by Bill Tolone
“For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ who is your life appears, then you, too, will appear with him in glory.” (Colossians 3:3-4)
Floyd Schuler is a special person who came on Wednesdays and Fridays to Clare House for food. But, while he stood in line, he gave to others much more than he received. Floyd passed away in January of this year due to a massive stroke. Assuming that you knew his name, all that anyone would know about his passing is a small listing in the Funerals Pending section of the Pantagraph. No obituary.
I came to know Floyd over the past 2-3 years as one of the most upbeat, optimistic, cheerful and supportive persons imaginable. He truly "connected" with people in such a friendly way. He would ask where his friend, Mike, was if he couldn't see him in line. He had a special friend, Mary, who he encouraged to take books from me. I learned that Mary would read these books to Floyd. One day, I saw Floyd sitting on the concrete stairs in front of Clare House with a harmonica. I asked Floyd if he played and he modestly said that he did, or at least he did in the past. A few minutes later, I heard harmonica music and I knew that Floyd was sharing one of his gifts with us.
Floyd was so proud to wear his Cubs hat and jacket. We talked about baseball a lot and he was so optimistic that this and every year would be the "Cubs year." I told him I was from the south side of Chicago, so he immediately knew I was a fan of the "other team." But, this didn't affect our conversations in any way, except to make them more fun and enjoyable.
I know that others in line at Clare House were saddened to hear of Floyd's passing. They remember him as a nice man, a very good man. One person said she called him "Grampa."
With Easter, we are aware of Jesus' Resurrection and His promise of resurrection for all of us. Now that Floyd has passed, he has experienced his resurrection, as Jesus promised. You can be sure that Floyd's memory is encouraging others to keep the faith. That, no matter how tough life can be, there is hope. Floyd would be the first to remind us of this.