By the time I met him, he was quite elderly, and not in good health. He was also one of the kindest, most gentle men I have ever met. I loved serving as a Eucharistic Minister when he celebrated, because I got to offer my arm as he climbed onto the dais. It was such a joy just to be near him.
I remember a few conversations in the sacristy. He wasn't at all chatty, and was instead deeply sincere. I also remember that, shaky and frail though he was, he was still dapper enough to reach for his comb after he donned his chasible, straightening his white hair before the service.
He used to leave his copy of Episcopal magazines in my church mailbox.
He not only gave my favorite sermons, he had my favorite sermon style. My husband and our dear friend Tom refer to it as the "Get up. Speak Up. Shut up." style of preaching-- make your point as clearly as possible, and then stop before you get in your own way.
About a month ago, his wife of almost 60 years passed away. He rose to speak briefly at her memorial service, and I listened as this quiet, dignified man shared about her last hours. "We were hugging and kissing, and I was holding her as she passed away."
An unbelievably beautiful man. I feel so lucky to have been around him.
Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant, Carl.
Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive him into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the
glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.