From the Ancient Egyptians who buried their Pharaohs with possessions they might need in the afterlife, to the Ancient Greeks who believed that there was one last journey in the afterlife that included being ferried across the river Styx by an eternal boatman, different cultures celebrate and mourn the passing of a friend or family member in almost as many unique ways as there are different cultures.
Just about a year ago, Shamrock remembered the passing of one of our own in a way that’s unique to the Shamrock culture. It definitely was among the grandest wakes I’ve ever attended, and included the celebration of the spirit of a man whose passion for life exceeded that of any person I’ve ever met. Knowing Chris Hunter was like knowing how to live a life of joy.
I first met Chris several years ago, when he was a supplier to our company. I was so impressed with his larger-than-life personality and his ability to spread joy to everyone he met, that I asked him to join Shamrock.
Unfortunately, lovable Chris became fatally ill a few years after he joined Shamrock. When we found out about Chris’s illness, we wanted to make a grand contribution to his life and the legacy of joy he would be remembered for.
The Shamrock family came together to help. Instead of our usually large Christmas Party to thank employees, family, friends, vendors and suppliers, we would have a Chris Hunter Party and establish a Chris Hunter Tribute for his wife and two children. Each of us had a different role. Some would contact vendors, invite them to join us, and ask that they make some donation for a Silent Auction. Some would, likewise, contact local businesses. Others contacted Chris’s family and friends from around the country, and asked them to join us in this celebration.
Several hundred people who were touched by Chris’s life joined us. We laughed, we cried, we told Chris Hunter stories. Our Silent Auction raised $80,000, which we offered as a life-affirming gift to the Hunter family. Chris was with us in full spirit. He passed away a week before the party.
Winston Churchill said, “I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” Sounds just like something Chris would’ve said. We all miss you, Chris.