Last Thursday night, I got a phone call telling me that Chris Saulet, a colleague from IPMS Gateway, had died. He was only 50 years old and had been battling cancer the past few years.
I attended the wake Sunday afternoon in St. Charles, and the funeral yesterday morning in St. Peters. He touched many people in his many-faceted life: he was a sailor in the US Navy; a trooper in the Missouri State Highway Patrol (retired as a Sergeant last year after 25 years on the force); a Technical Sergeant in the Missouri Air National Guard; a competitive cyclist; and an award-winning scale modeler. Several IPMS Gateway members came to the wake and funeral. The funeral mass was most moving, with Chris' brother fighting back tears as he spoke about Chris, and the priest referring to Chris' brief yet full life in the homily.
After the funeral, the casket went to the cemetery in St. Charles for a brief graveside service. An Air National Guard honor guard carried Chris' body to the grave site, the path lined by Missouri state troopers and other police officers. The honor guard fired a three-shot rifle volley, then a bugler played "Taps." The US flag was removed from atop the casket and folded, then presented to Chris' widow. After this service, a luncheon was held in St. Peters.
I knew Chris for just over 10 years. He was a superb modeler, and a valued member of our club. He helped out a lot with contests and other club activities. He served as a club director in 2007 and we held many of our monthly business meetings at his house, due to his illness. He never took pity on himself and never wanted others to feel sorry for him.
At Sunday's wake, I related to Chris' brother the story of a major league baseball manager (whose name escapes me) telling of a terminally ill player. The manager said, "He taught us how to live, and now he'll teach us how to die." Chris' brother agreed with that sentiment.
Yes, I will miss Chris Saulet, and so will a lot of people. He cast a large shadow in his short time on Earth, and I look forward to seeing him in due course in Heaven.
If anyone is interested, Chris' family requested that memorials be sent in his name to the American Cancer Society.
We did get some more snow in the middle of last week (about 7 inches/17.8 cm in total). Much of it has melted the past few days as it got warmer, but it's dipped below freezing again today. It should be much warmer this Saturday for my birthday, but we may get some rain this weekend.
That's it for now. Take care & talk to you soon.