Henry Edward Goebel - "Unc" to my brother and me - died Thursday, September 25, 2008 in Rochester, New York, well past his 97th birthday. He was the youngest son of Clara Marie Steinmetz and Heinrich Göbel, both German immigrants, and my mother's brother. He was an extraordinary man. If I had to use only four words to describe him, they would be "never a discouraging word". He was my uncle, my friend and my mentor. I caddied for him when he belonged to Brook Lea Country Club, and we golfed together in later years. I'd answer the phone and hear "Hey Rob, want to go hit some shots?"; he knew a couple of par three courses, so we'd take a 9 iron and putter and go try to make par. Or I'd hear "Hey Rob, want to go bowl a few games?", so we'd meet at the lanes on West Henrietta Road. He had a game where low score won; just pick off the 7 and 10 pins each frame for a perfect score of 20. A gutter ball was worth 10. Try it sometime. Or I'd hear "Hey Rob, want to go swimming?", and we'd be in the University of Rochester pool - free because he was an alumni.
I wrote about him in my blog in October 2006.
Every day was a new adventure to him. I'll miss hearing him say, when I call, "I'm vertical", and I know a bright light in our lives is gone. But, ah, such wonderful memories!