Alec DiZazzo (1920-2010)

Alec DiZazzo—Dad—was not a public man. He held no office, commanded no men, and made no important new discoveries or inventions. Dad’s life was a private life, centered on the homey duties of husband, father, and friend, not the stuff of a public eulogy; nor shall I offer one. We are, rather, gathered to give Alec Christian burial and pray for the repose of his soul. And yet some few words of moderate praise are surely not out of order.

Dad knew troubles in this life yet bore them with good cheer. His sister Helen was born with an affliction that meant she would never marry and would die young. Blow one. Alec volunteered to protect our nation and served honorably in World War Two, was shot—nearly died—and suffered wounds that, for the rest of his life, would be a daily reminder of that great conflict. Blow two. While in his country's service, for nearly six years, he saved himself for his sweetheart back in Lawrence, who likewise waited for his return. They married upon his return, only to see her die ten weeks later. Blow three. In 1951, after initially saying he could never risk the pain of loss again, he remarried. Alec and Josie had two daughters. Mary, my incomparable wife, and Cheryl, sadly born with afflictions that doomed her to never have a normal life. Blow four. Years later, merely two weeks short of their 50th wedding anniversary, Alec lost his beloved Josie. Blow five.

Alec was a devoted son, a loyal brother, a faithful husband, a loving father, and an example, to every man and woman he met, of how, even after blow upon blow, life is still a gift to be enjoyed, cherished, and offered up for God's inscrutable purposes. Perhaps the priest here can tell you better than I whether extraordinary practice of the ordinary virtues of everyday life can be a mark of sainthood. As for me, I believe Alec is in Heaven now, and that I may continue, as I have done so often when faced with a difficult decision, to turn to Mary and say, let's ask your father, he always knows what to do.

--David Trumbull