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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hudnut on Jacobs

Posted on Tue, Jan 7, 2014 at 9:47 AM

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(Editor's note: At the funeral of Andy Jacobs Jr., a portion of William H. Hudnut  III's  written remarks was read. Below are Mr. Hudnut's remarks in their entirety.)

It is tempting in a setting like this to focus on what we have lost, but I believe the religion of gratitude will never mislead us so let's focus on the Andy we knew and are grateful for - the wounded warrior who hated war; the man of unblemished integrity; the man of courage and humor and affection.

So let's begin by giving thanks for his family for the joy of a happy solid marriage to Kim, for the kicks he got out of growing up with his two boys, fine young men that they have become; and, of course, for his dogs large and small, black, brown, and white, ferociously guarding the house until passage was allowed; and for his bonds with his wider family.

Friendly guy that he was, we are grateful for Andy's many friends, and I was pleased to be one of them for some 40 years. As all of you know, he and I ran against each other for Congress twice. I beat him in '72 and he beat me in'74. We became friends on the campaign trail, and over the years I believed his friendship symbolized the bipartisan spirit and said something meaningful about moving beyond acrimony to collaboration and divisive rhetoric to bridge- building.

Andy used to drive me nuts as we campaigned against each other with his quips and anecdotes and quotes, all in good humor. The way he answered a question always astonished me. I would try to answer straight and then Andy would take us through a tour of Korea, tell several of his father's stories, quote liberally from all the great philosophers particularly Abe Martin. That was Andy being Andy.

Andy's life with his decades in Congress exemplified public service for the public good. It's what everyone wants in Congress today. Andy was a man of courage and independent judgment.

He marched to the beat of his own drum, not to the polls or the bankrollers or the lobbyists. He had absolute integrity, was honest as the day is long, highly ethical in his behavior, and very frugal with the dollar, public or private. On one of our campaigns I think he spent a total $36.

I don't remember exactly when it was but Kim and Andy and Beverly and I attended a beautiful memorial service in a wooded area for Larry Conrad. I remember being touched by Andy's attitude of reverence - reverence for the world of nature; reverence for life; reverence before death; reverence for the importance of love, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen; reverence for our democracy and our political system; reverence for the unplumbed meanings and unknown mysteries of the vast universe as the clear skies above opened up. Andy's expression on that occasion bore witness to his reverence for things seen and unseen. Reverence is a vestibule in the temple of faith, and I knew then and know now that Andy stood straight and tall, humble and respectful, brave and unpretentious in that vestibule.

God bless my friend Andy.
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