A Tribute to Wally

Walter ‘Wally’ Comer was my step father-in-law, who died from mesothelioma. I said a few words.     

Round is what comes to mine when you think of Wally. It was the first thing you noticed, from the curve of his sparsely-haired head to the paunch of his belly. Roundness, which made him easy to meet, easy to know, easy to like. The half-circle of a smile on a bespectacled face. The curved muscles which formed sloping shoulders that told of a strength not otherwise apparent. The circular hitch of his gait.



Roundness of character.

Honest. Hardworking. Moral. True.

Not a cross thread in his fiber. You knew where you stood; you knew what he liked.

Simple in a good way, he lived small. But he loved big.

Photos of his grand-babies encircled him always. The grandkids themselves never failed to make him smile; he showed him his love in decibels of laughter. And his love was big enough to include us all. Unfailingly. Unreservedly. You could feel it. It poured from him ‘like orange from a pumpkin,’ to use a phrase he might have said.



Roundness of faith. For years he circled, seeking truth, trying ideas, testing belief. In the end, he found his God, found his comfort. In the end he found his peace.

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,’ reminds us that life is a circle. Let Walter’s life remind us that the circle can be significant, full, and beautiful.