Thursday, July 03, 2008

Goodbye Ken Reich, We'll Miss You

After laying our friend Ken Reich to rest, I departed Mount Sinai in the sweltering heat and turned my cell back on to see how many important calls I had missed. Before I could open the first text message I received another phone call from a colleague asking how the funeral was?

For a moment I pondered my answer, should I tell him we were all wailing and overcome with grief, isn’t this how a funeral should be, I thought to myself? Or should I tell him the truth, because Ken’s services were festive, funny, informative, and sad, I choose to tell him it was OK.

Arriving ten minutes prior to the start of the service I landed a seat in the very last row of pews, as the room was filled to capacity with family and friends. Folding chairs filled the void at the rear of the room, but they too would be filled with an overflow of people.

The large crowd was a reflection of the impact Ken had on the people around him.

After the Rabbi completed the prayers Ken’s friend of forty-three years shared the many experiences they had shared, from their working relationship to just having fun. Gave many of us that did not know Ken personally a much broader insight into the man, and his great sense of humor.

A former colleague from the Los Angeles Times shared how Ken would triple check sources before submitting his articles for publication, and reminded the crowd he’s still employed at the newspaper.

But what I found most touching was the speech, written by David and Kathy Reich, delivered by David regarding their father. The children shared the experiences from very young ages to adults, which had us laughing and crying. There was much love in the room this afternoon as we all showed Ken how much we cared for him.

This was a very good and fitting funeral for a friend.

Kevin Rodericks View

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