Remembering Gerry Stockhausen, SJ (1949-2016)
It’s two years today since Gerry Stockhausen, SJ died. So many folks remember him today – family, Jesuit companions & classmates, dear friends from St. Louis, Pine Ridge, SD, Berkeley, CA, Ann Arbor, MI, Omaha, NE, Detroit, MI, and Washington, DC. Wherever this good man went, he touched people’s lives and opened doors to friendship.
Many of his Jesuit friends knew him as “the Stockman,” or “Stock.” This was the guy whose weight never varied but 4 pounds since 1967, who tanned in about 10 minutes, who was the king of slalom skiing in his neon blue Speedo, whose athletic abilities in all kinds of sports stood out, who played the guitar and sang church music, folks music, and such. Here was the man of so few words, a person could get lost in waiting for… him… to… say… some… thing… else…….. or not.
Many others knew him as Gerry. What I discovered was that Gerry could – didn’t mean he did this all the time – he could talk and talk and talk with women. How sweet. One told me that when they had supper once and she wasn’t feeling well, he talked her arm off during dinner. “What the…!!!”
Gerry / Stock was damn smart, a caring administrator, a strong faculty member, a perspicacious president of University of Detroit-Mercy, a “velvet hammer” type preacher, and a well-organized leader of the process of nine Jesuit provinces merging into four.
Geez, what a loss.
Here’s two videos of what I said about him last night (1/11/18) at a book reading. My colleague and friend, Peg Flahive surprised me by recording this part. The first 30-second video is the dedication to Gerry in my new book, “I Want to See.” The second is a story about receiving his cremains before his funeral.
Dang, looks like I’ll have to post video #2 on Facebook. Check it out! –roc,sj
You may have to crank up your volume to hear it.