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My brother and my rock

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My brother was 56 years old.  We were a family of five - my parents, my older brother, my sister and me.  I am the youngest.  Our parents have both passed away in the last couple years.  I was prepared for them to depart because of their multiple health issues.  I knew that my brother had both high blood pressure and diabetes.  For the last year - for whatever reason, he chose not to treat them.  His nickname for me since I was a child was Snickelfritz. 

He called me on the morning of May 20 to tell me that he had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure.  I know he was scared.  I got in my car and was down there in a couple hours. Within 40 minutes of being there, he collapsed and suffered a massive heart attack.  I called 911 and started chest compression. But I knew in my heart that he was gone...

My dad and i had a very distant relationship - he was not emotionally stable and was not a nurturing, caring force in my life.  My brother was. He taught me so much - he was my surrogate father. He was kind, gentle, lovable, humble, sincere, genuine, generous (to a fault).  Here is my eulogy that I wrote: 

Our family thanks everyone for coming to celebrate Bob’s life. Some of you have known him for decades and others for only a brief time. But what comes through regardless is that he was universally respected and cherished.

Bob’s life can be best summed up with the quote “Preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words.  Bob’s attitude, love, grace and generosity was exuded through his every-day actions. He was exuberant about his love and showered those in his life with kindness, care and the knowledge that if he’s around everything will be just fine. He was fun loving, genuine and selfless.

Everyone who knows him, even for a minute amount of time, could sense that he was good-natured, and a gentle soul of a man. He touched so many lives here and away – we will likely never know the scale or the impact of his reach.

He was dedicated to his entire family and his friends. He was tireless in helping others, often sacrificing his needs to help better other’s lives.  He lived a simple life, took great pride in his work, and was a natural with children and animals.  I think it’s safe to say that he did not have a mean bone in his body.

Our family is indelibly proud of him – despite the fact that he was so humble – he will forever remain a giant in our hearts and our memories.

During the past days since he departed, we have heard so many stories of how Bob helped them or touched them in small and sometimes grand ways.  We would venture to say that all who had him in their life were better for it.

 We all owe him a great deal of thanks. Today, tomorrow and throughout the future, we encourage everyone to honor Bob’s memory by paying it forward.  A simple way to keep a piece of Bob with you is to give your help, your money, your time, your talent. Be compassionate to others, smile, consider becoming a donor at the end of your life, and always, always be kind. 





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I am sorry for the loss of your brother.  My older sister was also like a parent to me so I understand some of your feelings towards him.  

Your eulogy is beautiful and says a great deal about Bob.

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