Jim Nantz Jr., the father of CBS Sports anchor Jim Nantz III, died Saturday, June 28. The Houston Chronicle reported that Mr. Nantz, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 1995, died with his son by his bedside.
I had heard about Mr. Nantz's struggle with Alzheimer's during interviews given by Jim Nantz III this past spring. When asked by U.S. News and World Report what the most difficult aspect of his father's demise had been, the son said, "When it came time to move him out of the family house into a facility in 2000. That was the hardest decision I ever had to make. I'd had this dream that I was going to have my dad out there on the road with me, with a purpose. This magical three-event journey (calling Super Bowl XLI, the Final Four, and the Master's golf tournament in 2007) in 63 days-that would've been the greatest father-son road trip ever. But he has no recognition of anyone or anything in the word around him."
The U.S. News and World Report also noted the heartbreaking fact that the sportscaster's daughter was a year old in 1995 when Mr. Nantz suffered a stroke. Jim Nantz III said, "When she visits him, it's ‘Hi, Granddaddy, how are you today?' She puts her arms around him, kisses him on the cheek, and talks to him. I'm so proud of her because none of that love's ever really been transferred back. Oh, it would've been-his arms would've been around her and he'd have showered her with kisses and praise and all the love in the world."
The Houston Chronicle quoted the younger Nantz as saying, "It's been a long grieving process. We're now ready to celebrate my father's wonderful life. We bear his message in our hearts, and I'm glad that he can be whole again in heaven and at peace. We celebrate his life and his message of how life should be lived every day."
Published On: July 01, 2008