Thursday, October 31, 2019

Eulogy for My Father

My Eulogy for my father, at his Funeral, Given 10/28/2019. (See his obituary here)


Brevity is the soul of wit[i], and I’ll endeavor to be both.
Thank you all for coming today to share in this celebration of the Mass, and my Dad’s life. I can think of no better way to honor him than through a Mass. He was a loyal son of the Church. At he bedside, where he spent his last night at home, I found his Missal. On the cover, was the Christogram, HIS, which comes from the Latin, In Hoc Signo, or Under This Sign, a reference to Jesus[ii]. He clearly lived under this sign.
Today we mourn the passing of our Loving Husband, Father, Brother, Uncle, mentor, friend and golfing buddy; colleague; Boss.
To me he was simply my dad. A great business and community leader, to be sure, but I remember was him as a father who taught by example.

  •  His example of hard work, and his relentlessness
  •  His example of charity, especially to the Church, a certain University[iii], and to Habitat for Humanity Collier County 
  •  His example of faith, like going to 630 mass every day during lent before going to work. Even when running a Multi-Billion $ business.[iv]
He taught the family, all of us, by his example. His example will wake up the echoes[v] for years to come.

These past two weeks have brought many happy memories of flooding back. 
  • Inn the seventies, mowing the lawn at 927 Cliffwood Lane, which was at a 45-degree angle, in Bermuda shorts, dark socks, and a Tshirt. 
  • Standing at the top of the stairs, Dad shouting “Where’s my gold pen!”. (When cleaning out his things over the past 2 weeks, I found them. Dad, they were under your desk.[vi]
  • Driving a car Connecticut to Florida and listening the same Prairie Home Companion 5 times.

While today is a day of undeniable sadness, it should also be a day of joy too. First and foremost, that Dad is no longer suffering. And second that he has received his eternal reward and is in heaven. Of this I have no doubt. But there is one final reason, and it’s not because Mom finally gets to control the remote.

The Irish have a notion of “Thin Places”[vii] where Heaven and Earth meet. Just a few weeks ago, when he was in the hospital, has just woken up. I asked how we was. He said “Good. I just saw Mom and Dad, and I haven't seen Dad in 16 years. They looked good.”[viii] I am confident this was true and that he had found one of these thin places. I am just as confident he is with Honey, Bear, Mary, Jim, Clem, Detmer, Hazel and the rest of the family. Let us be joyful for this too. He is with his family, and that his physical and spiritual suffering are over.

In conclusion, the best way I can end my remarks is to give him the last word. Those words are from his last word to us, in a letter he wrote; the words he wanted to sum up his life with.

To: Pat, Bill and David:
I have neglected putting this together for all too long now. I guess that I haven’t been willing to face up to the fact that my old ticker has more miles on it than is normal for my model year.
I have been blessed in so many ways during my lifetime that I am in awe of the generosity that God has bestowed on me, a sinner. My greatest gifts are my family whose love, understanding and tolerance sustained me through the years – I cannot begin to fathom why God showered the blessings of you three on me, preceded by my own family and now followed up with my two angels, Emma and Anna. What can heaven begin to be like after all the blessings I had on earth? I love you so much and eagerly await the day when we can all be together again in the divine and loving presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


[i] Shakespeare reference for Dad, who enjoyed the quotes in my thesis
[ii] IHS is also a reference to the transliterated name of Jesus from the Greek.
[iii] Ever defiant, this was needling both David and Dad a bit.
[iv] And he dragged me to Mass more than few times.
[v] And yet one must pay respect to his love for said University
[vi] This is true.
[vii] I got this, most likely, from Fr. Brendan McGuire. But Wikipedia confirms it.
[viii] I included this to create a bridge to his mother, to whom the same thing happened.

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