Sunday, August 3, 2008

In Memoriam

Norm writes:

It’s been asked over and over again. Why does God take the good ones?

Last Thursday, Wally Hoem, x-brother-in-law, husband, father, grandfather and uncle to my daughters passed away unexpectedly. He was a hearty Wisconsin farm boy of hearty Norwegian heritage who looked fit and healthy. So, his sudden death was a shock to everyone.

I will not forget Wally. He was a model husband, father, uncle and friend. He was also the hunter extraordinaire and taught me how to hunt, track and dress out a deer. I remember one season we were walking the farm fields and Wally sat down in the snow, braced his elbows between his knees and aimed his high powered rifle toward a ridge into the distant woods. It was late in the hunting day and the light was dim. I could not see anything but shadows. Pow! “I think I got him” Wally said. We trekked to the site, which was at least 300 yards away, up a hill in the middle of the woods. There it was—one shot perfectly placed. That’s how good he was!

Wally was my age or close to it. So his passing rings loud my own mortality and reminds me how, even when we do all the right things, we have such little control over our fate. And, how we live our lives is what it’s all about. I think in Wally’s time here, he made the right investments into important relationships, lived his dreams and shared his blessings with others. Regarding relationships, my brother Mike said it best today. He said, “If wealth was measured by great family and friends, I am a very rich man”. So was Wally Hoem.

Wally’s passing will create a significant gap in the lives of everyone that knew him, especially his family. My most heartfelt condolences go to his family for their loss.

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