Ralph's Eulogy for His Father
Given September  24, 2001 
at St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church, Grosse Pointe, Michigan

My Father was a proud man, an honest man, a caring man. A man with a heart of gold and a will of hardened steel. He was a kind man, a loving man. A good man.

My earliest memories of my father revolve around sports. He managed and coached several of my Little League teams. Over hours, days, weeks and years, he hit fly balls to me, played catch with me, gave me batting practices. He taught me how to throw a pitch. He passed on to me his passion for sports - a passion that we shared right up to the day he died.

I first got to know my Father as a person  when I joined the family business - Healthmark. Again my Father taught me - How to sell.. How to satisfy customers. How to get things done. It was in that time as a young adult, I learned what a kind and gentle man my Father was. I can tell you that my Dad was well respected and loved in his industry. At each and every trade show, dozens of industry associates would come up to me and tell me what a great man my Father was. They admired my Father not just because he had a successful business - but more importantly - because he did it the right way:  With the highest ethics, treating customers, suppliers and employees with respect, dignity and honesty. My Father was a living testament that indeed, "nice guys" can finish first.

My Father was an optimistic, positive person. He saw the good in others and himself. He hated to feel sorry for himself. That, as much as anything, was the worse part about his disease. He hated feeling sick. He hated even more feeling self-pity. Let me assure everyone here that on the day my Father died, he was upbeat - positive. With the new round of chemo he received, he was looking forward to beating his illness and resuming his life. He did not die in despair. He died with hope in his heart.

As an announcement, on behalf of my Family, let me thank everyone here for attending. We will have a reception immediately following Mass at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club located on Lakeshore by Vernier Rd.

Let me say, if I can, one final thing to my Father:

Dad, Thanks for being a great Dad.

Hear Dad at Work