We'll Miss You, Kirk Pamper
Inspiration comes in many forms. It may be the way one opens minds and shows you how to think a little differently or more creatively. It may be the encouragement that you are good enough to be among the best, and should seek accreditation as such. It may be the strength with which one faces the challenges of life--fair or otherwise. By any measure, Kirk Pamper was an inspirational guy.
Last year, we were thrilled to report Kirk Pamper was selected the 2006 Tommy Bright awardee. We had the pleasure of hosting Kirk several years ago for a Teleflora educational event, and it was a changing experience. He planted the idea of AIFD in Polly's mind, and mentored her through the process.
It's with great sadness we mark the passing of Kirk after a long protracted battle with a rare cancer. The following e-mail was sent by his brother to close friends, who were then to pass it along to everyone whom Kirk inspired:
Cherished friends and family,
I am sending this message of love to as many of you as I can, and realize that are many more who would want to know. Please forward this note to anyone you feel I may have inadvertently omitted.
Our beautiful loved one Kirk left our presence early this morning to begin the journey to his next calling. His sister Kris and I, his brother, were there at his side and saw that his passing was peaceful and comfortable, as we all had hoped for.
As per his wishes, his remains will be donated to the cancer research institute at the University of Tennessee and as such, there will be no immediate memorial services. But know that a plan to celebrate his life among us is being formulated, to be held in the spring (his favorite time of year) of next year. You will be kept informed of dates and locations, and I look forward to seeing and meeting many of you there.
I come away from having spent the last week with Kirk learning that there are even more friends of his that I never had the chance to meet, how amazing. His ability to find and make devoted friendships was one of his many wonderful qualities. His spirit and memory will remain alive among us all.
I am including a photo of Kirk that I took of him during a recent trip to Alaska. His smile says it all.
Peace and love to us all,
'He goes free of the earth.
The sun of his last day sets
clear in the sweetness of his liberty.
The earth recovers from his dying,
the hallow of his life remaining
in all his death leaves.
Radiances knows him. Grown lighter
than breath, he is set free
in our remembering. Grown brighter
than vision, he goes dark
into the life of the hill
that holds his peace
He's hidden among all that is,
and cannot be lost.'
Wendell Berry Openings (1969)
Kirk loved sansevierias and hostas, and had large collections of each, which will be donated to the Memphis Botanic Garden. The Memphis Botanic Garden's collections will be a little richer, just as all of us were for knowing Kirk. We've attached the photo of Kirk in Alaska below--click on the image for a larger version.
SAF published even more of Kirk's biography, and linked to a work he wrote about himself. Read the full story at http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/safwed/issues/2007-11-28/5.html.