A Few Words on the Recently Deceased

Some words and reflections on those who have recently passed from this world of existence. A memorial was held this weekend for Reverend Paul Sawyer who died earlier this summer. A Unitarian Universalist minister and tireless peace activist, Sawyer succumbed to pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. I always remember the good reverend visiting my office every once and awhile passionately harping on the need for community media. His boisterous voice and presence of peace were inescapable. Once we had the opportunity to converse on the airwaves four years ago about the threat to the people’s access to public television. Blessed are the peacemakers – as it was said on the mount – and may Reverend Paul Sawyer rest in the very peace he was and sought to bring to our often chaotic upside down world.

quigley-1-1Another person who has passed on was Savanna High School History teacher Mr. Quigley. He was a long time institution at the Anaheim campus – three weeks into his 38th year of classes before dying. My sister, twelve years my senior, took his class on U.S. History as I did eleven years ago. Mr. Quigley died earlier this month from a heart attack. He suffered with weight problems for much of his life but as an article on his death noted, he had recently dropped 27 pounds and was looking into getting lap band surgery. I’ve always held that it’s never too late to make the right decision. However, life is a finite game no matter how infinite our orientation is to it. Sometimes, it is too late, sadly. However, the hundreds of students, current and past, that gathered for a recent candle light vigil and for the history teacher’s funeral on Friday illustrate that he definitely lived a life that mattered to many. In just a few hours, Mr. Quigley will be laid to rest in a cemetery in Orange. He was 60 at the age of his passing. I remember a lot of textbook reading in room 23, as well as his stories about baseball. Mr. Quigley knew his history and was an Abraham Lincoln buff. Too many teachers of the subject have no passion nor sense about it and are actually just passing the time between coaching football games – seriously! Mr. Quigley and I certainly may have had different perspectives on history and reached different conclusions about it, but he knew his stuff and I respect him for that.

Rest in peace to these two gentlemen whose lives intersected with my own at different points. Their work here is done as they have now retreated to the grand mystery that envelopes us all…

About Gabriel San Roman