“Celebration of Life” for Captain A.L. “Ike” Eisenhauer. October 6th 2013
HE STOLE THE SHOW
You often read about people coming back in spirit after they pass. We all know that it is a somewhat unreal or imaginary experience. This past Sunday we experienced a spirit returning to affect sixty or more people who gathered to honor a friend or loved one.
At Chalet Suzanne in Lake Wales, Florida; a somewhat fantasy like setting, a diverse collection of people met to hold a “Celebration of Life” for Captain A.L. “Ike” Eisenhauer.
In the audience were aviation oriented folks from as far away as Pennsylvania and Miami. Friends and neighbors who had only recently met this amazing personality. Church members who knew of his vocal talent and unusual thought processing of religion. Buddies from local automobile projects or political discussions. Story tellers or should I rephrase that to listeners. Ike’s stories as unbelievable as many seemed, were authentic and varied. His drinking buddies were there to add spice.
The family represented three generations of true Eisenhauers, they shared his gift of the spoken word and a caring heart worn often to close to the surface. Sure there were tears. Grown men were seen shaken by the unbelievable fact of the passing of this man who was such an important part of their life.
The women in attendance knew him as a gentle somewhat cuddly grandpa figure or a tough character who wore a subtle grin camouflaged in his Kris Kringle beard. He was alternately stern or soft, quick to state his view or silently awaiting the right time to turn the conversation’s tide.
You see throughout his colorful life Ike remained the ballast around which we all
charted our course. He could calm the seas or stir them up but always he was there if we really needed him.
So, you see we gathered this day to honor him. In spite of all the inspiring stories presented this afternoon. In the midst of this program came the music, the voice at first soft and romantic as Ike sang a love song to his wife, Patricia. Then he exploded in “When The Saints Go Marching In” as he once led the church musical group. Finally we listened to “Glory, Glory Hallelujah” and we knew that this was Ike’s show and he was indeed marching forward somewhere.