The last days of Eddie Schall

>> My siblings just left my dad’s house. We have spent the last four days together, pretty much all day every day. We’ll see each other in the morning at my dad’s memorial service. Eddie passed from this world a few minutes before three p.m. Monday surrounded by his four children who loved him dearly. >>
>> I had never witnessed anyone die. My dad went peacefully but still, it was awful hard to watch. I had my hand on his forehead the whole time. My siblings each held a hand or rested their hand on his leg. His heart — he had an amazingly strong heart — stopped beating first. His breathing stopped in fits and starts after that. Maybe two minutes. Maybe three. Those are minutes I will never forget. >>
>> What has been most remarkable to me first with my mom’s passing three years ago and now my dad’s is my sister, two brothers and me. There are certainly families who are closer than we have been, yet in these times, I can’t imagine any set of kids being more respectful of or more loving to each other than we have been. >>
>> Tonight, we sat in my dad’s living room and began the conversation about who would take what. Pictures, paintings, furniture, silver, and on and on. A lifetime of memories for each of us, to be divided four ways. What were the one or two things each of us wanted the most? After that, what five or ten things would we really like to have. All in all, we must have talked about 50 or so items over three hours. In the end, every one took exactly what they wanted and there was not one thing disputed. Not a single thing. That seems impossible, no? But I don’t believe it was an accident. I think each of us knew at some level what our siblings desired and we just desired something else. Freaky. >>
>> It’s the end of an era. My parents lived wonderful, long lives. Not much to quarrel with there. They raised a beautiful family. We are now the elders, the next in line to go. That’s a new thing and not so much fun to think about. Tonight, though, I am thinking about the words I will share with the people who come to my dad’s service. I am not sure what I will say, but I know I will be surrounded by my family and all will be well. >>


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22 Responses to The last days of Eddie Schall

  1. I am really sorry to hear about your dad President Schall. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family ❤

  2. Ginger ONeill says:

    Dearest Larry and family,

    I got the email on Monday afternoon and a call from Betty about an hour later. Michael and I send you all our heartfelt sympathies. Regardless of his long and rich life (most of it with his beloved wife), loosing a parent can conjure the emotions of a small child.

    We feel fortunate to have known both of your parents in occasional meetings, but more dearly through the beam of a good friend and devoted servant of justice and equity to those he encounters in both public and private means, Larry Schall.

    We had the privilege to attend your Mom’s service, but regrettably will not be able to personally give you and your extended family our personal condolences. It is true grace to have the honor of having parent(s) live long lives to help us in small ways and sometimes expansive ways to further grow as mature adults from their sage influence.

    It is no wonder that the division of your Dad’s property went so smoothly. May your Dad rest in eternal peace.


    Ginger and Michael

  3. Beatriz says:

    You see? That is exactly what your father as a father must have wanted in and for his children! And he did it! How proud he must have been and you all must be too. And priviledged. When my own time to leave comes, I would like to be surrounded by my loved ones exactly the way you described this. I, was with my dad and my two sisters, Dr Schall and it is a mistery and overwhelming sensation of hope at thebsame time. You can feel and almost touch as you well described it, how life slowly abandons the body YET you can also feel that true life, the spirit, has conquered even death to move free to a better state or place. Your loved one is not there anymore but somewhere else, stronger, freer and beautiful
    My condolences for you , your wife and family

  4. Nancy says:

    Larry, I know this has been a long struggle for you, your dad, and your siblings. Sometimes terrible, sometimes humerous, but always with love and understanding. I offer my condolences along with the many others in your life who may be closer to you and your family in the hope that you will know you are thought of and held up in these days.

  5. Didi says:

    Beautiful Larry..the picture worth a thousand words. All will be well. My thoughts are with you.

  6. Gabriella says:

    Larry im so sorry for your loss… I offer my condolences and prayers for u and your Family …May God Bless and watch over all of you to help u all stay strong.

  7. Sam Lyon says:

    Sorry to hear of your loss, President Schall. My thoughts go out to you and your family during this time. All the best.

  8. Dr. W. Irwin Ray, Jr. says:

    Dear Larry,
    I am saddened to hear of the passing of your Father. My first experience with death was when my Father died in 2003. Our family was also present. As difficult as it is to let go of a loved one, being there at that time with my Dad has become one of my most treasured memories and an important point of inspiration for all my family. My heart breaks with you. I pray for quietness of heart and for the day your grief returns to laughter as joyful memories flood you mind, and you and your family can sit together and recall the wonderful person I’m certain he must have been. After all, he was YOUR Dad.

    I pray for each of you.

    Irwin Ray

  9. Bill & Carile Aitken, '64 & '66 says:

    Larry–Again, so sorry that you and your family had to live through your Dad’s declining health and death, It is an experience that grows more and more common to those of your (and later, like ours) generations. Thankgully you were all there together. It is indeed a difficult thing to watch, and you are right, you will never forget it. You are now, like the two of us (with no siblings), an orphan, but with apparently very caring and loving siblings and othe family members. Lean on each other to get through this. All of the Oglethorpe community is surely with you.
    We wish you every comfort and good fortune at the service today and beyond. It is sad but the seeds he has planted are surely sound and good!
    Bill & Carole Aitken, ’64 & ’66

  10. Amanda says:

    Larry, my sister and I cried together while reading this beautiful description of your father’s passing. Your musings and tales about your dad this past year are a wonderful testament to a great father and loving family; thank you for sharing. I’m sorry I won’t be able to attend today…much love to you and all, Amanda

  11. Toby Director says:

    How wonderful that the most worthwhile things your father left you, the values of education, leadership, responsibility, community, family, love — are all things you and your siblings can share without diminishing the portion left over for each other.

  12. isaac and yoli melamed says:

    dear larry
    yoli and i are with you and your familly in this hour.
    may God keep you healthy .
    isaac and yoli melamed.

  13. Samantha Suttles says:

    Dr. Schall,
    I want to send my condolences for your loss and am hoping that you find strength during this dificult time. You and your family are in my thoughts. And your blog is very beautifully written; it sounds like he was a wonderful man. Take care.

  14. Roxanna McLeod says:

    Dr. Schall,
    I was greatly moved by your post regarding your father’s passing; my heart breaks for you and celebrates your fortune of having a family much like my own. My father is in his final days right now. He fought a good fight and after having endured radiation and chemotherapy to no avail he chose to let nature take its course. And with his unwaivering faith in God, as well as hospice, our family has remained united in keeping Dad comfortable as his journey here on earth comes to an end. Dad’s motivation has been to survive long enough to see my sister graduate with her Doctorate of Nursing Degree from the University of Alabama, which she did this weekend. We were able to get a live stream of the graduation on a laptop for him to watch. It was such a bittersweet and poignant moment. Even though his voice is weak now, his words are powerful, honest, and heartfelt, when he speaks of how proud he is of our family and wonders how he ended up with five great kids; as I stroke his hair & kiss his brow, I tell him “The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Bless you for this post, which brought me unexpected comfort.

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