Letter: Life lessons from two local legends

Letter: Life lessons from two local legends

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Our community lost two gentlemen in the final week of February. Jack Graney and Bill “Coach” Huther are now smiling down on us.

Jack and Coach had a great deal in common. Each was devoted to his family, surrounded by an amazing wife and loving children and grandchildren. They both cared deeply about others. It was never about them, always about others. Those of us who knew these two men were able to learn valuable lessons from the way they lived.

Who starts every day with a six-mile run followed by a Church service -- for thirty-six years? That would be Jack Graney. It was recently said that Jack was not a “cup half full” guy but an “overflowing cup” guy. His can-do spirit was infectious. If something went wrong, he would turn his energies to fixing the problem. He would treasure competition but make it fun. If trouble came along, Jack would be there for you. He was as solid as they come.

If you look up the definition of sportsmanship in the dictionary, you are likely to see a reference to Coach Huther. He instructed, yes; but his true gift was leading by example. In plain terms, you just wanted to be like Coach Huther -- not only play tennis like him but be like him. He never uttered a negative word about anyone. His recent obituary listed many of Coach’s achievements over his lifetime. Even those of us who knew him were amazed to see the list, because he never talked about himself.

These, then, are the traits the two men shared in abundance: Giving back, being a sportsman, caring about others and putting others before self, leading by example, and doing it all with a positive attitude.

I’m extremely lucky. I had the privilege of learning from Jack in business and learning from Coach on the tennis court. However, what they really taught were life lessons. Those of you who knew Jack and/or Coach know exactly what I’m talking about.

We live in a great community. What makes it great? People like Coach and Jack.

Thank you, gentlemen!

Bob Connor

Owasco

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