The truth according to my friend Gene Proctor
March 31st, 2007Labels! Who needs them?! No one that is for sure. I'm tired . . . really tired of what is liberal - what is conservative - what is Republican - what is Democrat - what is black - what is white? The lessons of Gene Proctor - we are all people trying to thrive not just survive.
Back in 1979 I was a young eager woman set out to shake things up - to make the world a much better place. For racism to stop - for sexism to stop - for people to just accept each other the way that they are and to reach out to a common meeting ground to understand one another. Yes - I admit I am a child of the 1960's and proud of it.
In 1979 I met Gene Proctor who was taking on a new challenge and opportunity in his life. Gene wore many labels as he traveled freely and comfortably in many "communities". Back 28 years ago, he was taking on the role of the Executive Director of Baxter Community Center. I was working at the United Way at the time and certainly met with him countless times about how he was making a go of the agency, the programs of the center, as well as meetings regarding - "but Gene don't you know that you can't raise money while the United Way campaign is in full swing", and on and on. He did what he knew was right and what was needed and sought forgiveness later. I can't blame the man as he was absolutely 100% right - and the rules went to the curb because I knew to trust him.
He taught me so much over the years and I love him dearly for his patience, his tenacity, his perseverance, his undying faith in humanity, his leadership, his love of his beautiful wife Virginia and his family, and his outstanding sense of humor. Gene passed away on March 23rd at the "too young" age of 74 years.
He and I shared many a good story and he would test new ideas with me all the time and vice versa. He was a member of every community - not just the African American community - but the community of every living soul on this earth.
Just returning from paying my respects to Virginia and his family, I was reminded of the many communities that Gene touched. He will be missed but his lessons will go on forever. See you later Gene and I know you are planning the next big thing with God by your side.