Bro.Richard Dix: Remembering Bro. Boeckerman
We buried Paul Boeckerman on October 30, 2004 and these comments were made at the funeral service.
Good morning. The Provincial Council would like to thank you for this opportunity to say a few words regarding Bro. Paul Boeckerman. Bro. Jim Vorndran’s introduction at the beginning said most of it. We’d like to thank especially the family and friends of Paul Boeckerman who gather with us today as we bury our brother. We thank them for sharing Paul with us. We know that he was as important to them as he was to us. We want to give a special thanks to Bro. Jim Vorndran, the Mercy Siena Community and the Dayton communities, which do such a fine job of showing reverence to the brothers who go before us.
Paul, as was described, was a creative problem solver. He was a person who accepted responsibility. We have the testimonies of how he touched people’s lives. His students from Japan sent the beautiful floral arrangements that are here and also began an endowment in Paul’s name with the Province.
I knew Paul as a man who never turned down a fight and I happened to be having a conversation with some of his grade school friends who said that’s the kind of guy Paul was as a grade school student. He never turned down a fight. He stood up for what he thought was right.
I think one of the last time that I saw Paul, he was sitting in his wheelchair in a rather weakened state with his oxygen. He had heard that I had taken on this new position as Assistant for Religious Life and he looked up at me with a twinkle in his eye and said, “Don’t screw up.”
Paul was very good man; he was a mentor for many young men in this order. Joe Kamis and Kenny Uckotter considered Paul an important mentor for them. It is important to see the impact that Paul had on people’s lives. Paul made a difference. I am sure as people in the various schools across the continents that Paul worked in see that Paul died, the will remember him and they will say that he made a difference in their lives. The testimony of his students from Japan of 40 years ago brings that alive to us today.
It is a great prayer for all of us that we might make a difference in others lives. As we come together today to remember our Bro. Paul who went before us and made a difference in so many lives, let us pray for each other here that God will use our gifts and our talents to make a difference in people’s lives.
Bro. Richard Dix, S.M.
Assistant for Temporalities
Marianist Province of the United States