Sunday, January 06, 2019

In Memoriam: Joe Beyerle

Some 35 years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a man who would become my boss, friend and mentor. Joe was the very definition of "larger than life." He passed away, peacefully, his family at his side, last night.

About 25 years ago, the local TV news did a report on laughter in the workplace, and the segment opened with a shot of our office from across the street.

You could hear Joe's laugh.

Joe's business model was pretty straightforward: do the right thing for our clients, always.

A devout and passionate Catholic, Joe organized a city-wide rosary prayer-a-thon that gained national attention.

Everyone knew Joe: I used to joke that if aliens ever landed here, the first thing they'd say would be "hey, where's Joe, I need insurance for my UFO."

He and the love of his life, Joan, were married for over 60 blissful years, and they have the kids, grandkids, and great grandkids to prove it.

He'd been in failing health for a while, and over the weekend preceding New Year's he was hospitalized. I was fortunate to visit them on Thursday morning, and had them all to myself for about an hour. He was still, well, Joe, and I got to experience his trademark smile more than once.

He quizzed me about my girls, and even offered a (tremendous) suggestion for my youngest.

We're members of a synagogue in northern Cincinnati, about 35 minutes away. At services yesterday morning, I mentioned his name for the healing prayer list. After services, a friend came up to me and said, "I recognized Joe's name." Because of course he did. Why was I even surprised?

I will miss you, Joe, and your laugh, and your compassion, and your love of the Reds.

But mostly, I will miss your warmth, and love, and compassion.

Baruch Dayan HaEmet. Rest in Peace, dear friend.
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