Today we are having the funeral for my father-in-law, Louis Forbes. He was a wonderful man who acted as an example in numerous ways. One part of his character was exceptional and an example for all of us. He was always learning. He was always open to new things, new experiences all the way to the end.
Lou didn’t have the advantage of a classical education growing up in rural depression-era North Carolina, but took the opportunities offered by military when he was drafted after WW2. His first assignment was to Los Alamos and then to the Atomic Weapons group at Sandia Base in Albuquerque. Along the way he learned a trade that kept him employed into his 80’s and able to generously support his family.
One of the things that stand out to me about Lou was his use of new technology. He had a smartphone and communicated via text messages, was online every day web surfing, e-mailing and posting on Facebook. When so many elderly people are flummoxed by technology, Lou embraced it.
A lot of scientists would pride themselves on being technologically advanced; the reality is many get stuck within an era. Many people quit adopting new things at some point in their lives including scientists and engineers. We can all look to Lou as an example of someone who kept on learning, and experimenting with new things right up to the end.
It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives.