Thursday, June 14, 2007

Now He'll Rest

I just learned that Larry DeFratis died on June 1st, from complications of diabetes. (Obituary available here.)

I feel like an ass for not knowing sooner. I skipped a lot of emails, didn't read the news. I would have liked to go to the funeral, at least to say what I'm about to tell you here.

I don't know that I could call him a good friend. We'd only communicated by email in the last few years, and infrequently at that. But I can say that he was someone that made a difference to this community. And he made a difference to me.

Larry was a leader for Democrats, progressive, and liberal citizens in Shreveport-Bossier. I worked with him before and during the Kerry campaign, and contacted him first anytime I wanted to know what was going on over the years since.

We tried to generate hope together as the war machine threatened to tear our faith in the United States to shreds. And we were heartbroken together as Bush slid into his undeserved victory.

And I did lose faith. But Larry, Hugh McKinney, and many others like them helped bring some of it back. And they taught me that even if you lose, you will still be proud that you fought for what you believed in. Losing doesn't mean there was no point in trying.

And I know Larry was involved in the community on a number of different levels, too. He was president of the Breakfast Optimist Club (and I think I'll be making a donation to their leukemia foundation in his honor). I'm sure he touched countless lives in ways both small and large.

I know he'll be missed greatly, and that his role in our city will be a hard one to fill.

I also know that when my time comes, if I can say I have touched as many lives as he did, I will be able to die with some satisfaction. I hope he is resting in peace.

Thanks, Larry.



sage said...

a nice tribute to someone who touched your heart, who was concerned for his community and country

Michael-Ann said...

my heart goes out to you Jane!

simpleton said...

Keep the faith.

One love.