Hearing of the death of a loved one or a friend or even an acquaintance is always difficult. I find myself contemplating their loss and feeling an emptiness that is difficult to comprehend or describe. Fortunately, time heals all, to some extent. Those that we have lost shift in time from a hurting memory to a loving memory. The anguish that death causes for family and friends is, at times, almost unbearable. I find that with each occurrence I have a range of emotions, depending on the person and how well I knew them. Sometimes I merely think that it is sad to hear of their passing, and sometimes I feel true grief. Recently, on the same day, I heard of the deaths of two who had touched my life and the news brought me true grief. I wish to share these memories of them with you.
Kenneth R. Schneider wove in and out of my life from the time I was a teen until only a few years ago. I was in high school with Ken, who was two years ahead of me. Certainly a Sophomore was not in the circle of friends of a Senior, but I knew him and I knew of him. The next time I saw him was when he was teaching a class in the Police Academy. He apparently also remembered me as he singled me out and mentioned, to the entire class, that he had once dated my sister. I, of course, tried to be one with my chair. I had encounters with Ken off and on throughout my police career and all the memories of these encounters are positive. I worked for him in his last few years before he retired from the Cincinnati Police Department. On a few occasions I was summoned to his office to discuss something I said or something I did or did not do. I always felt that I was treated fair and left his office a better person for the meeting. Ken Schneider was a great guy, an excellent police officer, and an exemplary role model. Although I had lost touch with him in recent years, I would occasionally hear of him from a mutual acquaintance and this would call up one or more good memories, but never any bad ones, for there were no bad memories. I know for a fact that I am a better man for knowing him and I know for a fact that this world is not as great as it used to be because he is gone. Farewell Ken.
Ingrid Weber and I became acquainted in 1991 when we worked together on the same shift in Cincinnati Police District One. I would have to say, to be honest, that Ingrid was a person that I would consider as a professional friend, not a close friend. That is to say that we worked together, but we did not socialize, and our families never met. But that is not to say that knowing her only as a “work friend” lessened my regards for her. I can not think of a time that a chance encounter was not met with a smile and a kind word. It was always a pleasure to see her both during my sworn career or my civilian career. She was an excellent example of an excellent police officer. I wish now that I had taken time to get to know her better, to socialize with her, and to know her family and for her to know mine. But I will always remember her kind smile. I am so very glad to have been fortunate to have her in my life and I will miss her. Farewell Ingrid.
There is an old saying that only the good die young. The passing of Ken and Ingrid are proof positive of this. I know that I am better for having known both of them. We all take away something from every person that touch our lives, sometimes it is good and sometimes it is not. If we are lucky, the good will outweigh the bad in the long run. Thank you Ken and Ingrid for your part in keeping my personal good/bad scale tipped to the side of good. May the perpetual light shine upon both of you. I will see you when I get there.