For the last twenty two years (Since I was eleven!), I have heard your name float through the life of my family. I know you know that my dad has held you in very high regard as a man but also as a friend.
Thank you for being such a good friend and mentor to my dad and a person that he and many others look up to. Thank you for encouraging my dad to take better care of his health and getting him to Mayo Clinic years ago so that he can be around as long as possible. A daughter always wants her daddy to be taken care of and that you guided and helped him be taken care of for years to come...well, there isn't enough "thank you's" for that.
Though you are too young to be my dad's dad, you are close to being old enough to be my grandfather. And although your physical presence was not in my life, your care that a grandfather would have for his kin was present and felt. What an incredible gift to have given and for our family to have been blessed to receive.
Thank you for getting me to Mayo Clinic last year. Thank you for making sure I was getting the most excellent care. Thank you for going to bat for me and for so many others and for making things happen at Mayo Clinic in wonderful ways through your incredible generosity. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the special care and attention I was given on your behalf. What a special person you are. Thank you for putting me in the hands of people who made such a complicated experience easier. George and I both were so grateful and your name was on our lips each day of the two weeks we were there. I am sad I never told you so.
I am sorry that George and I were unable to visit you this summer at your invitation. I am sorry that a letter never got written because life happened. I would have told you that I am blessed to have been given such a gift and that I am touched by your incredible heart.
I am glad you were at Mayo, a place that you believed in so much and where you helped change and will continue to change many people's lives. There will be an empty place here on earth where your generosity of spirit and love existed. But I take comfort in knowing you are at peace and are not hurting anymore.
My heart aches for your family and those who cared so much for you...including my dad.
You were an incredible man with an enormous heart.
Thank you, Joe, for being you.
With a full and grieving heart,
(Video taken in the Hall of Benefactors on 3/15/12;
Joe was a Principal Benefactor of Mayo Clinic.)
Please consider making a donation to the Mayo Clinic
in honor and memory of this incredible man by clicking here.