Friday, January 11, 2019

Attending the Funeral

Many years ago Larry heard an opinion piece on NPR entitled, “Always Go to the Funeral.” ( I have always believed in doing this, and yesterday, we did so once again.


We worked with Gabriel Rodriguez in Japan on the Universal Studios Japan project in Osaka, where Gabe was a Facilities Design Manager.
His background was as an architect. The photo below was taken by Dave “Bowtie” Frolich. During the project, he photographed all of the project team—American and Japanese—and “wallpapered” his office with them.
After USJ, Gabe went on to other projects in the entertainment industry—often in interesting foreign locations. Gabe loved to travel, enjoyed the challenges, and did a great job.
He was a favorite on the team. Men are rarely described as “sweet,” but Gabe was. He had a wonderful sense of humor and made lots of friends. He passed away suddenly at his sister’s home. Several of us from the USJ team attended his funeral yesterday—a fitting tribute to the special man he was.


We heard about another recent death. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, we worked at CF Baun & Co, an engineering firm in Alhambra, California. I was in the Power division, working on six nuclear power plants in Tennessee. Larry was on loan to the Power Division in Electrical Engineering, where he worked for Bill Forsyth. Bill’s son. Roy, worked in my area.
His best friend, John Osborne, was in the Electrical Section. The two of them were so much fun. The photos above were from Roy’s birthday party in 1979 at a local park.
A few years later, John moved to Tennessee to work at the jobsite. However, the job was halted, and he returned to California, where he went to work for Larry on his project. Shortly thereafter, this project was also cancelled. Not long thereafter, John didn’t arrive at work. Roy went to check on him and discovered he had passed away. John was thirty-five years old.
Not long afterward, Roy Married Terrie, who worked for me. (This is a fairly recent photo.)  Larry and I attended their wedding.
A few weeks ago, Roy died suddenly. He and Terrie lived in Las Vegas, and we haven’t heard about a funeral, but it would probably be too far to attend. If they were closer and scheduled a service, we’d be sure to go. Again, we were stunned at this sudden loss.


I worked with Tracy at Downey Savings. She was in Lending, so we didn’t work together directly. However, we ran into each other from time to time. Over the seven years I spent at Downey, I got to know her a bit.
Around the same time as we heard about Roy, we also heard about Tracy’s death. She was much younger, and word of her death came as a shock. She requested no service, so we won’t attend, but we would have if we could have.
Do you always make it a point to attend funerals? Why or why not?


  1. 99% of the funerals I've attended have been for family members and I attend when possible.
    However, I've had the misfortune, more than once, of having several family members die within a short period and it came to a point when I got funeral overload. I just couldn't take the emotional strain anymore.
    Luckily, I haven't had to deal with a funeral lately, but when one does eventually turn up, I do attend if I can.

  2. i prefer memorial services to funerals--sounds morbid, doesn't it? Usually go to any that are close enough. My mom had 3 memorial services--one at our church, one at my sister's in Vegas, and one at Forest Lawn where she was buried. The reason was so people who lived in all these places could attend at least one. She was much loved by many--and had lots of relatives.

    1. I, too, prefer memorial services. More and more of our friends and family are opting for cremation with a memorial service. For Larry's parents, we had a graveside service shortly after they died and a memorial service at a later date when the whole family could come.