A dad’s memory of his son

A dad’s memory of his son



Edward Lewis Hauck

July 6, 1955 – June 7, 2002


The reflection below was read by my father at my brother’s memorial service in 2002.  Ed and Debbie will soon have their first grandchild and I want to be sure this essay is shared with all of his legacy so as not to forget one of the truly great guys — my brother, Ed, and their dad and grandpa.

As a young science teacher, I recall discussions with my students concerning ways in which humans differ in our abilities from the rest of the animal kingdom.  The ability to laugh, including at ones’ self, and the superior gift of memory, especially long term memory, are two that are very important to me at this time.  My memory of Ed Hauck begins with his birth at a Fifth Air Force hospital in Nagoya, Japan.  His heritage includes Czech and Scotch second generation grandparents as well as German and Welsh grandparents who ancestors migrated to North America when our country was still a collection of colonies.

Ed was preceded in birth by his brother Mike, who was born twenty months earlier.  Two years later a younger brother, Tom, was born and the family was completed with sister, Tracy was born.  Their mother, the former Katie Hovorka died in February 1996.

Ed grew up in Medicine Lodge, Kansas — a rural County seat town along the Oklahoma border in south central Kansas.  Significant time during these growing up years was spent in Boulder, Colorado while I was attending graduate school.  These two environments seemed to suit our young family well and the events and escapades that unfolded during those years now provide us with rich personal stories — stories that seem to grow and get better each time they are shared.

Graduating from Medicine Lodge High School in 1973, Ed joined his older brother at Kansas State University, where both were members of the ATO fraternity, Ed majoring in electrical engineering.  In 1977 Ed and Debra Ann Comfort were married.  Upon graduation the following year they moved to Boulder County and began Ed’s career in Computer Engineering.  In the years that followed their three sons were born:  Todd, Christopher and Jeremy.

To me, Ed’s strengths were highlighted by his sense of enthusiasm as his anticipation built up for a project or upcoming event.  A backyard bar-b-q, homemade chili and cinnamon rolls, 4th of July and Halloween extravaganzas with Jeremy, model rocket launching or audio and computer projects with Todd, athletics with all threes sons, but especially with Chris, home improvement adventures with Debbie, events at work and with the Niwot Youth sports are but a few examples, large and small that benefited from Ed’s approach.  As the parent of a younger Ed, I saw this anticipation frequently reach expectations that were so high that crash and burn was the only possible outcome.  Crushed but never broken, Ed learned from these experiences. In a more sophisticated form this trait remained a part of Ed’s charm to the end.

I opened my remarks identifying the unique ability of long term memory that we all possess and I have tried to reach into mine a little and maybe stir yours.  It was an English poet that stated that it is this gift of memory that enables us to enjoy a rose in December.  At this time it is easy to have dark and cold December like thoughts but fortunately Ed has provided us with a wealth of roses.  I intend to enjoy those roses and know you will also.  God bless one of the really good guys, Ed Hauck.