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Henry Eulogy

Henry Weisl was a special friend. Henry was a special human being. He had a heart as big as the plains of Kenya where he and I first met. We hit it off immediately.

We were both birders. He was a substitute teacher in his retirement years. I had been a teacher years before. He was a gardener and loved roses. Me too. We, along with his lovely wife, Janet, loved to eat well. And Janet and I both love to cook. It was the beginning of a wonderful friendship that has spanned more than 20 years.

Henry had a warm and wonderful sense of humor. He had an easy, impish and always ready genial smile. Much of his charm was his boundless zest and enjoyment of life and for people. He always saw the positive in everything and everyone. I never saw him angry at anyone. Not once. Henry loved to help people too. He was a volunteer for many organizations. He was always willing to help out no matter the task. Henry gave of himself tirelessly and selflessly.

Henry and Janet are the most generous people I have ever had the privilege to know.

They had me as a guest at their house many times after our Kenyan trip was over. They took me out to dinner, to movies, and on trips to wonderful places nearby such as Longwood Gardens, the Philadelphia zoo, and so many other places. They would never let me pay for anything. I was their guest and they treated me like royalty.

I had to sneak around them on occasion to pay for a meal by excusing myself to go the ladies room. Instead I snuck off and paid for the dinner on the sly. Or I sent a huge fruit basket to them after I got home. They always protested.

Henry lived and enjoyed life to the fullest. He loved his roses and worked on them every chance he had. In fact, just a few weeks ago he sent me an email about all the things he was doing in and planning for his garden for next year.

Henry was a great friend. He was one of those all too rare people. He never judged. He was just always there to listen, ask a question, tell a joke, a great story, or offer suggestions. He was generous with compliments and always interested in what was happening in my life. And he cared. He genuinely cared. It showed.

Through his actions, his words, and his gracious life Henry Weisl touched my heart. Henry Weisl touched my soul.

Over the eons men and women have tried to achieve immortality; and to that end they have waged wars, conquered nations, built empires, constructed mansions, written great books, composed heavenly music, or made great fortunes. These people may be famous. Their names may be etched forever in the history books. But many of them have not achieved immortality.

For I believe the way to achieve immortality is to touch another person’s heart; to touch their soul. For when we touch another’s heart and soul we leave a part of ourselves in that person. And that person in turn carries a piece of us to every person they touch; and so on and so on and so on over the years.

Henry Weisl touched my heart and my soul. And I am confident that he has touched the hearts and souls of many of you here today to honor him as well. So I know Henry has achieved immortality. For when we all leave this memorial today we will have a piece of Henry within us to share and pass on to every person we meet.

That my friends is immortality.

I will never see or talk with Henry again. But his joyous, generous, and loving spirit lives within me and within hundreds of others. I feel so lucky at this moment to have known such a wonderful, kind, and loving spirit. Rest in peace, my dear, dear friend.

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