[Springboard] What a Send Out!

jfknutson at aol.com jfknutson at aol.com
Thu Jan 14 11:34:26 CST 2010

Leah Early wrote this piece about Stan Crow's memorial and with her permission I am forwarding it to you.  Joan Knutson

January 13, 2010
Dear Order Ecumenical colleagues,
 I am sharing with you my experience of Stan Crow's Memorial Service held at the 
ast Shore Unitarian Church in Bellevue, Washington on Saturday, January 9, 
010, at 3:00 PM. Originally, I sent this letter to ten members of our west 
oast women’s circle.  Five of us were present at the celebration:  Nancy 
anphear, Sharon Fisher, Maxine Butcher, myself and of course, Carol Crow.  
fter Joan Knutson suggested we send the letter to all of you, the rest of us 
greed; so here goes.
The writing here is intended as a collective remembering of the event for those 
ho were unable to attend Stan’s memorial.  If you had the good fortune of being 
resent, perhaps you have something to contribute.  Feel free to add to and even 
mbellish these recollections of what and how the event unfolded.
The setting was lovely--a modern gathering place planted on the flattened top of 
 hill.  Two other structures shared frontage on a plaza-like area, which was 
urrounded by towering evergreen trees.  The entrance to the building, where the 
emorial was held, opened onto a wide curving hallway.  In one direction it 
lowed into offices, classrooms and restrooms and in the other direction, it 
idened and became the area where the potluck dishes of food were arranged on 
ong tables.  Beyond the buffet area was a large kitchen.  Far the most part, 
he curving passage way was glass on one side and a warm-toned wood paneling on 
he other.  Stan’s family had placed albums along tables and interspersed them 
ith colorful posters.  On the posters, was a picture of Stan, standing behind a 
lossoming magnolia tree and taken in 2008 while Stand and Carol vacationed near 
ristol, England.  He was sporting a warm smile.
When Lee, Laura, Diana and I arrived, the entrance way was full of people
humbing through the albums and greeting friends. The sanctuary must have held 
bout 500 people.  As best as I could see, almost every seat was filled.  The 
ltar's backdrop of glass reminded me again that we sat among lush forest 
oliage.  My eyes scanned from left to right across the room-wide altar. An 
nsemble of musicians was settling into the far left corner behind a baby grand 
iano.  Moving right, there sat a large projection screen, a 15 to 20 inch in 
iameter metal cauldron for fire, a sculpture and a wooden podium with simple 
ines.  Next, there stood a large oriental-looking bell and a big boutique of 
resh flowers. The chorus at this ritual sat facing the altar with two aisles, 
ne on each side of the room. The auditorium was just large enough for the crowd 
e were, and at the same time, its beams and warm, wood paneling wrapped around 
s at comfortable angles.
 Participants received beautifully prepared programs for the service.  I 
nderstand Bob Lanphear and Stan's older daughter Nina produced it, complete 
ith two pictures of Stan, several poems, acknowledgements of family members 
resent, a poem written by Jack Lush and this quote by Diane Ackerman:  "I don't 
ant to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it.  
 want to have lived the width of it as well."  I include the particulars of 
his quotation, because the living of life fully-- about which the author 
rote--was the essence of the life we celebrated and the ritual that honored 
 The three acts of the drama were Act I - An Age of Exploration: Childhood & 
outh;  Act II - To Be of Use: The Order Ecumenical & The Student House; and Act 
II - It's All About Story: Songaia, Journeys & Family.  The intentional and 
aried forms of participation engaged all our senses and called us to absolute 
ttention.  In the ritual, we lived fully.  For example, numerous individuals 
poke while images of Stan flashed upon the tall screen.  Music was plentiful 
ith notes from a strings and flute ensemble as well as guitar and piano.  The 
ervice provided multi-opportunities for singing and humming together in hymns, 
opular music and even an Irish ditty.  At one point, a large group of Songaia 
esidents’ voices of all ages filled the room with song.  Participants were 
sked to stand and be acknowledged at the intersections of Stan’s life with 
heir own. Invigorating drumming, rhythmic clapping of hands and extended 
oments of silence punctuated the whole orchestration.
 Rich and illuminating stories filled our heads and hearts. I was struck by 
tan's brother and sister's sweet stories of their big brother and how before he 
as old enough to attended school, Stan organized the neighborhood kids and put 
n a puppet show, charging a penny for entrance.  Later, as his confidence grew, 
ntrance fees to his productions went up to a nickel.  He was active in the 
ethodist Youth Fellowship, Boy Scouts, and play productions in high school and 
ollege.  (Gee, he had lots of dark, curly hair back then, too!).  Alice Rose 
ecounted an incident that happened in the Rochester Religious House honestly 
nd directly.  “Assigned to Rochester were Stan (a single parent now) with two 
oung daughters Nina and Karen, a married couple and three teenagers: Lisa 
ewkirk, Carol Poole and myself.”  She admitted soberly, “The situation was 
ard.”  The morning after the married couple slipped away in the night, Stan met 
ith the three youth and together they built a plan for how they would manage 
heir work and lives.  Obviously, he needed the girls and they knew it, and the 
irls certainly needed Stan and he knew it.  “He listened carefully.  He 
espected us, supported us and cared for us.  He even persuaded the order to 
eep the house in Rochester open long enough for us to graduate from high 
 Next, a handsome yet unassuming man walking to the podium caught my eye.  Ben 
rocker--today, Ben is a doctor and teacher of medical students in the Boston 
rea as well as husband and father. In an eloquent, understated way, he shared 
is observation that while some adults avoided assignments to the Student House 
tan obviously enjoyed—if not loved being there.  Ben expressed appreciation for Stan’s ability to connect with young people and 
hared the following event as proof that Stan continued to exercise this 
aluable trait until the very end of his life.  A year or so ago, Stan stayed 
ith Ben’s family while attending a church conference in Boston.  Early one 
orning, Ben heard his three-year-old son’s voice coming from the guestroom.  He 
pened the bedroom door to find Stan still in bed with covers pulled up to his 
hin while Ben’s son shared something very involved and of great importance. 
tan listened intently with eyebrows raised, breath held and the widest of grins 
pon his face.  They both were having a fantastic time!  Stan made such an 
mpression on the little guy that the guestroom was called "Stan's room" for 
onths after Stan returned home.  Former Student House participants were asked 
o stand.  I don't know how many were peppered throughout the auditorium, but 
he number was impressive.
 Others made presentations in Act III including an outstanding tribute to Stan’s 
ision and leadership at Songaia by Fred Lanphear, a short spin by the young 
oman who is now director of the Journeys programs as did Nina and her daughter 
laria, Stan's oldest grandchild.  All his grandchildren performed a choral 
eading of the poem "Grandfathers Are Fathers Who Are Grand". 
 Family, friends, order members, co-housing colleagues, and Unitarian
Universalists gathered and mingled.  I enjoyed meeting new people, however, I 
ust admit I had a far grander time greeting old friends from the Order 
cumenical.  Several circled around me quietly as they looked me up and down and 
hispered, "Do I know you?"  Moments later, I was the one circling others such 
s Marie and Jane Sharp, Tim Lush, the Wiegel twins, Russell and Mark Jewell, 
avid and Ellen Rebstock and their son Tim.  I visited also with friends who 
ive near but whom I never see enough such as Mark and Kristen Cramer--and, 
ater Don, Sheila and Bill Westre, Gordon and Roxanne Harper, Justin and Del 
orrill, Sharon Fisher, Elaine and Maxine Butcher.  I even shared a big bear hug 
nd laugh that rattled my spine with Roger Butcher.  Still other warm encounters 
nclude those with Sandy and Bruce Lanphear, Alice Rose and Patricia Newkirk 
If you gleaned from my description of the event that those of us present 
xperienced fullness, completeness and tremendous joy really—then, you got it.  
 believe Stan was remarkably consistent with his life.  He lived life fully and 
e died being loved and appreciated for his contributions to this earth, to 
ommunity, to young people, to family and to our individual beings.  He earned 
he salute:  “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”
Blessings to all,
 P.S.  Believe it or not, I am leaving much out of this account of Stan Crow’s 
emorable celebration so others may add some reflections as they wish.  A few 
embers of our women’s circle have quickly made these additions.
from Nancy Lanphear: 
The part of the memorial that surprised me most was Ilaria’s spin on her 
randfather’s last gift.  Stan’s last gift to her was an airline ticket to RI 
here she spent three days visiting her dying great-grandmother Eleanor.  That 
leanor is my mother.  Ilaria said Stan knew she needed to experience the dying 
rocess with someone she loved.  She returned excited and needing time with her 
randfather to express her gratitude.  Their visit was on Friday, two days 
efore Stan died.  Their time together was exactly what it needed to be, a time 
or expressing and exchanging with each other “I love you” and other life-giving 
from Carol Crow:
I really enjoyed seeing Duncan and Miko Robertson with their mom Sharon (Fisher) 
s well as Andrew Roberts from Denver and Daniel Roberts and his son from NYC 
sons of Al and Sharyn Roberts); and Jill and Sean Tikkun and their two 
hildren.  (Jill is the daughter of Jackie and David Speicher.)  Leif and Amara 
den brought their son Kainoa to the memorial service, also.  It was a very 
leasant surprise to have Mark and Russell Jewell there and I even got to have a 
ood conversation with them--not an easy thing to do because of the numbers of 
eople who came.
hat a marvelous experience to have so many people come who loved and honored 
tan!  Thank you all. 
from Sharon Fisher:
It was wondrous to be at Stan’s Memorial Service with generations of families 
resent.  Every single bit was something that my near-to-bursting heart was glad 
o be sharing with Miko, Duncan and Sam (Miko’s significant other).  I loved the 
hris Williamson song that the Songaia group sang – Song of the Soul.  The 
rogram booklet was immaculate and a true gift of love from Bob’s heart.  Fred 
anphear’s salute to the leadership that Stan provided to Songaia was eloquent 
nd moving.  Stan’s youngest grand-daughter (Calista Januto) did an incredible 
ob reciting the Hopi Prayer, “Do Not Cry at My Grave” as she wiped away her 
ears and kept on going.  It was a precious moment that had me weeping, too.
n Jan 14, 2010, at 7:50 AM, jfknutson at aol.com wrote:
> As luck would have it, I cannot open the attachment.  Can someone who is on 
he OE list open the document, copy and paste into an email and send it.  I am 
retty sure we can't send attachments on the listserv.  Joan
 -----Original Message-----
 From: Leah Early <leahearly at comcast.net>
 To: Joan Knutson <Jfknutson at aol.com>; Martha Dempster <Skysoks2u at aol.com>; 
ancy Lanphear <nancy at songaia.com>
 Cc: Dorothea Jewell <dj.jewell at comcast.net>; Molly Shaw <Molly.shaw at comcast.net>; 
arol Crow <carol at songaia.com>; Sharry Lachman <SharryLachman at comcast.net>; 
haron Fisher <sharonafisher at comcast.net>; Jann McGuire <LAURELCG at aol.com>; 
axine Butcher <maxineb at dslextreme.com>
 Sent: Thu, Jan 14, 2010 12:40 am
 Subject: What a Send Out! - launched!
 Joan et al,
 Thanks to those of you who sent additional items you appreciated about Stan's 
 Memorial Service.  I added items I felt were not repetitive.  I also edited 
 original letter and even called Alice Rose in New York to verify the correct 
 names of the teenagers meeting with Stan in her story.  Among us we had youth 
 who were at Rochester, but some lived there before or after this incident.  I 
 even visited with Kristen Cramer to ease my anxiety about leaving someone out.
 So, Joan, I am ready to offer this up.   Since the Earlys are not on the list 
 serve, will you do the honors: rewrite the subject and send the letter on its 
 way?  I appreciate it.
 Many thanks to all for your assistance,
 Leah Early
 4107 236th Street SW, M-106
 Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
 Home phone:  (425) 967-5987
 Cell phone;     (206) 359-0062
 leahearly at comcast.net
Leah Early
107 236th Street SW, M-106
ountlake Terrace, WA 98043
Home phone:  (425) 967-5987
ell phone;     (206) 359-0062
leahearly at comcast.net

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