This is the hardest thing I have had to write for this magazine. One week ago today I received the news that Roy Reichow passed away. Many in the industry knew Roy personally, and thousands more knew him through his articles in the pages of this magazine and his blogs on our website. Beyond being one of my favorite wood flooring pros, Roy was a friend, and someone who did everything with the utmost integrity for all the right reasons.
If you knew Roy, you knew his upbeat Minnesota-nice nature, always with a good dose of humor. He kept that positive attitude even after he found out he had cancer, and he was determined to keep working away, as he was driven at this stage in his career to pay it forward and pass his wood flooring knowledge on to the next generation of pros.
Roy was adamant about not wanting people to know he was sick, but not long before he passed we had a serious talk about what he wanted to tell the industry after he was gone. We had already discussed many times the fact that his doctors believed his cancer was caused by the chemicals he breathed in over the span of his career as a wood flooring contractor.
“I consider myself lucky, but the one thing that is taking my life is all the solvents that I sucked in for all these years,” Roy told me in our final conversation. “I can’t express enough to these young kids to be awful cautious [about protecting their health].”
Of all of Roy’s teachings in this industry, I hope that is a message that is taken to heart by every single person who reads his final wishes. Thank you, Roy, for sharing this and so much of your wisdom. You will be so missed.
You can read WFB's obituary for Roy here.
Roy’s episode of the “All Things Wood Floor” podcast can be heard here: