A Tribute To A Respected Lancaster PA Historian: Jack Ward Willson Loose
Dear God/ess, Pictured here is the Unitarian Universalist Church where I grew up. Yesterday, I returned to attend a funeral of a gentleman whom I have known all of my life. His name is Jack Ward Willson Loose.
Mainly, he was my mother’s Republican friend and the two of them enjoyed sparring with each other. I think they needed the other to keep themselves on their toes. But then again, my mother, Kitty Loving Shenk, was always on her toes.
She dodged attack from the Religious Right as well as embracing Love from all of her admiring friends.
Jack Ward Willson Loose was a Lancaster Pennsylvania Historian. He knew everything about every property in Lancaster and the surrounding environs. He knew these things without looking anything up, although at one time, he without doubt did his homework!
One of the men giving a eulogy said, if there is an after-life, then Jack will be writing that history. Or if the history has already been written, then he will most certainly be editing it.
Jack was a Retired History Teacher in a local High School. His former students adored him. He taught in a truly Unitarian way, which is, if you showed up to class and participated intelligently, you got an A. Unitarians, for those of you who do not know, love a good discussion. They love to disagree in an agreeable manner.
I remember Sunday School where we explored all of the World Religions. We were taught that no one religion had all of the answers. We debated religion, even as we visited every church in the area, and then returned to Sunday school to debate some more.
Jack comes from that school of thought. He embodied Unitarianism to the tee—as did my mother.
Jack had one place where he sat every Sunday. If you mistakenly sat there, one of the church members would shoo you off without hesitation. Yesterday, one of the church elders had us all stand and clap toward that exact place where Jack always sat.
Something happened in that moment. Every piece of wood, every wooden beam in the immensely tall ceiling began to breath. The history of every vibrant molecule came alive. My parents were clapping too. So was Jack. And so were all the angels in the Multi-verse! It was a stunning tribute that occurred in one spontaneous creative moment.
I did not expect to be so moved at this service. I forgot my Kleenix, I stifled sobs, and barely saw my way our of the Church!
Tomaso’s 101 year old Aunt also passed this week. I will be sure to bring a whole box of tissues to that Life Celebration!
Om Peace Amen