He has always been my hero.
He has always been bigger than life.
He was the man who formed my faith, and taught me that a woman is not limited in what she can do just because she’s a woman
He’s the man who taught me the word ambidextrous when I wasn’t even big enough to have any business saying that word.
He’s the man who we honored this past Saturday night, and while to most of the people there he was a great friend, co-worker, boss, employee – before he was all of these things, he was my dad.
One of my earliest “Pfizer” memories is when we lived in
People always talked about the "Pfizer Pfamily", and it was truly a reality for our family. We always had a place to stay on our road trips. When I went off to college in Richmond, my parents introduce me to Mel & Elsie Katz. Mel was the District Manager for the Richmond district. I'm not sure how well my dad knew Mel at the time, but through the years that they were my surrogate parents while I was at school, their friendship grew. I still exchange Christmas cards and birth announcements with the Katz family - that's how close we became, and it was because of the thread that bound us together - Pfizer.
The Pfizer Pfamily connection even played a role in the life I have today. Tom Killick, who was working for my dad, is the one who introduced Chris and I. Without that introduction, I wouldn't be as happy as I am today, and I wouldn't be blessed with the life I have. Tom always says it took him a year and a half to make the introduction, because he was afraid if Chris and I didn't hit it off that my dad would fire him! Now that it's worked out, Tom is still saying my dad owes him one for getting me out of his house!
So, how do you celebrate 34 fabulous, successful years? You do it in style. The night of May 19th brought together all of my brothers and sisters, as well as people from all over the country, to come and pay tribute to a legend - my dad. There were people from the beginning right through to the end of his illustrious career. Who came you ask? Why, I'll tell you!
Jim Raby & his wife Jeannie, Jim Black & his wife Mary were friends from years ago who share special memories with my parents of a fun trip to Mexico - oh the stories they tell!
Murray Smith & his wife Crystal as well as Woody Goodson also made an appearance. The aforementioned Mel Katz & his wife Elsie drove up from Richmond. Al Derenzo, and Mike Logan both came up from Florida. Mark Brown & his wife Lynette drove down from Connecticut. When Mark became a District Manager, he lived down the road from our family in Florida. Now he lives in the same town that we lived in 20 years ago! Another regional manager, Brad Doss & his wife Christine were there. There were 2 former Assistants to the Regional Manager (ARMs) Dan Bellair and & John Hooten who was responsible for putting the party together. And many managers who used to work for my dad came from near and far for his final hoorah: Mark Iverson, Scott Sagester (a fellow Spider!), Katina Owens & her husband Scott, Joe McCoy, Jonathan Kashouty, Gary Malmstrom, Scott Kinas, Sean Griffith, Tony Anderson, John Melvic & his wife Leslie, Frank Sodnicar & his wife Carla, Rory & Debbie White and Mirella & Seth Berger & their 7 week old daughter Katerina.
It was a night full of laughter and tears. There were a number of speeches, and someone noted later that for a tribute to a really funny guy, there were quite a number of serious speeches. It goes to show the full spectrum that is my dad. This is the guy who can find a pun nearly everywhere he turns, but he also cries at the end of "Highway to Heaven". I have always been proud to call him my dad. I was so moved to see how many lives he touched in his career with Pfizer, and how many people are proud to call him their friend.