President's Corner

This past Monday (13 April) SHARE lost a special friend.

Charlie Lyman, who served for many years as IBM Liaison to SHARE, succumbed to lung cancer after a valiant battle.

There are many in the SHARE community who knew Charlie better or over a longer period of time than I. But over the 12 years I knew him, I would be hard pressed to find something that Charlie didn’t embrace with an overwhelmingly positive outlook and enthusiasm.

So many times, Charlie said that there was no better job in the world than his role with SHARE. Even though his paycheck came from IBM, Charlie was long and strong in his loyalties to SHARE. His enthusiasm came through in the way he helped us celebrate our successes, in his eagerness to help us address our challenges, and in his skill in facilitating the relationship between the two organizations. Charlie never failed to engage with people personally (not just in a business context) and his legacy is visible at SHARE in so many ways: in the SHARE song book, in the tradition of singing Happy Birthday at the Volunteer Appreciation Lunch, in the Thursday night Sing-Along, and in the hearts and minds of the people whose lives he touched. He made many lifelong friends within our community who will miss him very much.

Charlie was also an enthusiastic musician. You may remember him as a “vocal coach” for the Sing-Along without realizing how rich was his musical life. He sang for years with the Vocal Majority, an award-winning Barbershop Quartet chorus in Dallas. If memory serves correctly, he also sang in community theater musicals in Sedona.

Charlie was enthusiastic for new adventures. Working for IBM was a real change of pace from his first successful career in the US Navy, much of it spent in submarines. After many years of calling Dallas home, he and Sue eagerly packed up and moved to Sedona, Arizona, where they built a home to their very personal tastes and specifications. And after he retired from IBM, Charlie moved on to his third career in real estate. 

Another way Charlie expressed his enthusiasm for new adventures was in travel. And he was very good at it, especially at “traveling light.” He was proud of the fact that he could travel for almost a month in what he could pack in his carry-on luggage. Waiting for checked luggage was not part of his itinerary.

Charlie was also a wine enthusiast. He had the discerning palate to enjoy the finest vintages and a streak of frugality that led him to find affordable delights for ordinary consumption.

Charlie was enthusiastic for life. Even when he lost his son to a hit-and-run driver on New Year's Eve a few years ago, he found a way to work through the pain and find his way back to his love of life.

But perhaps Charlie’s greatest enthusiasm was for his lovely wife Sue. I remember him telling me once that she was the best thing that had ever happened to him and that he was as much in love with her at that moment as on the day they married. You could see that in the way they interacted.

He tackled his battle with cancer in the same way he approached everything - with a positive outlook and a determination to succeed. Sadly, that was not enough.

There will be a memorial service for him on Friday, April 17, at St. John Vianney in Sedona, Arizona. The service will be as upbeat and happy as he was, with a barbershop quartet singing for him. Charlie will be returned to his beloved Louisiana for burial. Details of graveside services are not yet available.

A special site has been set up for those who want to leave messages or remembrances of Charlie for Sue and their daughter Joan. Point your browser to http://bowie.uchicago.edu/. You can read or comment on messages that have already been left.

If you want to leave your own story, you’ll need to follow these steps:

- Register

- You’ll get an e-mail with a password you can change.

- Login and you’ll see several different ways you can add your own post.

- Or you can leave comments about something already posted without registering, by clicking on the title of the post.

So long, special friend.  You will be missed.

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