Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sander Zulauf's Eulogy

Eulogy for Ed Healy

My friend the great language philosopher and poet Kenneth Burke, died fifteen years ago in 1993 at the age of 96. But he visited me the other night in a dream. He was in heaven. I said to him “KB, you look terrific!” “Yeah,” he said. “I gave up drinking a month ago!” In one of his essays, KB says “names temporize essence.”

I think Ed Healy is a perfect example of KB’s theory. For Ed’s very presence was “Healing.” Every time I saw Ed he made me feel welcome and good and he always seemed so genuinely glad to see me that I was suddenly happy to be alive. Ed will remain with me as the very embodiment of Jesus’s Great Commandments: he loved God, and he healed us all by loving his neighbor as himself.

A few days ago in the Times an op-ed piece appeared entitled “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” It told of one writer’s mission to transform his typically anonymous neighbors into a neighborhood by asking if he could sleep over for a night at his neighbors’ houses.

His first sleepover was at the home of the widower surgeon who lived next door. The surgeon told him that most people usually asked him how long he had been married. His answer was “52 years,” and the inevitable comment that followed was “Ah—at least you had a good long life together.” To which his reply was “I was just getting to know her.”

Isn’t that the ecstatic sadness of our short lives?

Ed Healy, we were all just getting to know you.

—Sander Zulauf
Poet Laureate, Diocese of Newark

(St. James Catholic Church, Red Bank, New Jersey,
July 1, 2008)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bob McKenty's Poem read at Day's Funeral Parlor


Do not go docile into your decease.
Storm heaven’s portals boldly, arms flung wide.
Rail, rail against religion’s “rest in peace.”

Run. Jump. Dance. Sing with childlike caprice,
Where pain’s unknown and where all tears are dried.
Do not go docile into your decease.

Enjoy the Banquet where no one’s obese,
And yet there is no appetite denied.
Rail, rail against religion’s “rest in peace.”

No terrorism here. No Canada geese.
No petty politicians to abide.
Do not go docile into your decease.

You’ve waited all your life for this release
From those corporeal bonds with which we’re tied.
Rail, rail against religion’s “rest in peace.”

What ear’s not heard, attend without surcease.
Soak in what mortal eyes have never spied.
Do not go docile into your decease.

Rail, rail against religion’s “rest in peace.”

© 2008 by Bob McKenty
(with apologies to Dylan Thomas)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Poem about Ed

My Guy

He's gallant, he's generous, he's green.
Green as shamrocks in a Sligo field.
Green as broccoli, sugar peas and the
Bells of Ireland growing in his garden.

His bottle green eyes shine brightly
when offered a Baileys, a Guinness,
He's a green golfer yearning
to be a green jacket champ.

He's green as the stripe in Auld Sod's flag.
Green as the lakes in Killarney and Kildare.
When the piper calls him to greener pastures
he'll go in his kelly sweater, emerald socks.

He's gracious, he's gentle, he's genteel...
He’s the garnish on my corned beef and cabbage.
He's my blue plate special, but
he's true blarney green.

Gloria Rovder Healy

Monday, February 2, 2009



JUNE 26, 2008

Ed passed away in Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, NJ on June 26, 2008 after a brief hospital stay. The cause of death was Cancer of the Pancreas which his Doctors didn't know he had until the day before he died. His funeral was held at St. James Church, Red Bank. Pallbearers were relatives George Rovder, Christan DeWeever, Brian Ware, Timothy Ware, Shane Rogan and Paul Cummo. Sander Zulauf, Poet Laureate of the Episcopal Diosese of Newark, closed the service with a eulog. Ed was cremated at Day's Funeral Home in Red Bank and his ashes weren't interred until November 24, 2008. Reverend John Campoli, a family friend, led the prayers in Mount Olivet Cemetery's Chapel and poet, Madeline Tiger, also a friend of the family , read the eulogy. Ed is survived by wife, Gloria, daughter Kathleen, stepchildren, Michael and Linda Rovder and daughter in law, Colleen.He is also survived by three grandchildren, Erin , Alyssa and Christian DeWeever and three great grandchildren, Paige and Ryan Cummo and Irelyn Rogan.. Before he retired, Ed was employed by the Federal Court in Newark. After retiring, you could find Ed at Ship Ahoy Beach Club, Sea Bright all summer and the rest of the year, he was at poetry readings through out New Jersey. He enjoyed the readings almost as much as he liked the beach. He knew each poet either by name or by a poem they'd written and how he loved being their book seller.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Madeline Tiger''s Eulogy at Mount Olivet Cemetery

Ed Healy

What is a man? We thought we knew, but we have been given
a new meaning for the word “gentle-man”. Strong, yes; reliable, yes
but tenderly loving, too and with a strength in his silence,
his manly power held in easy silences.

A gentleman doesn’t only hold our chairs:
he carries the chairs his (beloved) wife may need wherever she goes

A gentleman doesn’t merely open the wine: he opens his wine and his
table and his doors to friends and acquaintances from near and far--- old
friends and new (like me) whoever needs welcome. Ed was this man.

Even at the performances of others (like our poetry readings) others who need
to be heard, the gentleman listens (and sells our books!)

Even in the garden, where others need to enjoy the beautiful flowers
a gentleman makes us comfortable, with no demands (and no display)

Even in conversations where the rest of us blare our voices and bluster
opinions, a gentleman listens, and conveys deep wisdom

Ed Healy, a gentleman conveys his acute perceptions in quiet, amused ways.
Leaning back, allowing others to fume with or combust with denials, his eyes
would sparkle. He knew…what was going on! Without a word, he was taking in all
that was going on. A gentleman’s wit is sharp, but his voice is soft. His
passion is intense, but his demeanor easy.

And when a gentleman loves we can learn how a man can love a woman so well
there is never a question and nothing required but love in return.
Ed Healy has taught me to see how this can be.

And Gloria, you have shown what a woman can be in such a pair,
how a woman who came through her own separate fires
and down a path on her own can meet with her rightful man and
can deserve a gentleman’s love

In our complex world, justice is hard to sustain. But now I know
that in the world of love rare as it may be justice may come,
and the scales of justice balance forever.

Ed, you are gone, but you are here in all our hearts, and in our worlds.
Friend, husband, beloved man, you have taught us all
what a GENTLE MAN is.