Susan's Dad is now home...


My dear friend Susan lost her Father on Tuesday - today is his service.

Walter was a thoughtful, generous and extremely intelligent soul.

He leaves behind his beloved wife Dottie of 59 years, his three daughters

Nancy, Kathy and Susan and his six beautiful grandkids. 

Susan, please accept our most sincere condolences. 

I pray that serenity and acceptance are your companions. 

That the pain you know and the heartache you feel, give way to new found strength,

and faith to walk through these toughest of times.

May your grieving uncover enough solace to heal and comfort you each moment,

and when you need it most.

Always be assured that there are many, whose love and understanding will always

be there to comfort and console.

May you take heart and remember all those dozens of great writers,

and poets whose lives your Dad touched and who touched his. 

They will forever be a part of you and your family.

Great writers and poets like Octavio Paz, Claribel Alegría,

João Cabral de Melo Neto, Gabriel García Márquez, Raja Rao,

Patricia Grace and this year's winner Chinese poet

Li Shizheng to name a few.  

William Faulkner said it best - "I believe that man will not merely endure:

he will prevail.

He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an

inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion,

and sacrifice and endurance.

The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things.

It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him

of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion,

and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past.

The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props,

the pillars to help him endure and prevail."

Walter was never too concerned with material matters; but instead placed

immeasurable value in the goodness of the hearts and minds of others,

especially the students at his beloved University of Oklahoma.

Walter indeed understood Faulkner's words and always saw the wonder

of literature and the importance of the pen.

Because of his tremendous support to OU and their students,

many young writers and poets voices will one day also be heard.

And like your Dad will not merely endure but prevail.

It wouldn't surprise me if somewhere in heaven, your Dad is now sitting

in a recliner reading one of his favorite poems to the angels. 

I am sure he has already made plans to be with you all at his beloved

University of Oklahoma on October 22nd for the awarding

of the 2010 "Neustadt International Prize for Literature."

Ha-Makom yenahem etkhem b'tokh sha ar aveilei Tzion vYerushalayim -

May the Omnipresent comfort you among all the mourners of Zion,

and Jerusalem.

Adios Walter, rest in Peace.

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