Security Guard Can't Afford To Relax For So Much As Six Hours

LAKELAND, FL—Mel King, the night security guard at 2300 Office Park Drive, can't afford to let his guard down for even six hours, the 47-year-old said Tuesday. "In a job like this, you have to be on full alert every once in a great while," King said. "Lose your focus for three or four hundred minutes, and the place could be robbed blind." King said he makes sure never to drift from his post more than twice per shift or stray from his ritual 3 a.m. viewing of back-to-back episodes of Riptide.

Drug Addict Looking For More Enabling Girlfriend

AUSTIN, TX—After breaking up with girlfriend Karen Guglia last week, cocaine addict Rob Everson, 26, announced that he is looking for a more enabling girlfriend. "I need a woman who'll give me my freedom and let me be me," Everson said Monday. "I don't need somebody who's going to be on my case all the time, telling me I need to clean myself up or I'm gonna die. When you love someone, you encourage them to pursue their interests."

Mad Lib Filled With Swears

PORTLAND, ME—The popular party amusement Mad Libs was misused for profane purposes Monday, when Peter Leff, a Portland-area 12-year-old, filled the blank spaces on a "Space Adventure Mad Lib" entirely with swear words. "Prepare to shit the enemy," Leff had Space Commander Mr. Garrick say. "Set all pussys on fart and brace for blowjobs."

Headphones-Wearing Pedestrian Loudly Proclaims Iron Man Status

MINNEAPOLIS—Local resident James Gaines loudly proclaimed his Iron Man status Monday while walking down Hennepin Avenue wearing a Sony Discman. "I am Iron Man," Gaines announced in a deep, foreboding voice before launching into his dark, personal tale of madness and revenge. Gaines has previously declared himself "hot for teacher," "a teenage lobotomy," and "a street-walking cheetah with a heart full of napalm."

Reality TV On The Decline

After nearly two years of ratings success, reality TV programs are losing out to traditional sitcoms and dramas. Why?

Sept. 11 Charities Under Fire

The Red Cross and other aid groups are under fire for giving only a portion of the billions that have poured in since Sept. 11 to the attacks' victims. What do you think?
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Entertainment

Healthy Eating

Man Dies After Long And Painful Battle With Life

LEWISTOWN, MT—Gerald Carruthers, a retired insurance agent and father of three, died Monday at 77 following a long and painful battle with life.

Gerald Carruthers and wife Joyce.

"Thank God it's finally over," said Maria Heupel, 53, his eldest daughter. "He was in such terrible pain those last 70 or so years. You could just see it eating away at him from within. By the end, he was just a hollow, wasted shell."

"The agony for him had been overwhelming since about 1930," Heupel added. "It's amazing he lasted as long as he did."

Carruthers, once a happy and vital toddler, had his first painful episode shortly after his fourth birthday, when his father beat him with a cane for accidentally urinating on a favorite rug.

Other such episodes occurred with regularity throughout Carruthers' life. An awkward adolescence was followed by a middling stint at the University of Montana. After years of woefully few dates, Carruthers' disease went into brief remission in 1948, when he met and courted Joyce Lowell during a leave of absence from the Air Force. His suffering returned, however, when he was forced to quickly marry Lowell after she became pregnant with his child. Carruthers resigned from the Air Force and, from that point on, the erosion of his spirit accelerated.

His personal growth badly stunted, Carruthers shelved his dreams of becoming a pilot and instead became an insurance agent. Unfortunately, his meager salary meant that he would be unable to afford relief in the form of material comforts or vacations. By the time Carruthers reached his 40s, he found himself so crippled, he could only lie on his sofa and watch TV after work.

"He tried to be brave," said wife Joyce Carruthers, who watched Gerald's struggle with life transform him from a moody 30-year-old insurance agent into a deeply bitter, borderline-alcoholic 60-year-old insurance agent. "But it's not easy. His pain made it impossible for him to enjoy our wedding day, the birth of his children, even a normal weekend with his family. You can't imagine what the ordeal was like for him."

According to his personal physician, Dr. Clement Kirschwasser, Carruthers' search for a cure followed a pattern common among those afflicted with life.

"He tried just about every form of treatment: diet, exercise, rest, therapy, the usual array of drugs and alcohol—you name it," Kirschwasser said. "But he didn't respond to any of them. Occasionally, there would be a slight reduction in symptoms, but inevitably, hopelessness and demoralization would always set in again."

Toward the end, Carruthers was exhausted and drained of the will to fight. Family members say that even if he had made the effort, he was too far gone to be saved.

"He might have tried some Eastern techniques or the more exotic pharmacological approaches, but the wasting ravages of life had already done their damage," said son Daniel Carruthers, 49, who with his three disappointing children, failed marriage, and exorbitant alimony payments, is already in the advanced stages of the syndrome that claimed his father's life.

"I just hope that when my turn comes, I go peacefully in my sleep like Dad," Daniel continued. "Come to think of it, the sooner the better."

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More