Gil’s daughter, Colleen, has asked that we post this personal tribute. As she says, “My heart’s desire is that people will be inspired to know that Fa was not just wonderful at hypnotism, he was wonderful to us.”
A Tribute to Fa
Today we celebrate an amazing 85 years well-lived with your graduation to eternity. I want share how wonderful a father you have been.
I’ve written this in the present tense because your life is not over. It’s now continuing on a different plane.
It’s a tremendous privilege to be the daughter of a great man, and even more so to be the daughter of a good man. You have been both a great man and a good man.
Many men who experience great success in life don’t manage to create the same success within their own families. You did. You were a wonderful husband to Mom for 47 years. You made her happy just by being who you are. She delights in you and so do I. I’m edified, strengthened and inspired by how much you love and adore Mom, how extraordinarily beautifully you’ve provided for her, and how you’ve always empowered and encouraged her to express all of her wonderful gifts to the fullest. You’ve given me the same gift.
It’s a tremendous privilege to be the daughter of a great man, and even more so to be the daughter of a good man. You have been both a great man and a good man. You’ve always been kind, generous and loving. You’ve gotten it right where your family is concerned. For this I bless your name.
You are the Great American Success Story. Your life is what men dream about in far away places when they hear the name “America”. They know there’s a place where they can go, start at the bottom as you did and arrive in time at great success through hard work, determination and the grace of God.
I feel the deepest admiration for your life’s work. You’ve devoted yourself wholeheartedly to the service of others.
You were born into an Irish ghetto in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 28, 1924. When you were 5 the stock market crashed sending the world into the Great Depression. By 16 you were on your own. You served during World War II in the Pacific Theatre with the U.S. Navy. We’re so proud of you.
I feel the deepest admiration for your life’s work. You’ve devoted yourself wholeheartedly to the service of others. You’ve set a radiant example for Mom, me, my husband Jess and our sons Michael and Mark. In our own lives we stand upon the shoulders of a giant. The view is inspirational.
You’ve provided us with so many happy memories such as our Christmas trips to Hawaii and to Sequoia National Park each August where we’d laugh for hours while enjoying being together amidst stupendous beauty. You yourself are a giant Sequoia.
Thank you for all our travels. One of the wonderful gifts you and Mom have given to me is the love of cultures.
You loved jazz and especially the blues. I loved riding with you as a little girl on Saturday errands when we’d sing in the car
Oh when the saints
Go marching in
Oh when the saints go marching in
Oh I want to be in that number
When the saints go marching in
More than anything, I want to thank you for encouraging me to be in that number.
I will always love you and continue to celebrate your shining example. I will feast upon your memory. I will strive to live up to the honor and joy of having you for my father.
You are my dear Fa.