Two funerals too many

March 25th, 2014 by Ken

I attended two funerals and memorial services this past weekend.  Two friends of mine passed away.

Johnny Lewis and Gordy Schultz, each in his own way, have made a major contribution to this community.

Johnny Lewis was a musician.  He had a great career that stretched from New York to his many local performances.    He loved music and he loved bringing his appreciation of his art to everyone in the community.

Johnny played at just about every charity event that needed music – – even if they didn’t always know they needed music.   He played for political events – – he didn’t care for which party.   And, he played at five Governor Balls.

Johnny saw music and music performance as a way to give back to the community he loved, while at the same time educating people as to the importance of music in their lives.

He loved young people and took every opportunity to teach them music – – but more importantly he taught them what music could do – – bring people together.    Just a few days before he died he was teaching his students.

Gordy Schultz took a different track in the community – -but he played a significant role.

He was a journalist of the first order.  He covered state government and the Washington State Legislature for more than two decades, earning a reputation as a hard hitting – – but fair – – reporter.

When he retired as a reporter he was so respected that he worked for Governor Booth Gardner as his official spokesman.

But, Gordy Schultz had another impact on this community.  He was an early supporter of Lacey.

Gordy was the co-founder and publishers of the “The Lacey Leader” – –  Lacey’s first community newspaper, founded in 1969 .  He recognized the significance of the county’s newest city and wanted to be a part of it.   His interest and reporting on Lacey helped to create a sense of community for a city looking for a purpose.

Gordy put his money where his mouth was and became a major property owner in his new city.

He was also the organizer and first president of the Lacey Rotary Club.   A club in which Johnny Lewis was also a member.

Both Johnny Lewis and Gordy Schultz are gone now.  Both in their own ways contributed to the economic, social and political growth of our community.

We’re better off because they were here.  This is an appropriate time to honor their contributions.

But, boy, am I tired of going to the funerals of my friends.

Posted in Business, Government, History, The Real News

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