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Day 21: Write Your Own Eulogy

September 15, 2011

The Art of Manliness post

Cissy liked to say that she was born on the pen*s of the rooster-shaped country of China and if you looked at a map of China with a bit of imagination, you would see that she had a point. This tells you something about the person Cissy was – blunt but honest. She visited the land of her birth quite frequently for business and pleasure, but she loved the land that took her in and the city of Chicago in particular.

She loved Chicago because of the University of Chicago where she studied under Dennis Hutchinson, Ralph Lerner, and Lauren Berlant and received her bachelor’s degree. Cissy was a student speaker at her convocation and she called her speech a love letter to her school and its people. Even though she left Chicago after graduation and did not return for quite a few years, she kept Chicago and the University of Chicago close to her heart. Cissy was an active alumna, interviewing prospective students year after year, giving generously to the College, and serving on the Alumni Board of Governors.

But it was in Austin, TX that she sought her calling in the law, attending the University of Texas Law School. Having served four distinguished and exciting years in Navy JAG, Cissy spent a few quiet years in private practice before becoming a Supreme Court clerk. These years formed the basis of her career in the law and as a judge and teacher later on.

As you can tell, Cissy was dedicated to higher education and public institutions. But there was one institution, both private and public, to which she was committed above all others – the institution of marriage. Cissy loved her spouse and children fiercely and took great joy in being a mother and making a home. She also loved her family, mentoring her younger brother Nick, who attended UT Austin with her and honored her parents, Mei and Peigen, by being an attentive daughter while they lived and donating to the sciences in their memory.

Although many are here today because of the work she did as an alumna of the Universities of Chicago and Texas and the law she influenced as a federal judge and professor, more of us are here today because Cissy lived each day of her life mindful of what it means to truly and actively love one’s family and one’s friends. We have lost an excellent public servant and a most wonderful friend.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Cookie Monster permalink
    September 17, 2011 7:27 pm

    I love you, GB.

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