Sounds like Dickens to say “Old Farley was dead as a door-nail,” but it’s not Marley this time.
Our the Rev. Dr. Farley Wilder Wheelwright died at the very end of February at 99. While we can all pull out the platitudes, such as each death is a tragedy (nah) and each of us is as unique as a snowflake (not at all true and we won’t have a large enough sampling to really know snowflakes are oners).
Yet Farley was at once broad bush and pinpoint. He amazed us all, and kept amusing us to his end.
He lived larger than most, larger than nearly everyone. Loudmouth for righteousness, beloved of the likes of the Rev. M.L. King Jr., civil rights activist and mostly a for-real humanist and avowed atheist who showed alleged Christians how to act.
Still, he had an astoundingly wee ego and vanity for his accomplishments. He lived not for praise, but to help and soothe. He was an excellent preacher, never out of ideas and powerful in the pulpit. He hated that part of the job though. He lived for the opportunities of pastoral counseling.
There’s lots to be said about Farley, and his friends in Boston and in his final home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, did that recently. You can get the massive memorial service document from San Miguel (heavy on the pictures) here. The swap-Farley-stories version in Boston is here.