Regret to Rejoice

I try not to dwell in it. But then something comes along that refreshes it. The list of “I meant to do that” is the first sentence on every item on the list of regrets. The people we lose before we get to do the thing on the list. Lunch with Letty Ann. Take lunch up to Gene. And now they are gone. Get to know Deb Krautwurm better.

And now she is gone.  An incomprehensible death.  Only in her 50’s, Healthy, vibrant, robust. Always up to the task. A genuinely great person we admired. We were touched that she named the Memorial Foundation as one of the places for gifts in memory.

When I started to write about Deb Krautwurm, her untimely, unexpected death, I had titled it Regret. Regret that I had not spent the time I wanted to. But as I think about her impact I change that feeling to “Rejoice“. That I did know her, that I spent the time I did with her, and that we will carry on work she cared about.

It would be easy to think Deb just a bright, cheerful person. But she had broad shoulders, a deep soul and enormous competence. Deb built a remarkable career and was a thoughtful philanthropist, a steady contributor of time and dollars.  She had a particular heart for Hospice, but involved herself in all phases of Children’s Village and various causes locally. She was a stalwart Guild member and in any and all settings swept the congeniality award.  More than anyone I can think of she modeled service above self.

Of Service above Self I must say Deb was the archetype/iconic Rotarian. I remember how smart I thought Rotary was to recruit her as President, the first woman ever to be so in our large club. She did the job flawlessly. She was perfectly at ease with the big task and charmed us all. Every single week.  When Steve and I co-chaired for Rotary’s district conference, a job that proved to be complex and intense, Deb was right at our sides, exuding confidence and energetic support.

I’m not sure I’ve known anyone with as wide a circle of friends, friends who loved her — and needed her bright, shiny presence in their lives. A non partisan, ecumenical collector of friends she even collected and enjoyed non-golfers like myself.

Once I am able to fully comprehend that she is gone, I vow to take her gracious ways and try to emulate them, and rejoice that she gave us so much.

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