Thanks for coming here today to celebrate the life of our Dad. His death brings a new chapter to his journey and Wow, what a sendoff. Look Around. Thank you Fr. John Tim and Ray, as well as everyone participating today for this great celebration of my Dad's life. Dad was brief in his words, but impactful. I'll try to do the same.
Some adjectives to describe our father and grandfather of 15 are: humble, kind, generous, thrifty, competitive, active and at times "quirky".
Humble and Generous: Dad was an anonymous philanthropist who felt his reward and recognition would be given to him in heaven; there was no need for naming rights. God knows what was done. That's the way Dad would want it. While he enjoyed some of the trappings of success he ever let success get to his head, and he was always looking to help others.
He was Kind: Dad lived the Jesuit Mantra of being a man for others. That's known by many of those who are here today. He taught us humility, how to love, how to respect others, how to be a gentleman, and selfless acts of kindness and love; that was GRB.
He was Thrifty, Active and Competitive: Dad liked a deal and never wanted to pay retail-he wanted to see the invoice. What I don't remember about Dad is the big sale, the new car or material things that he infrequently rewarded himself with. He simply wasn't flashy.
Active: If you were around him at work, you'd best be working: no water cooler talk. What GRB wasn't was a loafer, a lolly gagger or worse yet, a dogger! He had no tolerance for laziness. Work ethic and winning was his way of life whether on the tennis court, golf course, or in the office and helping others was a part of that work. Dad's genuine interest in the wellbeing of other people and in helping families made him a great insurance salesman.
His Actions spoke louder than his words. Some emblazoned memories I have of him are: breaking away from the office for daily mass at the cathedral; being a big brother to the Mramor boys; kissing my mom when she came home from work every night; taking communion to shut ins; his arms flailing while power walking and his infamous loud sneezes!
K: Quirky: Our Dad had many subtle nuances; some of them funny, some endearing and many just outright annoying. My mother was a patient woman!
The grandkids on the Parkway nick-named him GRB for his initials. This was a fitting name which later morphed into a verb and an adjective. We now refer to anyone who can't sit still as "grbing"--someone who freaks out about the traffic, weather or delayed flight arrivals as "grbing" Dad did all of the above.
Our Dad disliked the following three things with great fervor: chaos, pets and sleepovers. So the fact that he had 4 daughters and one son did not lend itself to a "grb free" kind of life! He struggled.
He loved to walk and probably walked across the country in total miles. This led to the inevitable need for replacing his walking shoes often. In his last few years, NONE of his children wanted to take him to the shoe store. It was just too traumatic. He wore a size 10 or 10 1/2 - never quite sure. He tried them all on numerous times and decided on one but usually bought the other resulting in returning them the next day!! Many shoe salesmen have probably developed addictions due to GRB!
Dad was a picky eater unless it was a burger. He would cut up his burger into 1/16" size pieces and slowly eat it, however he never finished an entire burger! He would wrap up the small leftover and put it in the fridge. My mother referred to these little remnants as turds! Totally gross --totally GRB!
From his overabundance of sunscreen that he would lather on, to the high white compression socks he wore with his walking sandals, or his sunglasses (which Ellen said looked like something out of the witness protection program) GRB was always styling!
Regardless of all his quirkiness, Dad was true to his beliefs and never waivered. You could count on him and and always knew what his reactions would be regardless of the situation presented: a controlled calm followed by a very long walk.
You taught us well Dad and will be missed. We all pray that Heaven will be "grb free" and peaceful with you and Mom holding hands.
G: And finally.....Once his message and yours was conveyed he began tapping his knuckles on his desk or tapping his foot and nodding at you which meant that the meeting was over! He's probably doing that right now. Well, his life journey may be over, however his eternal life journey is just beginning and his legacy lives on; Godspeed Dad.