Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Tribute to Thomas J. Holdych of Seattle University

This morning -- Easter morning -- Thomas J. Holdych passed away from ALS, "Lou Gehrig's disease."

In my life I have known a few special people. Tom was one of those people. (Tom and I taught together at the University of Puget Sound Law School, long before it became Seattle University's law school.)

Tom was special in many ways.

He had impeccable personal integrity. At UPS Law School he never worried about the consequences to himself when he decided to do what he thought was the right thing.

Tom was a great teacher. He devoted hours and hours to class preparation. He always taught with great rigor. And he cared for his students and spent immense amounts of time with them. His students feared his rigor -- and they adored him.
I will always be grateful that Tom encouraged me to teach with as much rigor as I could -- regardless of the possible consequences.
Tom was devoted to his family. He has a wonderful family. He loved his family deeply.

Tom was devoted to his church and his faith. This unnerved some of his law school colleagues. But Tom's religious faith and devotion would not be shaken. And, regardless of his faith, he treated everyone and every argument with generosity, with courtesy, and with an open mind. (His friendship with me proves his open-mindedness; I was not religious back in those days at UPS and I did not have have the admirable personal qualities he did.).
Tom was living proof that scholarship and religion can co-exist and prosper.
I shall miss Tom. He meant a lot to me. He meant a lot to a lot of people.

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