Writing Sample - Memorial Tribute

"Though much is taken,
much abides."
Tennyson

We remember J-- today as a husband, father, grandfather, uncle, father-in-law, brother-in-law, Sokol brother, and friend. His full life spanned 88 years and three continents.

These J-- loved: his wife and family, the freedom of democracy, the ideals of the Sokol movement, the fierce competition of team sports, the music of the great composers, and water-skiing at Clear Lake up until his 86th year.

From his youth as an athlete in Czechoslovakia to the refugee camps of Germany to re-settlement in Australia and finally a successful life in America, the constant values that graced J--'s life were unfailing courtesy toward others, an unwavering commitment to the highest ethical principles and a willingness to extend a helping hand to anyone who needed it.

We honor that life by remembering ... his pride in the grand- children who were invariably greeted with a warm smile and a gentle hug and whose soccer games he avidly supported ... his generosity in helping to provide a university education for them ... the "green thumb" that could make any flower or vegetable thrive in his garden ... his willingness during the refugee years to do any honest work, no matter how humble ... a love of liberty so strong that he risked his own life and his family's to live in a free society ... his knowledge of world events and enthusiasm for debating them ... the pleasure he took in even the simplest family gatherings ... his joy at reuniting with boyhood friends in a free Czech Republic in 1997...

These memories abide.

We are grateful for our connection to a life that was lived with grace, integrity, and humility. And we remember J-- with love.


Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;
he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
for His name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of
the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil:
for Thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of mine enemies:
Thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.