There are so many things about Walter – “Walt” to his many friends – that we will miss. His wit; his wisdom. His charm. His philanthropy. His brilliance as a chemist and teacher. His benevolence as an employer. His entrepreneurial spirit. His courage in the face of life-threatening illness. His little laugh.
As do we all, Walt had his faults. He could be a bit overbearing at times, impulsive, quick-tempered, even devious. Yet, let us not focus on such things so soon after our friend’s passing.
Instead, let us talk about a man who so passionately loved his family: wife Skyler, son Walter Jr., daughter Holly. Providing for them, always, and in any way possible, was his fierce priority.
Let us talk about a man who befriended a struggling former student, Jesse Pinkman, and became Jesse’s mentor and confidant. I shudder to imagine the wrack and ruin that might have befallen young Jesse without Walt’s faithful stewardship.
Yes, and a man who so valued his relationship with his brother- and sister-in-law, Hank and Marie Schrader. A man who touched so many lives in so many ways.
And, perhaps most important, a man who put our great state of New Mexico on the map in ways we never could have imagined.
Here, friends, is a question we should ask ourselves after any human being’s passing. Has he or she made the world a better place in which to live?
Details here, I confess, are a bit murky. But I have come to understand that Walt, in the years, months, days and hours before his passing, somehow managed to rid our community of some terribly dangerous and unscrupulous individuals.
In order of disappearance: Krazy 8, Emilio Koyama, Hector Salamanca, Tyrus Kitt, Gustavo Fring, Mike Ehrmantrout, Jack Welker, Lydia Rodarte-Quayle. And, I’m told dozens more terribly bad people are gone from our community as a result of Walt’s vigilance and do-it-now attitude.
I can’t help notice that Walt’s family members – Skyler, Walter Jr. and little Holly – are not in attendance this morning. Perhaps they were caught in traffic; we all know how difficult it is to negotiate Paseo del Norte at I-25 these days.
Marie, Walt’s sister-in-law, also is not here. Undoubtedly, she is still mourning the death of her husband, Hank, killed shortly before Walt’s death, while performing his duties as a DEA agent.
Nor could Walt’s longtime friends and former business associates, Elliott and Gretchen Schwartz, tear themselves away from their many commitments in order to be here.
In fact, I understand that the three of you seated in front of me are here by mistake. The Jones service, in fact, is over in the main chapel.
Regardless, thanks for coming. I’m sure Walt, wherever he is, thanks you as well. He was that kind of guy.
I must say that the poor attendance this morning is difficult to fathom. Walt’s obituary notice was prominently displayed in the Albuquerque Journal, his many contributions to our community there for everyone to see.
As I noted earlier, the man did have his faults. There are those among us, perhaps, who choose to dwell on those rather than his many exemplary qualities and thus, elected not to be here this morning.
But one thing, I firmly believe, is crystal clear to everyone.
Walter White will be sorely missed – especially from 7-8 p.m. on Sunday nights.