My dear and friend and mentor, Joe Augenblick died on Sunday, December 15, 2013.  His notice can be found here Joseph Augenblick

I was asked by the family to give the eulogy at his service, which is below.

In 1973, at the age of 14, Joe and Madeline became my dance teachers.  For the next ten years they were, arguably, the most important influence in my life.

I left Orlando in the summer of 1983 to move to Las Cruces, New Mexico.

On September 19 of that year, I wrote a letter to Joe and Madeline, with the request that they share it with our other dance friends. But the letter was really to them.

I would like to read that letter to you now.

Monday, September 19, 1893

My Dearest Friends,

I weep today.  I cry freely the tears of departure which I have so carefully saved until they would serve to do more than sodden my heart at leaving you.

Today I spent in reflection and meditation, for this coming weekend I shall attend a retreat whose topic is INTIMACY and LOVE.

My whole life has been rich in intimacy and love.  But thorough you, in you, with you, I have known and still know, a kind of intimacy and love which many never know.

You welcomed me, a child, into your midst.  Through patient care I have received guidance, nurturing, support in all my need.  In you, I have known by loving example Christ-like maturity, wisdom and spirit.  With and by means of your love I am who I am.

Indeed, by you I am richly blessed.  Each of you has made unto me a gift, freely given, of your experience, your wisdom, your very lives.  You have opened your hearts to me, welcomed me into your homes, and your lives.  The richness of your gifts shall be with me forever.

I am proud to represent unto the world the person who you have helped me become, and I will endeavor in all things to continue to grow well and rightly, as you have taught.  It is my hope, my wish, my prayer, that each of you is able to be proud of me, now and always.

With deepest love and respect,
Your loving friend and son,


30 years… It's been 30 years since I wrote that.  And those words are as true for me today as when I first wrote them.

Joe Augenglick was an extraordinary man.  Kind.  Thoughtful.  Loving.  Funny.  Generous to a fault.

Our world, MY world, is a better place for him being a part of it.  It is an honor to have known him and a privilege to have been his student and his friend.

All of us who knew him share in the responsibility of making sure that the man Joe Augenblick was lives on.  In our thoughts.  In our words.  In our hearts.  And hopefully in the example of our lives as a reflection of the OUTSTANDING man that he showed himself to be for the 93 years, 11 months and 30 days that he blessed our world with his life.


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