Sunday, December 21, 2008

Ode to Mr. Webb

This morning, I got a call about one of the members of our church who recently died. He actually passed away on Thursday but no one from the church knew until Sunday morning.

Mr. Webb was 90-years-old. He sang a solo virtually every Sunday and was the only male that consistently lent his strong baritone to the choir. Although his family mostly lived in New York City, he lived in Beacon and attended church in Newburgh. I spent the morning wondering how his family members were notified of his passing.

Although a bit younger, my dad - who moved to New Jersey in 1993 shortly after my mother died - also lived alone quite a distance away from most of his family. He died suddenly from a heart attack in 2005 while driving along Rte 287. I have often wondered how I would have found out about his death had he passed away in his apartment. A regular church-goer when he was a kid, he didn't have a church home in New Jersey. I didn't even think to try to find a pastor's name or number when he died. I did place a notice in his area's local daily newspaper, but his funeral was held at the same church my mother's was - almost 100 miles away from the New Jersey neighborhood he'd called home for a dozen years.

About a week ago, Mr. Webb asked me about an envelope he'd need to contribute to one of our church funds. As he slipping into his coat, I told him I would make sure I connected with him next week to get him one. Sadly, that connection was never made. Just goes to show you how much tomorrow is not promised to anyone.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Webb...

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