The LuLac Edition #3443, March 4th, 2017
This week, essentially in the course of a few days the greater Wilkes Barre Area lost three great people. Each one touched the very heart of our business and volunteer world. All three were baby boomers who were given opportunities from World War II era parents who instilled in them a work ethic and community bond that makes up the positive fiber of this area. It is true that during the course of any year we lose great people among us. But three in less then a week is hard to process. Plus the both individual and collective losses to their families cannot be determined in metrics or emotions.
Suffice to say these three losses at such early ages (at least by today’s standards) cheat all of us who interacted with them of their knowledge, grace and creativity. As stated in the headline, these losses are impossible to calculate.
His sandwiches were legendary as well as the names he put on them. I could never get him to name a sandwich for blogfest but we always had a good laugh about that. Mrs. LuLac used Circles for statewide meetings she was responsible for in the city. The food was on time, on point and never ever wanting in flavor or quality. Plus it was fresh and well priced.
Rudy brought to Wilkes Barre a constant that every town needs. You always had the impression that his business was never a chore but a calling. Phil was a booster of the city in lean and fat times. He never wavered, he never left.
Circles they tell me will reopen on Monday. I’m sure the staff and the caretakers will run it as efficiently as Phil did. There will be the quirky menu names, the same warm soups in the cold dead of winter, the ice cold drinks in the heat of the summer. There will be tasty cheese and quality Boars Head meats as well as crunchy vegetables.
But there won’t be Phil there anymore. In many ways things will be the same except for that missing ingredient. Phil. That’s a big one. It is irreplaceable.
Anne was handling the Marketing for the family business Friedman Electric and I sold her advertising for Cable TV. She was generous with her time but kept me on my toes. We came to an agreement to run ads for the business. Now this was the late 90s when the Internet was just getting started and Anne had the foresight to make sure the web was featured in the company’s advertising.
Her achievements were full as outlined in this excerpt from her obituary from the Times Leader. Anne was an award-winning public relations executive, a managing partner of Finn Partners and the director of the Global Issues group, where she focused on fostering social change through creative partnerships, advocacy initiatives and meaningful corporate social responsibility programs. She co-founded the Business Council for Peace in 2002, which helped women in areas of conflict increase economic power and security and initiate business, and she served as its chair for two years. Anne was named one of "21 Leaders for the 21st Century" by Women's eNews. She was co-founder of NO MORE, www.nomore.org, the first national branding initiative to call for an end to domestic violence and sexual assault. In 2014, she joined the board of the Lustgarten Foundation, which funds research toward cures and effective treatments for pancreatic cancer.
She was a co-founder of Let's Win, which is an interactive website dedicated to sharing new science driven treatments to help patients with pancreatic cancer live longer and better. Following her diagnosis, she dedicated her time and energy toward this project.
The latter sentence was typical Anne Glauber. After our meetings were over and the sale was finished, we’d chat about issues facing society. It comes as no surprise that when she was given the diagnosis for this disease, she tried to do something about it. She was the ultimate doer.
Then there was this portion of her notice in the paper. "Anne spent four years managing the marketing department at her family business, Friedman Electric.” When you are in sales, clients come and go. There are days when one is hard pressed to remember anything about them. That was not my case when I saw Anne a few years back at Godlstein’s having lunch or when I read about her untimely death. Anne Glauber was memorable.
While I cannot know the grief her close family and friends know or share their years of memories of her, I feel fortunate that for one brief year we were on each other’s radar in a professional situation that enhanced my life.
I first encountered Frank at King’s College when I was a Freshman and he was Dean of Students. He was constantly on the move. In the 80s Frank hired me to be Assistant Communications Director at United Way. Frank and I were tasked to put together those big United Way events that were the hallmark of the fall funding campaign for Social Service Agencies. He’d always call me David Stephen when things were going well. When it was David I knew we’d get a lot of unexpected work to go through. When it was Dave I knew there was some last minute thing that needed attention.
He was a Master at Presentations. The man could command a room walking around with eyes boring into his audience and moving his hands saying his catch phrase “and so on and so forth”. When he said that, I knew it was time to get set to run the projector. (At that time United Way had films from the national UW.) I learned from him that when you worked in Communications there was no final draft. I learned how to deal with local printers and to make sure colors were enhanced and popped on brochures.
Frank was a man of the city. He loved Wilkes Barre and never left it until his health prohibited him from keeping that grand home on Academy Street. One time when Frank and I were going to a United Way volunteer event in the very obscure parts of the Back Mountain we both got lost. I drove, he was navigating. Or so we both thought. Behind us were cars of volunteers following us who had no idea we were lost. Frank, in a rare moment of pique said, “David Stephen, we may never see the fair city of Wilkes Barre again!"
We turned the car around (it was my ’79 Rally Sport leading Cadillacs ) and proceeded to the home after coming to two dead ends. After the ride Frank told the volunteers that he didn’t realize they were following us but he wanted show me how beautiful things were “out here”.
At the Wilkes Barre Kiwanis Club, Frank mentored me into a Leadership position and it was one of the most fulfilling opportunities I had. Through the years we’d meet up at political and religious events. Our paths stopped crossing as frequently about 7 years ago but we kept abreast of each other’s activities.
When I heard Frank had Colon Cancer I went to his event two years ago put on by his friends. Since that time we’d chat once a month on the phone. Frank would give me updates on his treatments and how it compared to the ones I had. After that initial medical foray which Frank labeled as “The Medical portion of our show”, we reminisced about our King’s College and United Way days. He’d ask about my this blog, TV appearances and we’d talk politics, religion, Wilkes Barre and family.
Our last conversation centered on the hope his body could take the treatments that became more aggressive and advanced in our mutual belief that perhaps the cancer could be kept at bay. We hoped and we prayed that things might turn in his favor. But deep in both our hearts I think we both knew this was not in our hands. His parting words in that final call to me were, “Pray for me on this” and I said, “Sure thing”.
Frank’s battle ended Thursday morning. Like all battles of this nature, it was courageous and well fought.
The physical aspect of Frank's being is no more. The purposeful stride, the intense eye contact, the incredible vocabulary, the kind sarcasm, the familiar shock of hair and the man in motion personality that we all came to appreciate and love.
Physically that’s gone. But as my father used to say, “Death is a long sleep waiting for your final redemption”. My good friend and mentor Frank Pasquini’s body might lay asleep but the spirit and goodness he embodied will live on in all our hearts until it’s time to step off.
See you again my friend and one day we’ll talk about all the things we used to until you say “and so on and so forth”.
Wow! How I will miss that phrase.