Eulogy for Harry Connors
This site was created by Harry E. Connors III.
Please e-mail me with any additions, corrections, and comments
Music is Amazing Grace sequenced by Barry Taylor
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.
It is hard to believe that Dad is gone. He was so full of life, so full of love, and so full of generosity that the world will be a poorer place without him. Some of you will know of his service to this parish, to St. Martin de Porres, and to Family and Community Services of Portage County, but I knew him as a father.
Christmas was one of Dad's favorite times of the year because of the joy he received from giving. As I heard the story, when he was a boy one Christmas in particular was the perfect Christmas—when all the presents were perfect. Well, he tried to recreate that perfect Christmas every year—for each of us—for all eight of us! I don't know how he did it. I only had to deal with gifts for two daughters. But Dad simply loved buying us things and then sharing our happiness.
It wasn't just material things, though there were enough of those, he gave us his faith, his determination, and his sense of what it means to be a father. He insisted that each of us work as we got older. He gave us something money couldn't buy, his work ethic and confidence in our ability to get a job done. In a world of wealth and spending, Dad taught, and lived, that money was for the family, for a home, for education, for security, and wasn't good for much else.
Dad always tried to get us to do well in school, and he made sure that there was enough money to send us as far as we wanted to go. He sent all of us to college, no mean feat, and supported some of us in grad school. When we had children, he started contributing to their college funds on their first birthday. He always wanted us to do the best we could. Sometimes we disappointed him, but I never heard him say, "Why can't you study hard like your brother?" And I never heard him compare our grades with his. I had to learn, years later, from Uncle Ed, a classmate, that he was valedictorian of his high school class.
As we grew up and moved out to start families of our own, Dad continued to be there for us. He gave good advice when things were going well, and quiet financial support when times were tough. He was blessed with grandchildren whom he loved—and he still tried to make every Christmas "perfect."
Dad loved sports. He loved to watch, and he loved to participate. He played golf and tennis right up to the end. If recent years added strokes and took away steps, that didn't matter as much as playing, trying to win, and doing the best he could.
Dad was a success—as the world counts success. But his real riches were laid up in heaven. He donated money to charities and causes he believed in, but he also donated his time and talents, and that's the rarer gift.
As I think of what we have lost, what I have lost, I feel that sadness may overwhelm me. But then I think, no, that's not what Dad would want. He always wanted joy for all of us. And I will remember his life, not his death.
Dad has gone home. He has gone home and left behind the pains of old age. He has gone home and left behind doctors and tests. He has gone home and left behind all worries and cares. He has gone home to Grandma and Grandpa. He has gone home to his sister, Kathleen. He has gone home to his sons, John and Jim. And we will see him one day when we go home to be with him, to be the family we always were and always will be. Home.
This page last modified on Sunday, November 18, 2007