The Eulogy of Blaine Acree - Eulogy for a best friend - Eulogy by a fsriend
Thank you all for being here today to join with Dave’s family and all of us, his friends, to say a final farewell. Dave was a one-of-a-kind guy and we’re all going to miss him so much…
My name is Ray Cuyler, and Dave was my best friend… I will never forget the night we went to a Travis Tritt concert. Travis Tritt was Dave’s favorite musician. We somehow managed to get third row seats and I looked at Dave after we got settled in, with his cold beer in his hand and a container of wings balanced on his knee. When I looked at him I saw nothing but joy at being there. He didn’t know it, but I actually saw a tear in his eye, he was so happy. Then he said to me, “Ray, you’re my best friend and Travis is my favorite artist. That was, probably, one of the best nights of my life – to be called a ‘best friend.’ And that’s the way I want to always remember Dave – as a best friend. You don’t get many best friends in life. I have been blessed.
But to know Dave was to love him. He was the kind of man who was always there for you. He was always ready and willing to do anything he could to help out anyone who needed a hand. I suppose that, at first meeting, Dave may have come across as a bit unusual to some people, but that didn’t last for long once you got to know him and see what kind of character he had – once you saw his sensitivity and humility and love. If you knew him, you invariably got his signature move… He’d point at you and wiggle his fingers until you smiled [demonstrate]. He wanted people to be happy.
I think that working at the Northampton County Juvenile Justice Center was probably the perfect job for Dave. He became the night shift supervisor just before he passed. He was so proud of that promotion. He wasn’t supposed to make it public until it was officially announced, but he couldn’t contain himself. He almost immediately told his mom and let it ‘slip’ to his co-workers so, by the time it was announced, nearly everyone already knew. He got a bit of flack for that, but he didn’t care. It was an accomplishment he was proud of… and he so enjoyed teaching new workers how to do things and how to really help the kids.
When he was working with the kids at the center, his love for them really came through. He LOVED it. He had a unique way of working with those young people to diffuse tensions and calm them down and help them see life in a more reasoned way. He didn’t lecture them or yell at them. He just loved them and respected them and never blamed them for the trouble they had gotten into. He’d just talk them about movies he’d seen or things he’d done – things they could relate to. He had an amazing sense of humor and they were always laughing with him. I know that, for me, in my own life, Dave could brighten the worse of days with his jokes and his outlook on things. For those young people he was a builder of trust and he was an expert at it.
I’ll never forget one of the fundraisers he worked on for the Center a while back. Somehow he managed to talk me into jumping into a frozen lake to raise money. He’d do anything for those he cared for… even if it meant me freezing my tail off.
Dave was really into fishing and being on the water – on the beaches, swimming, boating. From the time he was young, there were fewer things he liked more than being out there on a boat with his line in the water, enjoying the peace and quiet, as he waited for a fish to bite… Eventually they always did and he was happy.
He also loved the discipline and focus and physicality of Ju jit su. He was always very proud to get another belt, showing his progress up through the skill levels.
But there wasn’t anything or anyone Dave loved more than his dear mother, Nancy. He adored her and I remember numerous times, over the years, him singing her praises. Nancy, he would never want you to be sad. He would always want the best for you. You were the one who was always there for him. You were the one he totally trusted with his secrets. You were the one who meant more to him than anyone on earth. Losing him is hard, but know that in his leaving us all behind, leaving you was the hardest of all.
Dave was always his own worse enemy. He never felt quite good enough. He accomplished so much – his work, his relationships, his humor, his generosity of spirit – but somehow he felt his fell short. He didn’t of course. That was just his perception… But it was powerfully there.
Dave found some of the meaning for his life in his involvement with the Masons. He loved their ceremonies and the brotherhood he found there. He loved the projects to help others they are known for. He attended their meetings and he was active in their good works. He was a man who, like all Masons, lead by being examples – of doing and not just talking – helping others in any number of ways.
Dave had just bought his first house. He had saved for years for the down payment and, when he moved in, he was ecstatic. He saw the possibilities and the joy of owning his own place. He knew life was good and he expected it to get better. But we lost him too soon. He left us too young. We have lost a very good man.
Dave – it has been the greatest honor of my life to have called you a friend. You have always been loyal and ‘there’ for me and all of us. You have touched our lives and we will never, ever, forget you. I love you, buddy…
Eulogy for a best friend. Eulogy for a friend... Eulogy by a friend
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