Dan Walz M.C. & Celebrant As Gene was not able to be here today, he asked that I read the Eulogy he prepared in Kathy’s honour. Unlike his wife and daughters (who came up here with computers), Gene still used paper and pen. I’ll do my best to honour his memory of Kathy.
Dan Walz Interprets Gene Walz’s Eulogy Before this past fall, I can remember crying only once in my adult life -- when my father died. He had trained me well not to be a “crybaby”. Well, maybe I cried a second time, when my Eastman Kodak Stock, carefully collected since I was a paperboy at age 12, dropped from over $100 a share to four dollars and seventy-six cents! I hope this does not turn into an Oprah Winfrey moment! How do I condense 40 years of a wonderful partnership, thousands of memories, into a eulogy that doesn’t test your patience? I guess I start by modifying the old adage behind every great man is a great woman. Well I can tell you that behind even “not-so-great” men there are often great women!
Dan Walz Interprets Gene Walz’s Eulogy Kathy and I met in Amherst, Massachusetts when I was a grad student and she was a waitress at “Famous” Bill’s . We had met at a lecture I gave on King Kong which she attended with her old boyfriend. A short while later, I drove 20 miles to “Famous” Bill’s , sat in her section, ate a small meal and over-tipped her. [Dan] And if anyone knows Gene, you know how out of the ordinary over-tipping was and how much of an impression Kathy must have given!
Dan Walz Interprets Gene Walz’s Eulogy We almost didn’t get married. On our third or fourth date we went with four other couples to see the Marx Brothers movie Duck Soup . Kathy didn’t laugh through the entire movie…. She glowered. [Dan] I think Duck Soup is one of the funniest movies of all time!
Dan Walz Interprets Gene Walz’s Eulogy But she could be a woman of very strong tastes! She hated potatoes (except for double-cooked French fries) because she came from a poor Irish family and her father forced them on her. Every meal was a battle of wills. She HATED pickles because she worked a a pickle factory. And she HATED puerile movies. When I was writing my PhD thesis, I needed something to keep me sane and connected with the outside world. So I took a birding course. It met every Saturday at dawn -- 6 or 7 a.m. Kathy joined too and this commitment convinced me tat she was the person for me: she was beautiful, smart, sensitive, sensible AND as a bonus, she liked birds! I didn’t realize until after we were married that she didn’t care all that much about birds. She cared about a certain birder. But I guess that was enough!
Dan Walz Interprets Gene Walz’s Eulogy Believe it or not, we NEVER fought in our 40 years together. We grumbled, we sulked, but we never yelled. We never went to bed mad at each other. The only time I came close was when we were in Africa together on Safari. We were in a Safari vehicle full of birders when we came upon a mother lion and her three small cubs, babies really, mere weeks old. Kathy was absolutely IN LOVE with these lions and took scores of photos. Meanwhile, the other Safari people were growing increasingly impatient. When I agreed with THEM that we should move on, Kathy was FURIOUS. But she quickly got a grip and our only potential fight dissipated.
Dan Walz Interprets Gene Walz’s Eulogy After she retired, Kathy became a pretty good photographer, in fact more than just pretty good. She sold some photos that appeared in ads and in calendars. A poet friend of mine, in commenting on some days we spent together around Gimli [crowd corrects: /ghIm-li/ !] and Oak Hammock Marsh, recalled how patiently and lovingly Kathy photographed gophers. THAT was Kathy’s secret. Our marriage was tested most during my tenure hearings in 1981. My department chairman had the annoying habit of phoning every night to warn me about another possible pitfall. Everybody I knew figured he was trying to find a way to deny my tenure and get his wife the job. His conversations invariably began with “I don’t think we have to worry about this…. BUT” and he would turn a positive into a destructive anxiety.
Dan Walz Interprets Gene Walz’s Eulogy Kathy nursed me through this, and when I got tenure, she surprised me with a recovery trip to Cozumel, Mexico, one of our fondest memories. With regards to my work, she taught me the destructiveness of writing a positive comment followed by “but”, “yet”, or “however” when evaluating student papers. And she convinced me to never grade papers or exams with a RED pen. As for her own work, she was more than just a school psychologist. She found the job VERY hard and it left her sleepless many a night. I still remember the time that she got up every day at 6:00a.m. to help a “school phobic” kid get to school when his parents were unwilling.
Dan Walz M.C. & Celebrant Gene didn’t get a chance to finish his Eulogy, so after reading his remarks, I asked at the hospital if there was anything else Gene wanted to say. Gene said simply, “that’s it, except that I loved her.” She asked that the following song be played at her service. Kathy personally chose all the songs played here today. They all meant something to her. She LOVED to travel and this song is her final journey.
Musical Interlude Willie Nelson - On the Road Again On the road again - Just can't wait to get on the road again. The life I love is making music with my friends And I can't wait to get on the road again. On the road again Goin' places that I've never been. Seein' things that I may never see again And I can't wait to get on the road again. On the road again - Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway We're the best of friends. Insisting that the world keep turning our way And our way is on the road again. Just can't wait to get on the road again. The life I love is makin' music with my friends Click to Watch/Listen on YouTube And I can't wait to get on the road again. On the road again Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway We're the best of friends Insisting that the world keep turning our way And our way is on the road again. Just can't wait to get on the road again. The life I love is makin' music with my friends And I can't wait to get on the road again. And I can't wait to get on the road again.
Dan Walz M.C. & Celebrant Do not shed tears when I have gone But smile instead because I have lived Do not shut your eyes and pray to God that I’ll come back But open your eyes and see all that I have left behind. I know your heart will be empty because you cannot see me But still I want you to be full of te love we shared You can turn your back on tomorrow and live only for yesterday Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of what happened between us yesterday. You can remember me and grieve that I have gone. Or you can cherish my memory and let it live on. You can cry and lose yourself, become distraught And turn your back on the world Or you can do what I want -- smile, wipe away the tears, learn to love again and go on. *I can’t go on. I must go on. I’ll go on. -David Harkins
Dan Walz M.C. & Celebrant I’d now like to open up the floor to anyone who’d like to say anything else about Kathy.
Archie Chawla Friend & Coach I didn’t plan to get up here, but there was another side to Kathy, the sports side. Archie tells the story of Mom learning to play badminton at the Winnipeg Canoe Club, having never played a racquet sport before, and coming out regularly to practice. Then joining a tournament and winning and never playing again, she had accomplished what she wanted. He also tells the story of her being Mom to Michelle & Leah and about her tennis days.
Dan Walz M.C. & Celebrant Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glint on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain. When you wake in the morning hush, I am the swift, uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circling flight. I am the soft starlight at night. Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there, I do not sleep. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there, I did not die! -Mary Frye (1932)