Rest in peace - Arch / Chris Kotacka - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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Our Fallen Friends. This is not a forum I ever wanted to create, but I feel it is something I need to do for all of us. It's one I honestly hope and pray never see's any new theads. Be safe and remember our friends.

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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Rest in peace - Arch / Chris Kotacka

Creating threads like these is the part of my job here at CLSB, that I will never get used too. Times like this tug at my heart strings as it does all of ours as we have all come to know each other at CLSB and become a family of sorts.

With this thread I would like to start a new tradition. When we loose a member I will create a thread here for us to share our favorite memories, memorable quotes or pictures of the fallen.

I hereby dedicate this thread and this new tradition to our friend Arch, a great man, great father, great husband and all around excellent person.

My most recent fun memory of arch was right after my birthday in January. It was a cold Sunday night about 9:30. I hear my doorbell ring, when I get to the door, I saw a certain red mitsubishi speeding off down my street. Turns out the man had left me a HUGE bottle of makers mark bourbon on my doorstep with a note saying "happy birthday" That's the kind of guy Chris was.. Always thinking of others.

I'm going to miss seeing him in downtown Naperville and Sunday morning breakfasts at panera. He and his daughter were always a joy to hang out with and spend time.

I'll miss you my friend.




HDTony.... Damn glad to meet you!

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 03:08 PM
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Well done Tony.

I had the pleasure of locking horns with Chris as much as anyone, and through all of it, rarely if ever did things become personal. Just enjoyable debate with a knowledgeable and fair person who simply enjoyed engaging with others. It's funny because early on I felt like Chris was just antagonizing people at times, but over time I began to understand (through some pretty heated exchanges between the two of us, followed by an E-toast of sorts) that he simply enjoyed the debate, and loved to test and push himself and others simultaneously...to think outside the box. I grew to really enjoy our conversations and learned a lot along the way from him...I'll always keep his level headed approach to things with me, and I'll always think of him for that.

Truly a unique and good man. He will be missed, certainly...but not forgotten.

Godspeed my friend.

Tom

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Last edited by Cerk; 08-08-2011 at 03:31 PM.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 03:25 PM
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He definitely push the envelope just for fun. He was a funny and great guy. Too many stories of banter between us, or banter with others wenseen eye to eye on. And my signature has a quote from him that explains how funny he really was even tho some people didn't see it sometimes. Rip buddy.

...plus my gf was with me saying "omg slow down, slow down" and I was thinking "Lose annoying squalk box in passenger seat, afford more mods and have less weight in the car and on the back of the bike"...so i dumped her and I'm single again as usual...HERE KITTY KITTY!!!
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pussy is the root of all evil...
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mmmm pussy
You dont like me....i dont give a fuck...cause i'll still put ya in the hospital...me tollerating you is all that matters...
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 06:21 PM
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I hope this comes out right.
Tony, I still remember shooting you an email early on asking if Arch was OK as I wasn't sure about his... wit. I remember you saying he was OK and harmless. That I just need to get used to him and understand him. With that in mind I found that he was more than OK and was an absolute keeper. Irreverent with a heart of gold is insufficient, but sums up my thoughts of him. Being way up in the great NW and going through interesting times of my own I only got to meet him face to face several times, but I will deeply miss the boy. 42 is way too young for a good man to go away.
RIP

There is nothing firm, nothing balanced, nothing durable in all the universe. Nothing remains in its original state, each day, each hour, each moment, there is change. Change is the essence of life. Embrace change as you do life. To fight change is to live in the past.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 06:22 PM
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Here's the thing about Arch-- he could call you on your bullshit and in the very same response praise you for whatever you said that was intelligent. And when he joked, you knew it was a joke; you never felt like it was veiled insult. That's not easy to do on an online forum-- you have to be a good writer, an intelligent thinker, and you have to be consistent in your responses in order to earn the sort of respect that you need for your posts to have weight. He was a consistently interesting writer, and in my experience, you can't do that without actually being a consistent and interesting person.

Now, if his family reads this I can see someone saying "Great, consistent and interesting. Whoop dee doo." But here's the thing-- flashy and wild don't really get you much in this life. To develop strong friendships, a 20 year marriage, raise 4 kids, have a good job...consistent and interesting wins the race. I can only hope to have the same said about me-- that people could rely on me, and that they could enjoy interacting with me. And we could do that with Arch. So the assessment/compliment that Arch was consistent and interesting, I feel, is high praise.

Let's face it, we all sit around and think "Are these CLSB people really my "friends"? I haven't met more than half of them and all we ever do is talk shit on the internet, so are they my "friends?" Well here's my response to that-- when people gang up on you and someone then sticks up for you, or pulls you aside and tells you it's ok and to ignore the others, that's a friend. So my memory of Arch is that he was my friend. When I needed backup, he gave it; when I needed my head checked, he did it.

And every time I made fun of Chills being divorced a hundred times, he gave me rep.

Rest in peace, Arch. We love you.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 06:23 PM
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He and I traded many a jab on this site but home boy always followed up with a PM stating that it was all in good fun and asked if we were "cool" and of course we always were

Never shook the mans hand but had much respect for him

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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 07:26 PM
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I will miss his approach on thinking matters through and his intellect . Truly a rare person that some of us had a chance to meet or engage on the forum . He will be missed by many.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 08:41 PM
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Last year I had to have emergency surgery, I almost died. I went to the ER in pain, and after some tests they discovered I was bleeding internally. I spent 5 days in the hospital, and then came home and overdid everything since I had family in from out of town. One night I was up late, hurting, and posting on clsb. Arch sent me a PM to go to bed, and I sent him a reply telling him what had happened and how bad I was hurting. His reply was simply his phone number. I called him and we talked for over 2 hours. He was kind, and told me something that really opened my eyes, he said to me that my family would be angry that I was hiding my pain, and pushing too hard just to keep them entertained. The next day I told my family that I was going to sit out that day's activities and they not only understood, but brought home takeout so I didn't have to cook. He was 100% right. That night my phone rang and it was a number that looked familiar but wasn't in my contact list. It was Arch calling to make sure I was feeling better. He called me 3 more times that week just to check that I was resting, and to remind me that my family loved me and could visit anytime, but they would want me healthy when they did. My emergency surgery was a hysterectomy, and Arch said that it wasn't the end of the world. He reminded me that I have an amazing daughter, and that Dave loves me just the same. He made the joke that the doctor took out the crib and put in a playpen. lol

Another time Arch brought his sons over to buy some Magic the Gathering cards that were Dave and mine from years ago. His boys looked at him like he was a God. They had such a respect for him. When Dave told them we had the cards and gave them a price, they wanted to come right then, we got home about 10pm called them and they came right over. The boys thanked us several times for selling them the cards so cheap, and then sent an email when they got home thanking us again. He and his wife raised amazing kids, that were respectful, kind, polite, and most of all loved their father. He will be missed in his family, on this site, at work and also in his community. He touched many lives, and changed many minds. I know I for one will miss his posts, and way of thinking. He could disagree with you without putting you down, or making you feel stupid. I know he changed my mind on more than one issue. And I never felt like I needed to verify what he was posting, he didn't post crap, he only posted when he knew what he was talking about.

I don't ride, I cook!
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 10:50 PM
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I not only knew him from CLSB, but I knew him from many other local car message boards as well. I can always remember him offering his knowlege when people had technical questions. I've only met him a couple times in person, but would see his posts almost every day. I remember his red 3000GT that he had with the big spoiler. Whenever I saw one around town I would say "Hey that's Arch"! I don't know if he still has it, but it's going to be sad next time I see one and knowing it's not him
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 10:59 PM
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It's funny - it's been almost 3 years but I can remember a handful of posts of his that really hit me. Things he said, the way he said them.. How they came out knowing who they came from and his quirky sense of humor..

This is one of them.

The day after my first born was born I said this and he replied with below.

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Originally Posted by iamnotgreg View Post
why do they poop so much?
Oh my god
Seriously
She just pooped again
That would be 3x in pretty much as many minutes
Well off to diaper #3 soon as she gets done eating

Hah she hears the iPhone click click and is looking towards me wife says

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Originally Posted by Arch View Post
It's called puppy time.. Eat, Sleep, Shit, act cute... rinse, repeat.

Engage her curiosity, be goofy, make her laugh and look into her eyes all the time... this imprinting/bonding time is one you will never get back. make the most of it, Dad...

To be completely honest I can't remember if he is the first person to call me Dad - maybe not. But I remember reading that and it kind of sinking in after reading it in black and white on a screen.

Honestly I think that was some of the best parenting advice ever handed out - books have been written but he distilled what really mattered down to a sentence.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 11:08 PM

 
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He was a behind the scenes supporter of my DAMN IT PEOPLE DO THE RIGHT THING posts.

Although my approach and grammar skills failed me in making my point some times. He always looked past them and supported my point.

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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 11:58 PM
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Honestly I think that was some of the best parenting advice ever handed out - books have been written but he distilled what really mattered down to a sentence.
I was in a funk after Abi was diagnosed with a bleeding disorder, on top of having a seizure disorder and he replied something to the effect of :" You can handle this, you wouldn't be her hero if not. And you and Dave are great parents, that's why you have such a great child. " Those words have kept me goings many many times with things have been tough, and I have wanted to stick my head in the sand. I remember Arch telling me that my strength makes me my child's hero. I looked up to him as a parent and as a person.

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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 09:04 AM
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i still feel like a relative newbie on here and everyone has newbie insecurities and a desire to be accepted by the existing and established group of which arch was obviously and clearly a pillar of.

and so VERY shortly after joining clsb a couple of years ago including a controversial thread asking about Christian riding groups there were several clsb members who reached out to me in the form of rep and pm's and i will never forget those acts of kindness - ARCH was one of those people. arch - i was and remain grateful to your obvious kind and caring nature. i ache for your loved ones.

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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 09:30 AM
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I remember having many debates with him in the Politics section where I would spend a good amount of time putting thought and research into my posts, just to have him rip it to shreds in couple minutes. I would have to go back, do more research, come up with counter-points and two minutes after hitting the reply button, my post would be torn apart again.

The thing is, I never got mad at it because he was the type of person that really made you think and you wanted to have a smart, dignified response to all of his posts because he was so intelligent. I feel as if I'm a better person because of it and I never got a chance to thank him for it. It may be too late, but Thank You Arch.

You will be missed buddy. I never met you, but I still consider you a friend. RIP

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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 12:04 PM
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This is the day I met Arch.
https://www.chicagolandsportbikes.com...highlight=arch

I was early to Portillos that night. Excited to go see the meteor shower on our ride.... Arch also showed up early. Just about 5 of us there at the time. We were both sitting on the curb in the lot waiting.....

I said, "Hi, I'm Terra." "He said, Hi, I'm Chris."
Then a few minutes passed.... He looked over at me and said something sarcastic. I returned the challenge with another sarcastic remark.
He said... Oh, you must be Cat. I said, OH, Hi Arch. and we both laughed.

And then we became rider friends and talked about everything under the sun.

Arch also donated a few hundred dollars to my fundraisers, and helped me with a number of things when I was looking for answers in regards to financial questions or legal questions. He was so intelligent.

I had a lot of respect for Chris. A lot. I could only hope to be as good of a person as he was.

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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 02:25 PM
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Arch's post were the the most entertaining post to read. His witty personality, and his wise words are something I hope to carry on. He rarely took anything personal, with all the debates and arguments. He was a good man. I am very sorry for his family. I just hope it was painless and that he had a lot of love around him when he passed

Bikes can be replaced...people can't...ride safe!!
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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 02:30 PM
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I had the pleasure of meeting Arch/Chris Kotacka at bike night as well as hanging out with him at the cigar shop. We traded stories about being a father and talk about the activities are kids were involved in; I could tell he was very happy and proud of his kids. Thanks Arch/Chris for being a good friend; you will be missed but not forgotten RIP.
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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 02:55 PM
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I remember first meeting Arch, at one of my first Bike Nights @ Portillo's. He was smoking a cigar, so we instantly bonded over our mutual love of tobacco.

I will always remember his grinning face... which always made me smile too. To say he was sharp, witty, funny, compassionate, outgoing... these are all understatements. Here on CLSB, he loved to stir the pot as well... but I caught on his game quickly. Through his debating, he really challenged others to think differently... to reassess their viewpoints... and to make sure that whatever viewpoint you held, that you fully understood it and why you held it, regardless of whether he agreed with it or not.

Every single time I'd read one of those hotly debated threads, I always pictured him sitting behind his laptop with a cigar, grinning, and thinking of how else he could push those he was corresponding with... push them to be better thinkers... and better people.

My heart is heavy right now. It seems that too often, the best ones are the first to go. He will be missed by man, myself included.

Arch was a good man.
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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 03:05 PM
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Looks like everybody covered most of what I had to say about Chris. One thing I'd like to add is that, having never met Arch in person, he influenced you in ways that even your relatives or close friends couldn't.
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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 04:30 PM
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Arch,


you are the Kyle to my Cartman.

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post #21 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 04:38 PM
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post #22 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-10-2011, 09:51 PM

 
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Wow

I've lost a lot of good people this year and I'm stilling having trouble dealing with that.
But this young man broke my heart...This is really hard to type and my wife still doesn't understand.
That said, as I wipe my eyes, the next 3 jobs I do go to his family.
this is not a business promo, cause I already know Dave13 is bringing me 3 machines.
Lots of good people here, I learned that from Arch. Don't forget to spread the word, our lord got him a new advisor.........Thanks Arch! you're the best!
Yeah, now I'm done.................

PS. I hope I haven't pissed anyone off, I still have tears in my eyes.

CCS race official
sold the track bike
too slow to ride

"Repairs end December 31. 2011."

OK, it was a tough day.....back open again!!!
Bring me your broken down machines.

Butch @ 630-777-0273

Ytrap #819, forever in my prayers.
Arch, this Bud is for you..

Last edited by butchf; 08-10-2011 at 10:00 PM.
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post #23 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-14-2011, 04:29 PM
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RIP, god speed. I'm sorry for your guys' loss, I've lost a few in my day. It never gets easier.
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post #24 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-22-2011, 02:19 PM
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I just ran across this thread. I had posted in the other thread about Arch that in spite of all the times we had discussions here when we disagreed he always was one who I respected. As I said then...funny to say about someone you never met in the real world, only online...I will miss him.
Reading what those of you who actually knew him and were friends with him off the board have written tells me he was a very special guy. My condolences to you all.

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post #25 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 11:52 PM
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R.I.P. GOD Bless his family.
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post #26 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 02:49 PM
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Hello CLSB community,

My Name is Laura Kotacka. I am Arch's wife. I just wanted to thank you all so much for what you wrote, for supporting me and the kids during this difficult time, and for being wonderful friends to Chris while he was here with us. We miss him so much everyday.
I don't ride anymore. I stopped riding with Chris when our first child was born. I need help selling Chris's bike. I had a friend list it on Craig's list, but have gotten no takers. Also Chris would always winterize his own bike. One of my neighbors put stablizer in the tank, but nothing else. I remember Chris taking half a day to remove the battery and charge it and drain the fuel from carburetors, and many other things to get the bike ready for storage. I am too inexperienced in the these matters and any assistance or advice would help. Again THANK YOU for coming to his service and all you have wrote.
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post #27 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by azizia View Post
Hello CLSB community,

My Name is Laura Kotacka. I am Arch's wife. I just wanted to thank you all so much for what you wrote, for supporting me and the kids during this difficult time, and for being wonderful friends to Chris while he was here with us. We miss him so much everyday.
I don't ride anymore. I stopped riding with Chris when our first child was born. I need help selling Chris's bike. I had a friend list it on Craig's list, but have gotten no takers. Also Chris would always winterize his own bike. One of my neighbors put stablizer in the tank, but nothing else. I remember Chris taking half a day to remove the battery and charge it and drain the fuel from carburetors, and many other things to get the bike ready for storage. I am too inexperienced in the these matters and any assistance or advice would help. Again THANK YOU for coming to his service and all you have wrote.
Laura, you will get tons of responses to this. We all miss Arch very much and are happy to help you with whatever you need. Check back here for responses, and check your PMs (inbox) for messages as well. You can consider his bike taken care of.
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post #28 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 03:18 PM
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Laura, you'll get plenty of folks here that can help you out. I'm just down the street on the other side of 59. Please let me know if you need any help with this or anything else that may come up. Pick up truck ready and labor willing...630.479-0696 or feel free to shoot a private message over if that's easier.

Tom

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Last edited by Cerk; 09-28-2011 at 03:22 PM.
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post #29 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 03:29 PM
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Hello Laura. I was also a friend of Chris's; I'm in Naperville and would be happy to come over and help out. I will admit my mechanical skill isn't as good as Cerk's.

I'll send a PM with my phone number.

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post #30 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-28-2011, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Laura, it's great to hear from you! Give me a shout, I have a trailer and I will be happy to come pick up his bike and take care of the winterizing, then I will drop it back off, safe and sound. I can help you write a for sale add for this site as well.

Tony F,
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