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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: Celebration of life for Tracy Dexter

By Jessica Machetta/Missourian Reader
April 21, 2012 | 9:44 p.m. CDT

Jessica Machetta is a friend of Tracy Dexter.

Friends of Tracy Dexter — and there were many — will wish him a final farewell where his restless soul was always most at peace, the Missouri River.

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A celebration of life will be held Saturday, April 28, a party in his honor just the way he would have preferred, with music, friends, family, everyone laughing and telling stories as the sun sets on the Big Muddy, Tracy's playground. Saturday would have been his 46th birthday.

The former owner of Ron's Country Boy in Columbia was known for his ready smile, biscuits and gravy and easy spirit. His numerous tattoos belied his personality; once you talked to Tracy, it wasn't long before he called you "friend."

He was killed in a car accident in December, a time of year the river isn't so welcoming, so family and friends decided to hold a celebration of life and memorial service in the spring, when Tracy would have typically been getting the boat out of storage for another year of fun.

"Tracy was the kind of man, and the kind of person it was good to know was out there in this messed up world," David Silvey said on Tracy's celebration of life Facebook post. "Good, trustworthy, fun, enjoying life and his friends ... If your boat broke down he'd help. If you needed to talk, he would listen."

"Hope the river is good and the sunsets are beautiful where ever you are now because we'll all be joining you one day, dude," Silvey continues, "so fill the gas tanks and load the coolers!"

In addition to being a husband, father and restaurant owner, Tracy was, as Silvey said, a good guy to know.

"I am going to miss him," said Kent Martin, former Columbia resident who worked at The Truman, "He taught me how to make an omelet!"

"I'm gonna miss that guy too ... so sad," another friend said. "Glad I had a chance to catch up with him recently. Great soul."

Lucy Bishop-Reddick, owner of Lucy's Cafe, formerly Ron's Country Boy, said on the post, "Hope to see everyone there, that would sooo impress Tracy, since he wasn't one to go to those things. With it at Cooper's Landing makes it feel more at ease and less sad."

Diana Dexter, Tracy's wife, welcomes everyone to join the family as they say farewell.

"Bring your memories, stories and laughter just as Tracy would have expected," she said.

A celebration of life will be held at Cooper's Landing River Port Marina at the Port of Nashville, 11505 Smith Hatchery Road in Columbia from 5 p.m. to just past sunset.

"Crazy Fish, and Dave & Dyno and the Roadkill Orchestra will be playing Tracy’s favorite tunes throughout the evening," she says. "Mike Cooper will have some sort of yummy food, soda, beer, wine coolers, etc. for sale."

She reminds folks that no outside food or beverages are allowed unless they are camping and it's kept at the campsite. Also, there is no hard liquor or wine allowed on premises.

Chim’s Thai Kitchen will be also be open.

Everyone is encouraged to camp for the night to curb drinking and driving. Those interested in RV camping should contact Cooper's Landing at (573) 657-2544; tent camping is first come, first served.

The main event will be held at sunset on the river; family and boat crew only will be allowed on the main boat.

"If anyone has boats and wants to join us I’m sure there will be plenty of additional people looking for rides," Diana said. "The main boat will be in front of Cooper’s Landing so those on land will be able to be a part of the celebration. We hope you join us."

Cooper's charges a $5 boat launch fee.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how.