I had met the deceased on one previous occasion, at the funeral of his wife of 50 plus years.
He passed a week ago, aged 92.
I attended in support of, and out of respect for his daughter, someone I respect greatly, a courageous and giving lady whose friendship I value.
I heard the story of a Gentleman who lived a life worth aspiring to, not for the wealth he acquired, the prose he produced, the goals he kicked or the masterpieces he wrote.
He had clearly developed ideals, priorities and standards. He lived committed to these, he was unrelenting.
I learned of a work ethic chiselled out of the challenges facing Europe in the immediate post second world war era. He never wavered from this ethic, he set an example, always.
He was determined to get on with his life after his much adored wife passed away in August 2016, learning how to use a microwave and make on-line purchases via eBay.
Right to the very end he maintained an interest in the world around us and one of his final conversations included debating the outcome of the French Presidential election.
I heard the story of a Gentleman who lived his life how he wanted to and with a commitment to an ethic he believed in. He fought for and delivered security and safety for his Family, his overarching objective.
I heard the story of a Gentleman of whom it can be said, will always be remembered, loved and who made a difference.
What more can one aspire to?