Update: if any of my classmates from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles come across this, please be advised that a memorial service for Stu will take place at 6:30 p.m. on April 22nd, 2008, at the law school.
I was heartbroken this morning to receive a email from a buddy of mine with whom I attended Loyola Law School. The email brought me the sad news of the death in Iraq of Major Stuart Wolfer, US Army.
To quote the title of a book of the Great Depression, now let us praise famous men. Stuart was a fellow student with us at Loyola Law School in the evening division. He was bright, witty and absolutely charming. Most of us in the evening division worked full-time jobs during the day and Stuart was no exception. He was a salesman, and I remember one holiday time he used his spare time between classes to sign personally over a hundred Christmas cards for his customer base, each with a little notation.
He and his wife bought a farm in Idaho and he told me it was a veritable paradise, with elk migrating across his back 40. He planned to buy a country law practice from a retiring lawyer and wanted to live a peaceful life in rural Idaho with his wife and what he hoped would be at least - at least! - six kids. He joked that with a family that large, the locals would probably think they were Mormon when, in fact, he quietly and devoutly practiced his Jewish faith.
And with all of those kids, he wanted at least half to be adopted, because Stuart felt every child deserved to be loved, regardless of their origins.
He was an Army reservist and was very, very proud of his role as a soldier. When the time came for him to be called up, he went. There was a job to be done.
Stuart Wolfer - with all of the nuance given to this word, he was truly a mensch. He loved his God, his family, and his country.
From the script of the movie, Patton. General Patton is speaking of a young aide-de-camp of his, Captain Richard Jensen, who fell in battle. I dedicate the same to Stuart:
He was a fine man . . . and a fine officer. And he had no vices. I shall miss him a lot. I can't see the reason why such fine young men get killed. There are so many battles left to fight.
Eternal rest grant him, oh Lord, let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the dearly departed rest in peace. Amen. (+)