Phil Wetzel, his wife Deb and I attended the memorial service for Chuck this evening in Sulphur Springs.
It’s a testament to Chuck that about 250 people turned out for the service, and possibly more. That’s just a quick count by Phil and I. There were people standing in the hallway who couldn’t get into the service area.
I could never adequately describe the service, so I won’t try. I’ll just note a few things.
Chuck’s son Ryan gave a marvelous eulogy. I found myself sitting there wishing I had a recording of it so you guys could hear it.
His children went through his photos and produced a slideshow. About three of the photos were clearly from his days in Germany, and each showed Chuck with a beer in his hand. Had to grin at those. They really brought back some memories.
Afterward, we met Chuck’s children for the first time. I shook hands with Ryan and introduced myself. He said Karen had phoned him earlier to let them know I’d be there. I told him that Chuck had dozens more friends scattered around the world who would love to have attended and to just consider us their representatives.
Ryan introduced his wife and smiled for the first time that evening when he said she was expecting a child. “To carry on the name,” he added.
I spoke only briefly with his two daughters, Iris and Kyra. There were pretty broken up, understandably.
It was a particularly wrenching death, I think, because it was so unexpected. With us one moment, gone the next. Just a senseless accident.
But in a sense Chuck’s not gone. Any time many of us sit around and think of our days in Rimbach, we’ll think of Chuck as part of those times. I know I will.