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mnischalke

Waldo Morales

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All,
Johnathen Godfrey from airmethods (who is working with Joyce Rusincovitch who I asked you all to send video to) is doing the video memorial for Wally's celebration of life service on Friday. I have sent him a lot of footage, but he is looking for more if it available. If you can e-mail him any video clips you may have, or can get, of Wally - it would really be appreciated. His e-mail address is jgodfrey@airmethods.com . He said that digital video sent to him is best in Windows Media format if you have it. Also he stated that the video will turn out better if it is uncompressed. In addition, if you have full resolution pictures you would like to have in the memorial, please e-mail them as well. He has access to the Waldo picture website, but some of those pics are not full res so if you have the full res you want put in the memorial, then e-mail it. The screens for the memorial will be large, so the higher resolution ones you have the better. He said he can handle e-mails with attachments of up to 500MB. Again, please e-mail these items immediately because he is begining work soon.

Will Stephens

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Wally's friday celebration of life was very touching for all. I have been asked by several people for a copy of the eulogy I gave during the celebration of life, so here it is. . . I'm glad I made it through the speech before I could not talk anymore.

For those of you who I have never met, I am Will Stephens – one of the other founding members of Team Tigger, and a friend of Wally and his parents for many years.
While I do not know many of you, we all share the common bond of being part of Wally's life, no part of which was small or insignificant. In fact, Wally never really did anything small – he always chose to go large instead. Waldo was really bigger than life and he had a heart to match. He was a devoted son, loyal friend, and never shied away from the chance to help people in need. In fact, his love for people was greater than any person I have ever met. Wally's life, passion, and compassion have impacted the lives of literally thousands of people from around the world. He helped people in countless ways - many that a lot of people will remember, and some that only a precious few will ever know.
He saved lives as a firefighter, E.M.T., Paramedic, and Flight medic. As a volunteer for Remote Air Medial, he jumped into remote areas and provided needed health and dental services in Tennessee and built a runway in Guyana. He paddled a Kayak in the floodwaters of Katrina looking for survivors and helped those in need in New Orleans. His compassion for others was one of his most admirable qualities. Over the past week I have seen an amazing outpouring of support from both those who knew him well, as well as those whose lives he touched for just a brief moment – All of which he was more than happy to keep in touch with, drive out to visit, provide a comforting person to talk to, give suggestions for book readings, or drag out to a party when they needed it. Frankly, it is beyond my comprehension how Wally found the time to do everything he did.
Wally was the kind of person who knew no strangers, and in fact, went out of his way to meet people, get to know them, and help them. I'm sure that is no surprise to many of you here today that you do not know many of the other people here. This is mainly because Wally was such an eclectic person.
I personally never comprehended the extent to which Wally went to live life to the fullest, and probably never will. But in the past week, I have learned that he was learning to Box so that he could volunteer at a center to keep kids out of trouble, he volunteered at the Richmond Opera to get to better understand the classical and performance scene. And, I finally learned the reason he loved to listen to Frank Sinatra - In his words, he listened to Sinatra to learn how to avoid repeating the follies of man. He even spent a lot of time reading everything from Hawthorne to how to be a best man in order to get closer to the truth of man and better himself by applying what he learned.
Wally’s great sense of adventure, outgoing personality, sense of honesty, and passion for fun were the medium for numerous unbelievable adventures for Wally and his friends. I’m sure that many of you can either remember such a time with him, or an outrageous story about somebody else’s time with him. Many of the situations, trips and stoies he was in seemed to be so out of the ordinary that it is difficult to image that they were real, but let me assure you – they were. An Icon can be defined as one who is the object of great attention and devotion. Stories of Wally’s exploits and the passion with which people hold those memories of Wally certainly make him an Icon in my eyes. Many of the stories are based on Wally’s zeal for making a difference, even if Wally did have to stand up to THE MAN to make his ideals heard. I found a poem of Wally wrote that explains why he was never afraid to speak his mind – this one he called “defiance”:

Defiance
Unleash my soul and the flow is incessant,
Through the darkness there seems to be a faint glow,
I never really understood the need to quantify,
that which is just simply wonderful,
Human drive forces us to bottle and market,
but what of singular desires,
watch me defy the thoughts of society,
which would have me turn from the light,
I defy you world!,
I defy your cold bitter overtones,
and as I walk from the shade,
and cast off the blinders,
I intend to open my eyes,
and watch my oppression dissolve,
like raindrops on rocks,

Wally’s Mom and Dad are both thankful that you are all part of and have been touched by Wally's life. I wish that I could express the honor I feel in knowing that he called me his best friend and that he was involved in my life. I find myself up here trying to find words to express the collective loss of such an impactful man. The truth of the matter is that I will miss Wally more than I can express with words. For the loss of friends, Wally wrote this poem, parts of which I would like to read called “a few of my least favorite things”

Teardrops on jumpsuits,
just wiped from my cheek,
hugs from the masses,
my soul feels so weak,
phone calls while sobbing,
the strong now so meek,
this is what happens when jumpers go in,
someone well loved,
who's left much behind,
we think of them fondly,
perhaps they were kind,
what does it matter,
what sense does it make,
this is what happens when jumpers go in,
now the tears flow,
hey did you know,
our brother now,
gone,
please don't let memories fade in the wind

As a friend of Wally’s, Steven Lawyer, said:
“We are humbled by the thought of what you accomplished in so short of a life. If the measure of wealth is not in gold, or land, or power, but in love, and friendship, and respect, you left this world a wealthy man.
Wally’s legacy will be the impact that he had on the people in his life. Please don’t let the memories of Waldo fade in the wind.

Will

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Yet another ill-conceived, hastily planned, totally off-the-hook Team Tigger production.

I hope you've shed all your tears, 'cause this weekend, it's all about throwin down Waldo-style. Much like after the service in NoVa last Saturday, we'll be gathering at Will's in Fredericksburg. This Saturday, however, we're planning a more festive event to celebrate Waldo--the man, the myth, the legend--and party till we fall down or do something blatantly stupid. We'll be kicking it off at around 6 p.m. Last week, Will finally passed out at 5:30 a.m., so that should give you an idea of the party window. There's plenty of room in back yard to pitch tents if you want, but it's supposed to be pretty chilly. There should be plenty of room in the house to crash as well, but bring a sleeping bag and a pillow.

The only things you MUST bring are yourself and the desire (dare I say "the will") to get good and Waldo drunk.

If you would like to support the cause, however, here's a list of things you might want to bring:
Liquor(!!!!) -- Will's bar took a big hit last weekend, so we can certainly use more vodka, rum, tequila, bourbon, whiskey and the like. I am sure you know, but Bloody Mary's are a must for any Post-Team Tigger Event.
Beer -- Will's bar has a keg on tap, but variety is the spice of life (and a tiggeriffic hangover's favorite accomplice). Bring yer brews, ya boozin foos.
Food -- You stab it, we grill it. The stocks of burgers and hotdogs are perilously low, so bring whatever dishes or snacks you'd like to enjoy (possibly a second time later.

Also, feel free to bring your collection of entertaining Wally videos or paraphernalia.

Shoot me an email to let me know you're coming or to get directions to the house.

mike

Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills--You know, like nunchuk skills, bow-hunting skills, computer-hacking skills.

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From Will Stephens:

All,
I talked to Wally's mom today who just heard from the medical examiner's office. The word has finally come back for the official cause. Apparently Wally had viral Myocarditis. This is a viral infection of the heart which caused heard arythmia/lack of oxygen and heart failure. Here is a link to some info about viral Myocarditis http://www.emedicine.com/ped/topic1534.htm .

--
Will Stephens

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I went to Fork Union with Morales in High school. I just found out of his passing. I cant believe it.
He and I hit it off from the beginning.
Now to read of his passion in helping others, it doesn't surprise me that he would do rescue work.
Anyway...he was a great guy when I met him at 17 years old...and he will be missed.

Ya'll be good.

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