When I was first elected 32 years ago I would never have realized how connected I would be to such a warm community of people. Many times I have been humbled by the kindness of your hearts.
I married Susan in February 13, 1971 and that was the beginning of a wonderful life for me. Susan was a beautiful person in more ways then one could ever think of. I love the smile on her face and the twinkle in her eyes always put a smile on my face. I couldn’t think of anyone else I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. We only knew each other for three weeks when I asked her to marry me and I spent 42 wonderful blessed years married to Susan
Several years ago Susan asked me not to seek re-election and I asked her if I could round it out to 30 years. She asked me to stay home. I was not going to be running. God called her after her long battle with small cell cancer. Susan died with me next to her in the early morning hours of July 5 2013. Susan will always be with me as she is the love of my heart. In her absence I did seek re-election but now I’m fronted with my commitment not to seek re-election. I have discussed this with my sister and daughter as if I should seek re-election and they both agreed I have made a commitment to my wife.
Over my years as your alderman I have gained a wealth of knowledge that I will always treasure. It has been a fantastic learning experience and I’m thankful for the skills I’ve acquired. Representing you all each day has made me a more complete and well-rounded person.
I’ve learned to take direction, criticism and compliments. I feel I can apply that in many different situations.
I’ve also learned to be open-minded, to the value other people’s opinions and to consider other ideas along with mine, to end up with a great final result.
One would think that it would be hard to say goodbye…it is hard.
As we say goodbye, we remind ourselves that farewells are not forever, nor are they the end. They are words that say I will miss you dearly and I will remember you fondly.
You’ve helped me through some difficult times with the death of my wife, and shared joyous times. Some judge their lives on what they do, others on who they are. I want my life judged on the residents I have served, and how enriched I am just knowing you.
I have an Irish Blessing in my Kitchen. May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.
My life, full of yet-to-be realized opportunities in front of me with my family and special friend. I don’t like to say goodbye, but rather hello. Hello to a new adventure.