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Al McGill's Eulogy of Pat Linehan
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Post Al McGill's Eulogy of Pat Linehan Posted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:12 pm
Tom Donovan
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This is what I said at the Mass today at St.Martin's in Amityville. His son spoke also and he was on target all the time in speaking about his Dad. Wish I could send that. Could you make this available to a the lifeguards. I, of course, don't have all the addresses you do.
al


-------- Begin forwarded message --------
Subject: Pat
Date: 12/31/69 07:00:00 PM
From: "ALAN ALANMCGILL" <amcgill@optonline.net>
To: "amcgill@optonline.net amcgill@optonline.net" <amcgill@optonline.net>

He has been my pal for close to 40 years. That is a long time to be pals. He always looked at me as his "training Lieutenant" because that was our initial contact at Jones Beach and he always thought of himself as a lifeguard, because he told me, once you were a lifeguard you were always a lifeguard. I thought of him as my mentor and one of those few people in my life that I should model myself after. I even tried to get closer to a religion because I saw what it meant to him. He told me that he had made a promise to his Mom before she died and that promise was a guide for his life and that was the goodness I found in him - despite some tyrannical moments prompted by disagreements with others - he acted with that promise in mind. He could be fiery but he would also be aware that he was going beyond what the matter required. With the same intensity he brought to those matters he would also go the extra mile in the care and concern for others. He often expressed consideration for some fellow golfer or lifeguard and I would say, " I think that is more than the guy deserves." He said he knew what it was to be in their position and I would wonder what he had gone through that was similar. It meant that he would take the time to put himself in that guy's shoes and try to fathom a way out of whatever the quandary was. It meant that he had to have compassion - and that is another of Pat's great attributes. He would always take the time to go beyond the appearance and plumb the depths of humans and the positions they get themselves into.
He was a family man and some of the times of family togetherness and/or turmoil would come each year when they all went to Woodloch. I would listen to some of the tales he told about the parade and the family "decorations' they would don for the competition and wonder if they would all be going the next year. I sometimes expressed my wonder aloud and he would say, "Of course, we're all going. It was a great time and we buried the competition."
Further examples of his love of family was the attention he and Jane gave to the children's education. I loved the story he told about going to one Parent's night and asking about Erin's grade in science (I think) and being told that there was a chance for Erin to retake the test she hadn't done well on. He mentioned it to Erin on their trip home and Erin told both of them that wasn't true. Pat said he hit the brakes and did a U-ey on the highway to go back and check with the teacher. I'm certain that Colleen and Patrick have been subjected to the same scrutiny. Who else do you know had three kids grow up in a middle-class home and send three kids to Ivy League schools, be valedictorians, hold important chairs in the orchestra or be important sport figures in their schools? And they have all gone on to hold rewarding, important jobs. As I mentioned he loved his Mother and no less his Father who was the patriarch of the family in his years. After Pat Sr.s death the mantle fell to his son and his brother and sister always found him ready to involve himself in any matter.. And now I believe that responsibility and burden will come to the brother he loved so much, Tim.
His father often said, "If it wasn't for Pat, this club would be done for." I, as usual, disagreed with him and thought there were a number of people who would step up to do the job. His father noted my continuing ignorance and, as usual forgave me for it but further detailed the importance of his son in the organizing and running of the club - it had to do with commitment, a plan for the future, and trying to satisfy the majority of the group. I had to agree that he always kept the majority of the members in mind when it came to deciding which direction the club should go in. It was never about him - although he loved it when Anastasia labeled him, Beloved.
Jane was the love of his life and when they had one of their anniversary celebrations at the Rockaway Hunt Club a number of years ago someone joked that Jane would go home with Lenny and Jane, without hesitation, said, "That's a lot better than my other prospect." I visited one time before Thanksgiving and Jane was in the midst of arranging table and chairs -with Pat's help - for the overwhelming number of guests they were going to have the next day. There were chairs and tables in the dining room and the living room and there was no room to get in to many of the chairs. I asked about that and Jane said simply, 'Oh, they'll make it." She has exhibited the same demeanor and responsibility in the care of her Mother and the attention to her husband.
I will miss him greatly. He was the resource I would turn to if my computer was acting poorly, when my mother needed to get into a nursing home, when a scam was hatching involving my grandson. We would often talk about our concord in political matters, and the continuing trevails of Tiger or some movie. He loved movies and I had given him a DVD of a movie I liked one time and when we met at Absolute Mario's for dinner he gave it back to me and said, "I didn't look at it so don't ask me any questions." I asked him why and he said, "I thought it was a message movie and I don't like message movies." I mentioned "Gunga Din" and "All the Presidents Men" and asked if he escaped those too and he said, "No, but they were good and went beyond the message." How can he be gone? He never will be as long as there are friends and family to tell stories that begin, "Oh, did you know Pat Linehan, well, one time he I were..." and continue with his exploits, his care and concern for others or his love of family. I am better as we all are for having him in our lives.

IN 1985 I DEMOTED MYSELF FROM COORDINATOR TO ANY JOB I COULD FIND OPEN AND ENDED UP AT SUNKEN MEADOW FOR ABOUT A MONTH AND THEN GOT TO WORK WITH PAT AT RM3 WHERE HE HAD ALWAYS BEEN. WE WOULD SIT THE STAND SOMETIMES AND PHILOSOPHIZE ABOUT THE OCEAN, POLITICS, THE UNION NEGOTIATIONS, AND OTHER LIFEGUARDS. WE BOTH BEGAN PLAYING GOLF AT THAT TIME AND WHENEVER A ROUND WAS OVER AT SAYVILLE OR MILLPOND HE WOULD ASK ME IF I WANTED TO HIT A 'BUCKET'. I DIDN'T AND HE DID. HE GOT BETTER AND I DIDN'T. WE RODE TO MYRTLE BEACH SEVERAL TIMES WITH THE DORIA BROTHERS AND MANY TIMES WITH JUST PAT, LEN AND ME TRAVERSING THE MILES. RIDING HOME ONE TIME WE LISTENED TO THE BROADCAST OF THE ATTACK ON IRAQ. LTHERE ARE TOO MANY MEMORIES AND STORIES ABOUT MYRTLE AND FLYING UP TO ALBANY TO GET RETIREMENT BENEFITS FOR LIFEGUARDS, OPENING THE BEACH, EXCHANGING VISITS TO OUR PLACES IN FLORIDA. HE WILL NEVER BE GONE FOR ME FOR I LOVED HIM.
That is what I read to him in the hospital and he said he liked it. BUT THERE ARE TWO QUICK STORIES I WANT TO TELL. PAT WAS A MATH TEACHER AND HE TOLD ME THAT IN HIS CLASS ON FRIDAYS THERE WOULD BE A QUIZ ABOUT THE WEEK'S WORK. HE SAID HE DIVIDED THE CLASS INTO CHRISTIANS AND JEWS. I SAID HE COULD GET IN A LOT OF TROUBLE DOING THAT. HE SAID, "NEVER. THE JEWS ALWAYS WON."
THE OTHER TALE I HAVE TO TELL IS ABOUT THE EMBRACING ACCEPTANCE OF THE END OF HIS LIFE. I WAS STUNNED WHEN HE TOLD ME OVER THE PHONE THAT BY THE WEEKS END HE WOULD BE GONE. I SAID WHAT IS 'GONE'? HE SAID, "MY SYSTEM IS RUNNING OUT." WE VISITED. I READ HIM THE EULOGY YOU JUST HEARD AND TOLD HIM HE WOULD BE LIKE HUCK FINN WHO WOULD PRETEND TO BE DEAD AND GO TO HIS FUNERAL SO HE COULD HEAR ALL THE NICE, GOOD THINGS SAID ABOUT HIM AFTER HE DIED. ONLY ONCE IN THOSE LONG MINUTES DID HE GET TEARY WHILE I HAD A HARD TIME GETTING THROUGH IT. I TOLD HIM I COULDN'T BELIEVE I WOULDN'T SEE HIM ANYMORE. HE CITED A SAINT WHO ACCEPTED HIS END AND HE WAS USING THAT AS HIS GUIDE. I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYONE WHO HAD A GREATER, PROFOUNDER BELIEF THAT HE IS GOIING TO A BETTER PLACE AND THAT HE WILL SEE A LOT OF HIS GOLF BUDDIES, LIFEGUARD PALS, FRATERNITY BROTHERS, HIS MOM AND DAD AND WILL ACCEPT THE JUDGMENT OF GOD. HE WAS READY TO GO THERE AND READY TO WELCOME THOSE LOVED ONES WHO FOLLOW.
I AM BETTER, AS WE ALL ARE, FOR HAVING HAD HIM IN OUR LIVES.
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