Toughest fella I ever knew, Max Zeman, my grandfather, passed away this weekend just 9 weeks short of his 100th birthday. For somebody who witnessed the worst of what the 20th century had to offer, he managed to hold onto one of the world’s best, warmest laughs and a firm appreciation for the little things. I’m talking about 5 feet of steely will that survived Nazis, sniper bullets, military hospitals, infections, displaced person camps – and a half century of Minnesota Vikings disappointments.
Below, two brief passages from the eulogy I wrote for him. The first concerns the sniper bullet that disabled him outside of Dresden at the end of World War II, and then the aftermath, including the discovery that his family had perished in the Holocaust. The second concerns what mattered most to him. If you knew Max, you loved him. If you didn’t, you would have. He’s going to be missed. Continue reading