In Memory of Ronald Barz

He was not a professor nor a student, but yet he was an integral part of life at Lakeland during the 50's and 60's. Unassuming by nature, he held his own court, down in the boiler room where many students came to value his simplistic wisdom and great heart. He passed in l988 after a long, painful illness, but he never quit smiling and he never spoke an angry word. I wrote this eulogy for him.


My Father

He spoke slowly--my father--for that was his way

With long pauses between each thought so that people,

Impatient for him to speak, interrupted, and when they did,

He sat silently and let the thought and the moment stay

Unfinished, like a song unsung or a painting without color.


He walked slowly--my father--wending his way

With imperfect feet through the corridors of our lives,

Stamping indelible footprints upon our hearts,

Upon our souls, upon our minds,

While we with abler feet of clay

Stood by in awe at his inner strength and felt relief

That we were not asked to follow.


He sleeps soundly now--my father--in a dimension far away

From the pain he had to endure, far away from the unanswerable

Questions of why and how, far away from those of us he touched.

By his life, our lives were made richer; by his strength

We grew stronger; by his courage, we became less afraid.

Yet, what each of us would have given to have him just once

Be able to run with us as we chased after our butterfly dreams.

Jeanne Barz Larsen


For those of you who also knew his wife and my mother Emma who worked in the business office, you'll be happy to know that she is still living a good, independent life and will be celebrating her 99th birthday in July.


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