On a cold and windy Thursday at Binkley Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, Dean Smith's private memorial was held.
His own family was there of course, as was his basketball family as well: Michael Jordan, Phil Ford, Jerry Stackhouse, Donald Williams and many others came.
Coach K, who famously said at one point that he'd never been to Chapel Hill, drove over from Durham wearing a Carolina blue tie.
Roy Williams and Bill Guthridge came of course, as did big John Thompson.
Former Heel sdWarren Martin, perhaps the tallest middle school teacher in the state, came as well and showed his program to some folks who had gathered near the church but kept it, saying that he'd be in trouble if he didn't take it home.
We were wondering if that was a reference to Deborah Crowder, the woman at the heart of the UNC athletic scandal with whom Martin had a relationship. We don't know if he still does.
The focus has been on the public loss, which is obviously considerable and important to many people. Smith was always a private man and we really never learned much about his family other than his wife, Linnea, who is prominent in her own right.
As significant as the loss is for the former players and managers and for Coach K and John Thompson, it's vastly more critical for his immediate family. Losing a husband, a father and a grandfather is never easy. No one disputes that Smith was a remarkable man. Even though in many respects he left them some time ago, the concrete, final loss of such a man must be very difficult. Our hearts go out to them and we're sure that's true of all Duke and ACC fans.