A Celebration of Life

Eugene Grant

There’s a book of adjectives that I draw upon to describe our friend Eugene Grant, who passed away recently, some three months before his 100th birthday. The word “giant” comes to mind.  In physical terms, it would be an exaggeration, as Gene was medium in height. Yet his stature was gigantic. This heft was in part due to his encyclopedic mastery of facts. No need for the internet when Gene was around.

One might also refer to him as a pillar of the community in view of his interest and support of many worthy causes, especially arts and culture. But “pillar” might be too dry a word for a man of such lighthearted joshing as to introduce me as his niece. While I reveled in the warmth of this special title, I always wondered exactly how many nieces there were. Was there an army of nieces?

Another word I use to describe Gene is “dapper.” He may, for all we know, have been born with pin-striped jammies and a bow tie instead of a silver spoon. At his 95th birthday at Quisuisana in Maine, Gene expounded on the secret of life, and I quote: “This is a celebration of luck and mazel. The rule in life is to be lucky, and you have nothing to do with it. Nobody is able to say he was a self-made person, only that he was lucky throughout his life.” Gene’s life was truly a century-long celebration of life.

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