By: Larry Launders <> From: Larry Launders []
Wed Jan 22 09:23:02 1997
Final Gifts
Ruminations on the passing of a gentle, giving friend.
By Larry Launders
Location: Arlington TX US

Age:[ 31 ] Gender:[ M ]


	This morning, a number of us learned of the passing of Lew Farr.  I'd 
like to share some of the random thoughts that have passed through my 
mind over the last few months while we all waited and hoped for a 
different outcome of his cancer treatments.

Lew learned of his cancer condition merely days before retirement. Like
everybody, he had a wide range of options and plans available to him 
and I believe he was excited with the thought of pursuing them. The 
discovery of the cancer was, I believe, sometime in June of 1996, 
possibly earlier. He spent the remaining time giving the medical 
profession every chance to put the cancer into remission, I believe
they even tried some experimental treatments on him.

That's a sign of the person Lew was. Lew would do something like that
to the point that even if it didn't work, now they would know what
didn't work. It was not suprising to see Lew at work 12 or more hours
a day, just because he had theories he wanted to work on and prove or
disprove to himself. He would always be happy to share the results.

Where I worked with Lew over the last nine years, Christmas was always
a treat. Lew always made the wassail and made sure everybody got a gift.
He may not have known you from Adam, but he would have something for you.
When Lew would come back from a vacation (the most memorable were Hawaii
and Alaska) he brought back something for everybody in his department. 
At times, that number climbed to slightly over 100 people!  From Hawaii
he brought back fresh pineapple, from Alaska it was smoked salmon.  I must
admit I sometimes found his abundant generosity overcoming. As a 
deparment, we tried to return in kind.  On one of his birthdays, we
all chipped in and bought him a very nice VCR. Nobody batted an eye at
the idea, that's how much he was thought of.  

With all this in mind, the common current thought is Lew didn't deserve
what he got, so close to retirement and all, and not having the time to 
enjoy the fruits of his labors. But I hit upon another theory, that
Lew was very lucky indeed. He had the opportunity to visit with people
that were close to him, and more than a few that he hadn't seen in some
time. Too many people don't get to do that. Those that knew him had
whatever chance they needed to prepare for his inevitable passing, though
it's never easy. Lew did go through some pain, and it was a shame to 
see him wasting away from the cancer, but he gave it his best shot, and
every opportunity to try and stop it. A statement to not giving up, 
which I'm tempted to break into yet another diatribe regarding assisted
suicide, but I don't think this is the time or place, I do not want to
sully a tribute to Lew about such a terrible subject. Suffice to say,
the Lew Farr that I knew deserves such a good reward for the person he
was, and he did the best thing possible, he led by example, not by word
alone.  That above all else is the lasting impact and impression I will
keep with me of Lew Farr.

If you've read this far, thank you for your time and consideration.

Larry, on behalf of Lew's coworkers and comrades on the ADS Help Desk.

-- Larry Launders . . . [ ]

back to other Contributions page