Eulogy writing requires time.
The problem with funerals or memorial services is that they usually take place within two or three days of your loved one's death. There are so many details to take care of, so many emotions running rampant, so many people to comfort, that carving out a few hours of quiet to collect your thoughts and write is often difficult. Our writers will deliver a wonderful eulogy to you by tomorrow, allowing you to minister to family members and other mourners without speech writing being on your mind.
Eulogy writing requires skill.
Most of us are not talented writers. And even those of us who are become, what one of our clients described as "fog brained," at times like this. Yet we all want this final tribute to our father or mother, sibling or friend to be well done. And it should be. You don't have to do it alone. The Eulogy Writers can help.
Seven Examples of Recently Written Eulogies
THOMAS ALLEN BERZON - By A Friend
Thomas Allen Berzon’s middle name was surely, in reality, ‘the boatman.’ Somewhere, very early in his life, Tom developed a passion for boats that never let up. Family legend has it that he bought his first boat when he was ten years old. Then, for the next six decades, he never lived a day without owning at least one and, when he was out on the water, he was truly in his element.
Tom loved his Switzer (he loved Switzer boats more than all others). His Switzer was the ‘family boat’ for over twenty five years. The Silver family was always on it in Pewaukee, Lake Lac La Belle, Nagawica, Namabin, Lake Michigan, or the Milwaukee River… Tom and Judy raised their family in Pewaukee and they all spent as much time as they could out on Big Cedar Lake, where Tom taught the kids the joy of water skiing and, across the street from their home, the wonders of Great Lake Michigan.
Tom was always a family man and spending time with Judy and their kids (Erik and Carrie) as they grew up and, later with their spouses (Jen and Steve) made him as happy as a man could be. Erik and Carrie’s friends would often accompany the family when they were teens and Tom and Judy were always delighted to include them as part of the family. When the grandkids came along (Dylan, Skyler and Jackson), Tom’s joy was doubled. That next generation of Silvers (and Stock’s) thrilled him more than he could say.
Tom was always in love with the outdoors. He grew up in Wauwatosa and spent hundreds of hours out on the Wauwatosa Highlands riding his bike early in the mornings. He would thrill to the sounds of nature – the morning doves, the other creatures of nature awakening and preparing for the new day. He loved the quietness and solitude of God’s creation.
Once his day got started, Tom would “make my ‘rounds’ on my 20” bike with saddlebags that were army bags. The ‘rounds’ were to about six car dealers to look through their junk to find treasures.
One of the treasures he found in those early years was a pipe frame that needed wheels and other adjustments but had brakes. He collected some aluminum and melted it down in his parent’s house furnace and made a steering wheel. Eventually he would end up putting a 16hp Evinrude motor on it, making it a super fast, fun ride.
Tom could make or fix just about anything. If it was broken, even if he didn’t know exactly how it was supposed to be repaired, he’d see it as a personal challenge and set about fixing it.
Tom and Judy met in a sociology class in college. A friend introduced them. They were engaged by the end of 1969 and married four months later (Judy made her own wedding dress and did all the planning for the big event in about a month while Tom was on leave from the Navy – before he had to head back to Vietnam. Then, for the next 46 years they showed the world what a couple in love ought to look like. It wasn’t always smooth sailing (no relationship is), but their commitment to one another and that “till death do us part” line they said in that church on their wedding day, meant something to them.
Tom was a proud member of the Christian Science Church. He was active in Wisconsin and in Missouri – he served on church boards and he served as an usher. He was the kind of man who fit the description of a man of faith. He was humble. He was patient. He was honest. He was generous. He was kind.
Tom and Judy left their beloved Wisconsin in 1998. Erik was in college in Missouri. Carrie and her family were already living there. Memories and friends and a lifetime of being a cheese-head all taken into account, family always won. They gladly moved to O'Fallon and never looked back… They had some wonderful friends in and around Mequon. Tim Sallach, a buddy from Mercury Marine in Cedarburg… Craig Charles. He and Craig were friends since grade school. But family being together trumped just about everything else in life. Tom learned to love Missouri. They have lakes where he could boat. He was happy.
The greatest days of Tom and Judy’s lives were the days on which Dylan, Skyler and Jackson were born. That next generation – new ‘family.’ For a family man, there are few things in life more satisfying than having new babies born…
Tom was, for the most part, a pretty quiet man – he was at peace with himself. But he knew that the key to living life well was the reaching out to others and lending a hand – with stepping forward to do what needed to be done. He was never afraid to get his hands dirty or to help someone with something. That is the lesson he most wanted to pass on to his kids and grand-kids – practice your faith – do unto others – enjoy life – do good.
Ultimately cancer took Tom’s life, but not even death – not even suffering – could conquer his spirit or his faith or his love.
DOLLY LEE - By Her Daughter
My mother was truly one-of-a-kind. Always beautiful – glamorous, actually. There wasn’t anyone who ever met her who didn’t think she was one of the most beautiful women they had ever met. She loved clothes. Whatever the occasion, she was dressed for it. She always had the latest and most “in” fashions. She knew what looked good on her and she capitalized on that at every turn. Even her hair was done up in a wonderful way. One of her favorite things to do was to go to the salon and get her hair done. In fact, in these last couple of months her NOT wanting to go told us all how sick she really was. But even in these last days she looked like an angel. As she lay there dying, she had a sense of serenity that can only come from a life lived fully and well.
She had that sense about her. She was self-confident and poised. She loved to laugh and dance. Music moved her soul and her entire body wasn’t far behind. If an oldie was on the radio, she was moving to it. She just couldn’t stay still if Chubby Checker or Elvis was playing. She and Jessica (Johnny’s wife) loved to get together at wedding receptions and tear up the floor, doing the Cha Cha and the Jitterbug. Even as she got older and dancing was only a wonderful memory, Diane would record her favorite TV programs – “Dancing With the Stars” and “Entertainment Tonight.” She seldom missed an show and even enjoyed seeing them over and over again.
She grew up in South Philadelphia. Hers wasn’t always an easy life. No one’s is, of course, but mom came out of it with a wonderfully positive attitude toward life. Her brothers taught her how to be tough. They were boxers. They taught her to use every ounce of her five feet and one inch to her advantage and to not take anything from anyone. She never forgot those lessons and worked hard to pass them on to her own children – all of us: me and Diane and Johnny and Sam. We all remember the story of Johnny being bullied by a boy in the neighborhood. He’d chase him down after school and beat on him. Mom saw what was happening and told Albert he had to go out there and face this young ruffian. She stood at the window and watched. Johnny did. He found out that the boy wasn’t as tough as he thought and Johnny became the champion of the neighborhood – thanks to mom.
She was a great role model. Because of her, all of our families have benefited in so many ways. She guarded our growing up years, teaching us solid values and making sure we would turn out to be good people. She would have been sorely disappointed if we hadn’t passed those on to our own children. We gave her and dad six grandchildren. She adored them and watching them grow up into wonderful adults was, probably, one of the deepest pleasures of her life. When they were young they loved to tell their grandmother stories because she listened and laughed at the right times and gave them all the encouragement she possibly could. Who wouldn’t adore a grandmother like that?
They produced eight great grandkids. What a joy they were to her and dad. Just being around those little ones was wondrous and neither could believe how quickly they grew up… Then little Finley was born – a great-great granddaughter. Finley was at her bedside two days before mom died, on her first day in hospice. She looked at that little one and marveled. She said she looked just like Jeanette at that age. Finley won’t remember a lot about her grandmother, but because of us and her parents, part of mom is in her and always will be.
Mom loved to clean house. That, in itself, sets her apart from almost all other women in the world. She loved to vacuum. She did it so much that at one point the neighbors told her they thought they were living near an airport. They’ve lived in that house for over fifty years.
Needless to say, their house was immaculate. No dirt. No dust. Nothing out of place – at least not for very long.
Mom’s greatest love in life was her family. Well, actually her greatest love was for our father. They’ve been married for sixty years! They met back in about 1954 or so – got married in ’55. She was working at Wonder Bread Company and dad was a truck driver making deliveries there. He saw her and immediately liked her. But he was ten years younger and she thought the age difference was too much. She kept putting him off. But he wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer and kept coming around until she finally gave in. Neither one of them ever regretted it. His youth and spirit earned him, later, the nickname “goofball” because he loved being silly and she loved it too. Dad also loves to tell war stories to anyone who will listen. She had heard them all so many times she could practically tell them herself. She was always saying, “There he goes again. He never shuts up.” But she loved the fact that he told those dear old stories. She knew they were a part of the man she loved. Even in her last days she heard him telling them to one of the nurses, even though she could barely speak, she croaked out one last “there he goes again, telling the same story.”
He also loved to tell the story of taking her home to meet his parents out in the country in North Carolina. “She was such a city girl,” he would say. “We went on a hike through the mountains and all she had to wear were wedges.”
Mom’s second greatest love in life was her family. There was nothing that gave her more pleasure than having the family together, cooking for us (she was a great cook), watching us interact with one another and love one another. She was always the “glue” that held us together as a family. We’ll stay together because of her influence. That’s how she taught us.
She did the same with her own family growing up. She grew up in the Depression years and learned to take on responsibilities around the house and take care of others. Later on those lessons would serve her well as she took care of her mother and sister as their health failed, caring for them until their dying day.
Mom was a woman of faith. She went to Mass every day at St. Edens. She was a woman of prayer. She dearly loved her Lord and the church and all it stood for. She loved the hymns and the liturgy and the scripture lessons. There was no place that she felt more in touch with who she was than in church. I’m pretty sure that her connection with God was so solid that God would hear her prayers and pretty much do whatever she asked. She had said, as she saw she was dying, that she would like to die on Easter. God said, “Why not?” and took her home on that most sacred of days. And now she is in heaven, probably dancing with the angels and making them laugh and enjoying her Jesus whom she loved for so long.
Mom was, as nearly as any human can be, ageless. Her attitudes were never ‘old.’ Her outlook was always up-beat. She always dressed like a million dollars. She was, maybe, a little vain, but she was able to carry that off with class and no one minded. We all saw her for the true beauty she was. And her heart… Mom had a generosity of spirit that was seen by everyone. If someone had a need, she would do whatever she could to meet it. She had a tender heart and loved to be there for you.
Now that she is gone, life will change for all of us. That strength, that beauty, that unconditional love that she maintained in the world, is gone. But she is not gone. Who she was and what she was all about is in each of us who knew her and were loved by her. In that regard, she will never die.
THOMAS IVERS - By his Son
There are few men in the world who could match my father’s charisma, good-heartedness, and mischief. Somewhere early in life he developed a fearlessness about life and limb – an attitude that everything would work out OK – that life was to be lived, as much as possible, without limits – without fear – with joy and music and singing and laughter.
When dad was twelve, he ran away from home. His parents had divorced and he and his new step-mom got into a bit of a conflict over him breaking open the watermelons she was growing. He was banished from the house to sleep in the barn. He took off, to go live with his mother in North Carolina. It took him a week, sleeping in the woods, having nothing but the clothes on his back. At one point he was nabbed by a sheriff. He didn’t arrest him, though. He took him home with him. He gave his some shoes and some clean clothes. He wasn’t like any law man dad ever heard of so he took off in the middle of the night, again heading for the safety of his mom’s house.
He’d have other encounters with sheriffs later on in his life. One hired him to run moonshine for him back in the ‘40s. He used to tell of one time when the state police were after him in his jacked up Ford pickup truck. They were six miles from the state line in bad weather and, as he crossed an icy bridge he almost lost control of his vehicle. The cops chasing him did lose control and crashed, killing them all…
Another story he loved to tell was of him as a young man living with his mother. He came home one night after an evening of drinking with his buddies. She asked him if he had been drinking. He sassed her – he could have a pretty quick come back sometimes – and she let him go on to bed. In the morning, when he woke up he found that he was tied to the bed. His mom came in with a hickory stick and suggested to him that perhaps he wasn’t as tough as he like to think he was – and gave him quite a whooping.
But he really was a pretty tough guy. When he was 15 he lied about his age and joined the Navy – until they found out how old he was. Later, when he was of age, he joined the Army – served in the 82nd AirBorne. He loved to parachute. A lot of the guys didn’t, so he picked up some extra money by saying he was them and jumping in their place. It was a win-win for everybody.
It was in the AirBorne that dad met his best friend – Al Kent. Al died back in 2014 but they were like brothers all these years. They would sing together in bars on weekends, they’d tell lots of stories about women they had known and fight over who had the prettiest dates. Later, after they were both married with families, their friendship continued – the wives joining their fast friendship.
Dad was such a positive thinker. The phrase “I can’t” wasn’t in his vocabulary. He did things without any fear or thought of failing. If he did fail, he’d just try again or put a positive spin on it. He would never get mad or complain. He always had a smile and something positive to say – about all of life. Even in his last days, he didn’t let anyone know how much pain he was in. If anyone asked him how he was doing, he’d always say, “Great…Never had a bad day in my life.” He loved to tell us, as we were growing up, “Be happy all the time… Go to be happy – wake up happy.” And he lived that way.
But he wasn’t always as good as he tried to make everyone think. He had tremendous pain for the past few years. That accident back in ’84 when he got that rare fungus – it has given him problems ever since – eating away at his bones. Back then the doctors said he’s never be able to bend that leg or walk normally. But his pure determination and willpower and his belief in the power of positive thinking beat the doctor’s predictions and he did walk again – ten operations – several near death episodes – but he survived and was able to laugh again.
The central focus of dad’s life was his family. He drove truck for 30 years to make a living and pay the bills, but the passion of his life was us – Donna, me, Tom, and Albert. He loved us more than life. When their grandkids were born – Jeanette and Melissa and Albert, John and Joe – those were amazing days in his life. He loved all of you guys so much – he loved to give you nicknames and kid around with you – to make you laugh. Never forget the depths of love he had for you. Never forget the wonderful man you called ‘grandpa.’ When little Finlie was born – a great granddaughter – he was overwhelmed – to have another generation come along – she was perfect!
He met mom back in 1954. He was driving a truck and made a delivery at Bond Bread, where she worked. He always said it was love at first sight. But she was ten years older than him and didn’t want to date him. All the other women who worked with mom though she was crazy. He had that southern charm. He was blond with blue eyes. He was funny… But she thought she was too old for him. Eventually he wore her down and she went out to dinner and a movie and they fell in love. After sixty years of marriage, he lost her – in 2015. That was devastating to him. As positive as he was in all of life, losing her was just unimaginable. He grieved until the day he died.
One of my most precious memories is when I got my pilot’s license. Dad had encouraged me to go for it and was so proud when I passed my flight exams. I took him up in a Cessna 150 – a two seater with high wings. We were up around 3000 feet and he turned to me and said, “OK, I’ll take over now.” I didn’t even question him. I just let him have the controls. As he always did, he amazed me. It was like he had flown all his life. He made some turns and other maneuvers and did it like a trained pilot. I was so proud of him. Once again, his positive thinking, his ‘I can do anything I set my mind to’ attitude showed itself to be true.
Dad – we’re going to miss you. I’m pretty positive about that. You brought joy to everyone you touched and gave us a role model that will measure our lives. You have been a great father and grandfather and husband. May God enjoy you and laugh with you in heaven.
PAMELA ISLANDER - By her Daughter
In the Bible, Jesus once said, “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me in.” Then Isaiah wrote, “If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.” Those passages exemplify our mother’s life. She cared for people. She had a heart that was made to love and she loved us all.
She and dad met in 1958 at a class dad was teaching for court reporter students. It had to do with the speed with which a reporter to write. It was a one-session class which, if you passed the speed test, you were finished. And she passed. Fast forward a few years to a court reporter’s Christmas Party. She saw him. She tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Do you remember me?” And his response was, “DO I REMEMBER YOU!” That was the first time he said the words, “I do.” The second time was on their wedding day a couple of years later. Their love affair lasted for 50 years until he passed away in 2011. That was devastating for her. He was her life – her love – her everything. There was a 19 year difference in age. It was rather expected that dad would go first. Mom was a wonderful caregiver.. I have no doubt that his living 93 years was largely because of her. They both lived out their wedding vows to love and to cherish – in sickness and in health – until death us do part.
Her greatest joy in life were her children and grandchildren. Rebecca was born, then me and then Fred. We had a wonderful childhood because of our wonderful parents. They made our lives full and rich in so many ways. Rebecca, you were the perfect daughter for mom. You and she talked every day – sometimes more than once. She loved to talk. Mom could talk for hours. But you were always there for her. You were her spiritual advisor in her later years. You and Steve were always doing things for her – sending her gift cards to her favorite restaurants, helping clean the house and doing lawn work when you visited. You were great. And mom and dad loved visiting you in all the great cities you’ve lived in and staying in your beautiful homes and doting on Erich and Karah. Erich and Karah – your grandmother adored you two.
Fred… our parents couldn’t have had a better son than you. That mother/son bond was truly evident with you two. She worried about you working so hard. She loved the trips to Chicago for Thanksgiving. She loved when you took everyone out to eat. Mom and dad both found you a stitch when you would visit and they’d find your little caches of money you hid for them – under waste baskets, in their Bibles, hidden in their car. And those trips you gave us all. I know the one to Hawaii meant the most to them; but as a family you gave us so many memories together; ones we will forever hold dear. You were a marvelous son. And Lori – a lot of Fred’s goodness is just because of who he is, but YOU nurtured and allowed and encouraged all of that. Melisa and Avery – you’re the youngest grandkids. Your grandmother’s happiest days were the days on which you were born. She loved seeing you grow up. She loved seeing your smiles and hearing about your lives…
Then there was me. Mom was always there for me since the beginning of life. She loved me when I came out with a big red birthmark on my arm. She loved me through braces. She loved me through all my adult trials; and let’s just say there were many. Mom and dad helped me through many hurts. The 2nd time I went home, I came with a 4 year old and a 2 year old in tow. Kenny, Jeremy and I lived with them for five years. Mom and Dad rose to the occasion and never made us feel anything but love. Mom never gave up on me. She Never judged me a Always loved me.
Those five years when we lived with mom and dad drew my boys, Kenny and Jeremy, SO close to their grandparents. They were precious years – years they will never forget. The boys teased mom and she teased them back. They played games together and laughed and giggled like they were all little kids. They went places and did things. They created so many great memories… Thanks again, Fred and Lori. You bailed me out that time, too – and enriched all of our lives in doing so.
Mom loved her ‘grand-dog’ across the street almost as much as the human ones. She loved it when ________ showed overwhelming joy when mom came into the house or when we took him over there.
Mom worked as a Court Reporter for the Allegheny County and Juvenile Courts for eight years back in the 50’s and 60’s. Then she worked for the Allegheny Health Department for a number of years but her favorite job was with the Allegheny County Pittsburgh International Airport until she retired in 2003… A total of 21 years with Allegheny County.
Mom was a strong women and always positive; always happy no matter the circumstances. She didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for her. Even when she was diagnosed with Colon Cancer in 2009 she was always thinking of others.. Worried if dad was okay, if Kenny was okay at Basic Training. Both Rebecca and Fred came to help me during that time and I was so grateful. We were family at its best.
Mom loved all of us, of course, but she never faltered in her love for her own nuclear family. Bob and Ron were her big brothers. They had watched over her all her life and she adored them. She loved their wives Mary Jo and Teresa so much… and their kids, Jason, David, Mark and Barry. The whole clan. The family she came from and the family she made – she loved us all.
Mom’s passion in life was to write letters. She could type, of course, but she loved to handwrite letters and notes. Every day she’d sit at her kitchen table and write thoughtful notes for birthdays or notes of thanks or just notes of encouragement or ‘I’m thinking of you.’ She could never quite understand the merit of texting or even of email. And, I’ve got to admit, there is something special about getting a beautiful handwritten note. So many people opened their mailboxes over the years and felt special because of the time and effort she took in writing a beautiful card or letter.
She also spent hours each month at that table balancing her checkbook. She did it the old fashioned way – no electronic devices for her… and when it would eventually balance, she was SO thrilled and relieved.
And mom loved to eat. She really did. Ever since she was a child, she had an insatiable sweet tooth. Pastries were her favorite. If she could find a good reason to go to her favorite restaurant she always took it – Armstrong’s or Melman’s or Red Lobster. She knew their menus by heart and all the people who worked there.
Mom had wonderful friends over the course of her life. Barbara Hasley, Jeannie Lewis and Valerie Knox have passed away but Laura Galia, Vera Firorvanti and Sandy Nadolny and Jane McKinney were great friends right to the end. That whole group supported one another when their husbands had died. Mom always said that women are like elephants; they stick together. Those women would talk on the phone for hours – they’d even do crossword puzzles together courtesy of Ma Bell.
Mom loved being up on what was going on in the world. She read the Pittsburrgh Post Gazette from cover to cover and on Sundays the New York Times. Then she’d take it to a nursing home and give it to friends from her church.
Mom had a great respect for the elderly. She felt that the years added a great deal of wisdom to a person and we have a lot to learn from the aged if we will just listen. And, for us, we knew that was true as we listened to her.
In her later years mom loved to watch TV. She’d watch HGTV until 1:00 in the morning. She especially liked those looking for homes in Europe. It all seemed so exotic and exciting. And everyone who knew her knew not to call or stop by between 4:30 and 5:00 lest you interrupt her “Judge Judy.” And “COPS” – she used to compare their stories with my Steve to see how true-to-life they were.
After dad died, mom’s church family was so important to her. The people at Mt. Lebanon Lutheran embraced her and loved her and gave her strength. For the people of that congregation we will all always be so grateful.
Mom – you have been a pivotal point in our lives. Your light has shined in our world and we have become better people because you were in our lives. We will love you and remember you forever.
YARI SUAREZ - A her Aunt - Yari was an EMS Worker Murdered on a Call in NYC
My name is Aliah Gonzalez. I am Yari’s aunt. Her mother asked me to be her voice today and I am honored to do so. The words I speak are in her voice even though she can’t speak them.
Martin Luther King said, “Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” My daughter chose not to look the other way, but rather to be involved in life and to enrich the lives of others. She chose to step out and help someone in need. She chose to take action, to be compassionate, to give assistance. Her life was one which touched so many lives…
As you must know, when I got that phone call saying that my daughter, my best friend in all of my life, had been killed, my whole world was cast into darkness and I felt like I was drowning. It seemed impossible to comprehend. It still does. A mother should not have to bury her child.
Yari grew up in a poor neighborhood in the Bronx surrounded by gangs and drugs and violence. You know what those neighborhoods are like… It wasn’t easy for her or her brother Louis Jose or her sister Staphanie in those years, but there was something about Yari’s inner strength that protected her from all of the bad influences around her. In fact, instead of accepting that life, all those things made her into one of the most loving, caring, compassionate of people. She had seen poverty and hunger so she volunteered at soup kitchens, feeding the needy. She saw people hurting one another so she got training as an EMT so that she could help save those who had been broken in some way. She saw sadness and sorrow so she became one whose smile lit up a room, who brought joy to the place she worked and the people who knew her. She would not look the other way, she would be involved fully in life.
Yari was just 44 years old. She leaves five precious children – my grandchildren. Jose Louis, Jose Edgar, Jamie, Justin, Isaiah - - [speak to children] Your mother was so very proud of each one of you. Look around you. See all those gathered here to honor her? They are here because she was a hero. They are here because she touched lives. Forever you will be proud of her. Take all you knew of her and make those qualities a part of your lives and you will be blessed and you will be a blessing to your world.
I am a woman of faith. I believe that all things work together for good to those who love God. Things like this shake that faith, but they do not break it. I know that God created Yari with a purpose in life. I believe that she served that purpose to the very end. She did what she was here to do – to birth her children, to serve her community, to be we us for these brief years.
One of the great blessings of Yari’s life was her co-workers. The men and woman at station 26 were amazing. They were as much family as any flesh and blood family could ever hope to be. They were brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and mothers and fathers to one another. If all the world could be like the people I’ve seen in that station, it would be paradise on earth. I thank each one of you brave men and women for what you do. You are heroes every day. Thank you for loving my Yari. Thank you for making her part of your special family.
Yari’s partner, Monique, was with her on that horrible day. I am so happy she wasn’t alone… Monique – may this tragedy give you new resolve to go on. In doing so, you honor Yari.
Yari was young. She loved music – it fed her spirit. She loved cruising – seeing different places and people and just enjoying the freedom to be out there. And she loved to travel. I live in Florida and whenever she was feeling a bit sad or down or needed a good cry, she came down for a visit. We’d talk for hours and we’d laugh and catch up and it was always as though we had never been apart. That’s the way it is with best friends. We SO loved one another – deeper, I think, than most mothers and daughters. Our connection was deep in our souls. When she died, a big part of me died too. She once told me that I was her rock. But that wasn’t true. She was mine. Her strength, her selflessness, her devotion, her goodness, her infectious smile, they all inspired me and made me a better person.
And I think that is what her purpose in life was – to inspire people to be the best people they can be – to overcome whatever needs to be overcome – to serve others – to bring joy – to do whatever needs to be done – the be heroic.
I know there is such a thing as evil in the world. We see it every day. Sometimes we have to experience its touch in our lives and that is a tragic thing. But I know one thing, EVIL spelled in reverse is “LIVE” and our Yari was always the very opposite of evil as she lived her life.
I have always been proud of Yari. I have always been so happy that she was my daughter. But I’ve never been prouder of her than now. I thank you all for recognizing her life and her service and for being here with her family today to honor her.
Yari – Your life has touched each of ours, either directly or indirectly. You have been the light of my life and I can’t imagine life without you. But God is good and wise and all-knowing and so I believe your purpose has been accomplished and I say farewell. You will always live in our hearts. We will never forget you.
FRED YOUNG - By his Nephew
My name is Keith Young, one of Uncle Fred's seven nieces and nephews, and fourteen great-nieces and nephews who deeply loved and admired this man. It is an honor for me to take just a few minutes to pay tribute to one of the most amazing people I have had the pleasure of knowing and spending time with. For not only was he an uncle that I loved, but I loved him, really, like a second father. He was the man I wanted to be like when I grew up, a man who inspired and encouraged me, and all of us here today and many, many others around the world.
Uncle Freddy was an energetic and talented and bright and funny and caring man. But when I think of just one word to describe him, it has to be the word, “cool.” Uncle Freddy was seriously the coolest person I’ve ever known! (He must have learned that when he was younger, early from his older brother and sister!)
Uncle Freddy was always someone you loved being around. His gracious, soft-spoken way always made a person feel very comfortable, and I could just imagine being a patient of his. I once got to experience his doctor’s gentle “bedside manner” first-hand. I remember when Dr. Ed Wolf who is here today did surgery in New York on my foot, I was anxious about the procedure, and so I talked to Uncle Freddy, who in his confident, calm way assured me it would be fine, and it was.
Uncle Freddy was really a person that you could never get enough of! He was loved and admired not just by many people but by all who knew him. I'm sure others felt the same magic I did when I was around him.
I felt many times that I was the son he never had. I also felt the same way from his best friend Steve Silver who is here today as well. I truly feel they both treated me like the son they never had, and I am grateful for that.
Uncle Freddy was truly a very special person -- inside and out. I seriously don't ever recall him getting loud and angry or upset about anything. I’m sure he must have at sometime, but I never knew him that way. He always had a special way about him that made you feel better, and encouraged.
One of the reasons I admired Uncle Freddy so much was because of his professional accomplishments. The wonderful obituary in the paper described his career well, and his family and all of us are so very proud of all that he had done.
This past summer in my travels I met a couple who were both podiatrists and as we talked they said that they knew the Youngswick Procedure Uncle Freddy had pioneered. I was so proud to tell them I was his nephew (better yet they more happy to meet me)! What a proud moment! To think that you have a procedure named after you shows you’re really at the top of your game! Uncle Freddy was a great man in his profession. He lectured around the world, wrote for textbooks and professional journals, and was the California Podiatric Physician of the year in 1992.
My Uncle Freddy influenced and helped so many people through the years! His thousands of patients, his colleagues, many friends, and of course his family. He was deeply committed to and loved his family -- my Aunt Cathey, and my cousins Robyn and Ashley and Fern. And “Papa Freddy” was a wonderful grandfather to all his grandchildren.
I also have my Uncle Freddy and Aunt Cathey to thank for helping me find my wife, Jill! They were traveling in Italy and happened to run into Jill and her sister in the train station in Venice. Uncle Freddy and Aunt Cathey and Robyn and Ashley were so friendly toward Jill, and once again one of Uncle Freddy’s great first impressions gave Jill another reason to marry me! Or at least know she would be marrying into a great family.
I was always glad to come out here to visit with Uncle Freddy and Aunt Cathey, Robyn and Ashley and Fern. It’s always great coming here. I loved it and will always love it. You all always make me feel welcome, and we had some great times. One time I especially remember was my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary with the whole family, when we had T-shirts made for us all, and went horseback riding together. This was truly one of the best times our family has ever had, and I will treasure that memory.
I always looked up to and was proud of my Uncle Freddy. I remember growing up and bragging to my friends my uncle was a doctor. There were many times when I was younger I thought I wanted to be a doctor just like him. I seriously looked up to him so much. He was truly someone you feel so proud of. I did not become a doctor like my uncle, but I am like him in the fact that, like him, I have two beautiful girls and am married to a great wife.
Some say that “only the good die young.” Uncle Freddy was not just the “good,” but he was the best. He had anything and everything a man could want: a wonderful family, a great career. He lived life to the fullest. And when he left us, he was at the “top of his game.”
Uncle Freddy forever leaves a huge place in my heart and all of our hearts for as long as we all shall live. That was a place that he filled with life and love and kindness all his days. All of us who ever had the lucky chance of touching and knowing Uncle Freddy are lucky indeed.
He will still always influence and inspire me for the rest of my life, and his ways and mannerism and charisma will inspire me for the rest of my life, because . . . . Uncle Freddy was, you know, seriously the coolest person I’ve ever known!
[Then a pause . . . and then talking to Uncle Freddy:]
Uncle Freddy, I know you are listening right now. I didn't get to tell you this as much I should've, but I love you so very much. I was, and am now, so proud to have you as my uncle. And when I finally grow up I still only want to be just like you! Rest in peace. We all miss you; we all love you.
ROBERT JOHNS - By his Son-in-Law
I want to thank you all for coming today. Bob would have loved to see you all gathered to honor him. He always did love get-togethers and loved being the center of attention. Even though he isn’t here to joke and laugh and have a good time, he is still the center of attention. And, I think, he is here in spirit.
Bob, as you know, was an outstanding story teller. He could take the most mundane of topics and make them come to life and make everyone in earshot laugh until their eyes teared up and their stomachs hurt from laughing so hard. I’m can’t do that, but am honored to be standing here today telling Bob’s story.
Do you remember the stories he told about his troubled youth? He used to tell about how, when he was just a boy, he got a bow and arrow set for his birthday. Whoever thought that was a good idea? It wasn’t long before he shot his grandfather with it. Twang! OW! – Fortunately, no permanent damage was done… Or another shooting incident. His mother was horrified when she caught him shooting flies on the ceiling with a dart gun – she wasn’t very happy to have fly guts all over her white ceilings. Or how about the time he was doing a bit of exploring in a newly built church. He just happened to have picked up an old piece of driftwood and was carrying it with him and left it there, not knowing it was infested with termites. Pastor Johnson and the deacons were furious… And he loved to tell the story of his buddy George. He was out – NOT with George – when he heard George’s mother calling him home. He wondered – could he sound like George? He decided to give it a shot. He shouted back to George’s mother things no son ought to shout to his mother…
I’m sure that, as he told those stories, he hoped that Carol and Micheal and Trinell wouldn’t adopt his wicked ways and emulate their father. But even if they did to some degree, the all turned out pretty well and Bob was intensely proud of each of his children and their spouses and families.
Seven grandkids – Katie and Mikey and Sean and Chris and Courney and Mitch and Ava. You guys have been SO fortunate to have had GPA in your lives. He was a man of character and integrity and enjoyment of life. He was a man who believed that if you said you were going to do something, everyone would know you’d carry through and do it. He modeled for you those things and he would want to pass on that legacy to you.
Four great grandkids: Jax and Lane and Colton and Cooper. Except for Lane, they are all too young to ever be able to remember their great grandfather. But that’s the way it is when generations pass. It will be incumbent on all of us to show pictures and talk about Bob and all he was so they can know him through us – to tell his story – and maybe some of his stories.
There were some stories Bob never told, of course. He served in the Navy during Vietnam. Other than saying it was “horrible,” those stories will go untold. But he was always proud that he served his country.
Bob worked at Caterpillar Tractor early in his career, over in ____________. He was a machinist. Then he was retrained to be an electrician. But he wasn’t satisfied with that kind of work. Bob had such an incredible mind for knowing how things worked and, if he didn’t, the passion for finding out how, that he started his own business thirty years ago – Abercrombie Pumps. And, as you know, that was his baby. He loved it. When I joined him, I thought we made a great team. He was so open to my ideas as to how to make the company grow and he was thrilled to see it develop into the solid company it is today. He knew that it began with HIM and he was rightfully proud of that.
Back when Bob was healthy, being in the great out-of-doors was what he loved most. He loved to go camping – he loved the tranquility of the woods and the meadows. If he could be somewhere on the water he was in heaven. He absolutely loved spending time at the ocean – the vastness of it and the eternal waves washing the shoreline – it all served to give him perspective. If he couldn’t be by the sea, there were few things he enjoyed more than being out on the open road on his Harley.
That’s how we want to remember him, isn’t it? Full of life and laughter and wit – making us laugh ‘till it hurt.
I was so proud of Carol in this past year. Bob was continuing to decline and he moved in here, with us, at the ranch. We made him an apartment and brought in all of his personal things to make him feel at home. It was good for him. There was always someone around to talk to and to tend to his needs. But Carol was his primary care giver. It was tough for her, but she did it because it was her dad and that’s the kind of thing he taught her – to help when you can – to be there – to love.
We’re all going to miss Bob. He was an amazing man – a man who touched so many lives and meant so much to so many. Today – tell a Bob story to someone at lunch. Together, let us remember and hold dear those memories as we share them.