Thursday, April 21, 2022

He Was A Good Man

Our friend died last month.  His sister-in-law told me how sick he was, and then he was gone.  I brought brownies to his widow (of 66 years) and their children in her new apartment, a move she had planned to make with her husband. 

Planning ahead is always a good thing.  As JannyLou said, better 5 years too early than 5 minutes too late.

Today, TBG and I joined a couple of hundred others in celebrating his life.  Most of us were masked.  Most of us were old.  The life we were celebrating would not have wanted this to be a morose occasion, and it certainly was not.

There were aviator stories (he flew for 3 branches of the armed services, retiring as a Major General in the Air National Guard).  There were business stories (he was a mentor and a friend and developed relationships that lasted a lifetime).  There were family stories (independence and opportunities without judgment).  

Everyone touched on his kindness, on his inability to be angry, on his smile and his welcoming approach to life.  He loved life - his own and those of the people around him.  

When you spoke, he really listened.  You could tell that he was as interested in the story as in the storyteller.  He made you feel good about yourself.

We came into his orbit late in his life.  We had fewer stories to share.  But every mention of his smile and joie de vivre  hit home for us; we always commented on how much and how hard we had laughed, and were still laughing, whenever we left them.  

As I listened to the hymns the family chose, I could picture the young, newly-married, Cornell ROTC graduate going off to be a combat pilot in 1956.  He had a quiet confidence, a self-assuredness that never came close to being cocky or arrogant, a dignity leavened with hilarity.  He was gracious and generous and involved in making this broken world a better place.

He was a mensch.

May his memory be a blessing.


  1. This is a beautiful tribute to a man I will never know, but through your words, I will wish I had.

    1. You and he would have enjoyed one another, I am sure.

  2. Celebrating a life well lived is a beautiful thing.


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