ForeverMissed
his Life

Letter from Dad (Lou) to his Family

This letter was written by Lou 2 months before he Passed. Lou's letter was read at Lou's Funeral Service on March 18th, 2016 by his beloved Nephew, John McGinn.

I have always wanted the last word, so here are my last words. I have loved all of you since you entered my life. All of you have contributed to my happiness and the joy of living here on earth.

My nieces and nephews have brought me so much love and happiness. Watching all of you grow, prosper, and succeed in life has been wonderful.

Phil, my brother-in-law, I have always been in awe of you as a Man, Judge, Lawyer, Father, and most of all, a loving and protective big brother to the love of my life, Edythe Jane, your sister. Thank you.

I have two sons-in-law and one deceased.

Gary, thank you for loving and caring for Gina all these years. You are a very talented artist, but most of all, a loving and protective husband. I love you and am honored to be your father-in-law.

To Larry, my son-in-law, father of my four grand-children, business partner for over 25 years, and the man who will take over my business of 54 years, I love you and will be forever grateful for all your help.

To my four grand-children: Tony, Alyssa, Anna, and Christina. You are all so wonderful. I thought I knew what all kinds of love was – until all of you were born. You taught me a special love that one can only have for his grandchildren. Thank you for the joy and happiness, and the love you have given to Papa.

Leslie is my newest granddaughter in marriage. You and Tony make a beautiful couple, I love you!

Chris will be my next grandson in marriage. I am sorry I won’t be there for your marriage to Anna, but I will be there in spirit.

To my three wonderful children, you are a blessing from God and have brought me such joy, happiness, and love.

Lori, my first born daughter. Thank you for all the special times we shared. The bowling after school, the squid you prepare on Christmas Eve, and all the special dinners you have prepared for our family. Your accomplishments in the field of education would make your Grandpa Baiamonte so proud. As a Professor at the University of Denver, and a full-time Mom of four, you are remarkable. Thank you for your love, you have made me so happy.

Louie, my only son, I love you so much. I feel your sadness and pain of losing Duane after 24 years. I know you will recover and build a successful and fulfilling life. After all, you look just like me. Thank you for all your help and for being such a loving son.

Gina, or should I say, Dr. Gina. My baby daughter – WOW, what you have a accomplished. I am so proud of your strength and fortitude to become a Doctor. Most of all, I admire your love for Gary and the love of our family. We have shared such precious times together and your love notes have made difficult days easy. Thank you, for being you! I love you and I have been blessed to have your love.

And finally, the love of my life, the most beautiful woman in the world, inside and out – my wife, Edythe Jane Baiamonte-Mortellaro. You made me the man I became. "The financial professional" -  you saw that in me before I knew it was there. You gave me strength when I felt weak, and you took care of me when I was sick – especially these past four years. You never complained. Now you know why I call you Angel. You are a gift from God and I will wait for you in our eternal life.

Falling in love with you when you were 14 gave me a lifetime of love, joy, and happiness. Thank you for everything you have done for me. I have had the most wonderful life any man could hope for because of you.

To my family and friends, I am at peace, no more pain. I have always had a deep faith in God and believe in eternal life. 

Forgive one another, Love one another, and seek peace. I love you.

Till we meet again....




 

Letter from Mom (Eydie) to Dad (Lou)

This letter was written by Eydie (Lou's Wife, our Mother) to Lou and was read at his funeral by Lou and Eydie's Grandaughter, Alyssa Finch. March 18th, 2016.

My beloved husband, Lou, is now gone and nothing can replace him in my heart and the hearts of our children and grandchildren. He was a wonderful Husband, Father and Grandfather.

I love him now and will keep on loving him. It is difficult to put into words how much I will miss him.

It was an honor and privilge to be able to care for him during his illness this past 4 years. He never complained, thanked me everyday and managed to maintain his typical cheerful attitude.

He was always generous with his love, compassion and devotion to our family.  He knew what made him happiest and encouraged those of us whom he loved to find our own contentment.

He bore his suffering with dignity and grace.

Our family was prepared when the day came... We were all able to say our goodbyes. Letting him go was not as painful knowing that he was at peace and he was happy till the end...

I know we will see eachother again, I will feel his warm embrace again and our souls will unite for eternity together in heaven. 

In the meantime, I pray that the Lord will guide us as we live our lives. I know Lou would ask the Lord to watch over our Kids and Grandkids and protect them from harm.

He will always live in our hearts for as long as we live.  We will love him ALWAYS. 

"My Uncle Lou" - By John McGinn

This Tribute written by Lou's Nephew, John McGinn and was intended to be read at Lou's Funeral, however, unfortunately, time during the mass did not allow it to be read.

Although time did not permit, this is a letter I wrote about my Uncle Lou for his memorial service. 

Hello!

Well I see many familiar faces today. 
For those of you I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting, my name is John McGinn.

My mother was a sister to Edyth Jane (Aunt Jane, as I’ve always known her), and that made Lou Mortellaro my Uncle – Uncle Lou.

I’ve known Uncle Lou for about as long as I can remember. I’d like to share some of my favorite memories from my relationship with my Uncle Lou.

How fortunate I was, as a young boy, who didn’t have a father in my household, to have an Uncle, and an Aunt, step in and invest time in a boy who quite frankly needed some attention, some encouragement, and some inspiration at a critical time in his life. 
Aunt Jane, you’ve continued thinking of me over the years, and I appreciate that more than you know. Thank you. I love you.

My Uncle Lou invested considerable time with me during those early years. He was always such a kind, generous, and compassionate man. I’ve never really met anyone quite like Uncle Lou. He always had a smile on his face, always had such a hearty laugh, just so positive, and he always had an Italian kiss for me. Now for those of you that aren’t familiar with an Italian kiss – I’ll explain what that is. It starts with a big hug, a VERY big hug, and then you get a kiss, actually two kisses, one on each cheek. I’ve had hundreds of Italian kisses from my Uncle Lou over the years. Because it didn’t matter, young or old, every time I’d see him, I’d get a big hug, followed with an Italian kiss.

Well I loved that Italian kiss tradition so much that I passed it on to my own kids. I’ve given thousands of Italian kisses to my three kids over the years. 
My two boys are sitting here today and they learned early on that the Italian kiss came from my Uncle Lou. Even they’ve had Italian kisses from Uncle Lou. In fact, if anyone out there wants a real world example of an Italian kiss, Matt and Jack are both available today to show you just how it works. They know it well!

Well I’m not a young boy anymore, and as I’ve grown up over the years, I’ve come to realize the many and valuable life lessons taught to me by my Uncle Lou.

Upon learning how much I loved football, I remember the day my Uncle Lou showed up at my Grandma Rose’s apartment building where my Mom, my two sisters, and I, lived. We all shared one of those two bedroom apartments. Well Uncle Lou arrives and he tells me has something for me, and he hands me a big box. It wasn’t even Christmas! That box contained his football uniform from when he played football in, I’m guessing, High School. I couldn’t have been happier. My goodness, I’d come home every day after school and put all that stuff on, pants, shoulder pads, everything – and I’d do what any 10 year old kid from Denver would do - just make believe and play around, pretending I was a Floyd Little of the Denver Broncos.  Heck, for the longest time, I even slept with those pants on – thigh pads, hip pads, all in place. I remember my Mom said to me, how can you sleep in those pants, aren’t they uncomfortable? I said nope, Uncle Lou gave these to me. 

Well there’s a great book I’d encourage everyone to read - it’s called The Book of Virtues. Chapter 2, speaks to the virtue of COMPASSION. Compassion is defined as having empathy for someone who has been negatively impacted, often by external events. What a wonderful virtue, and how blessed I was to have someone truly demonstrate the virtue of compassion at that time of my life.

Uncle Lou also knew I was a big fan of Elvis. As a young boy, I think we all had heroes – either real or imaginary. Certainly Elvis was a hero for me. I’d talk my Mom or Grandma Rose into buying me records, and I’d play those songs over and over and over again. One day I remember Uncle Lou and Aunt Jane were at the apartment, we probably had a record on, and all of the sudden my Uncle Lou looked at me, just as serious as he could be, and he said, “Johnny, you look like Elvis Presley”! Now my baby sister Kelly did all she could to hold back the laughter, but that would have been ok, because to a young boy who figured Elvis to be a hero, I certainly believed my Uncle Lou was on to something. Of course, many years later, upon reflecting on that event, I remember thinking, "What was he thinking?" Me, look like Elvis? But then I realized that this was simply another one of my Uncle Lou’s life lessons – The Art of a Compliment! He simply seized an opportunity – his only goal was to splash a little enjoyment into my day. He always did that kind of stuff.

I remember one day my Grandma Rose yelled out to me (I think I was out playing around on the front lawn) – and she let me know that Uncle Lou was coming over to take me out to lunch. Of course I’m like – YES, LUNCH with UNCLE LOU! It took me about 10 seconds to get ready and I waited out on the porch of that apartment building waiting for my Uncle Lou. Well soon enough he pulls up in his Cadillac, hops out, and just like every time for as long as I knew Uncle Lou, he gave me a hug and an Italian kiss! Well we jumped into that Cadillac and off we went. Uncle Lou told me he wanted to buy me a steak lunch! And off we went to the Sizzler Steak House. Some of you may recall, back then, you get in line, and they take your order, and then you slowly creep your way to the front where the chef hands you your steak, right off the grill. As we got closer to the front of the line, Uncle Lou said, Johnny, close your eyes, what do you hear? And I closed my eyes and I said, it’s very noisy, lots of people talking. He said, what else do you hear? Listen carefully. 
I did, and then told him, "I can hear knifes chattering and I can hear steaks cooking on the grill" – and it’s making me hungry. Uncle Lou then told me, Johnny, I don’t know if you’ve decided what to do in your life, but if you decide to choose a career in sales, remember this memory right now. It isn’t the actual steak sitting on your plate that makes you hungry; rather, it’s all the events leading up to that. It’s the anticipation, the smell, the sights, and it’s the sound of the steak cooking. THAT, my Uncle Lou said, is what selling is all about. It’s not really the product that gets you excited, it’s the events and the circumstances surrounding the purchase that makes you crave that steak. 

Well, there was my LIFE lesson in Sales! And it was probably no coincidence that I did choose a career in sales. Now I’ve hired and trained close to 100 Sales Reps over the years, and I often thought of that Steak House lesson from my Uncle Lou. And especially to those young Reps, I’d say, Guys, Gals, we’re not just selling software here; we’re solving business problems for people and the companies they work for. You need to take time to learn about these people, and learn about the issues affecting their day. I’d tell them to not simply rattle off a bunch of features and functions, but to take the time to understand what that buyer’s requirements and emotions are, and to then match our software solutions to their requirements. THAT is how we’re going to sell, THAT is how were going to do it on my team. In fact, Uncle Lou was my first sales mentor.  And that Steak Lunch lesson was one of the most valuable business lessons I ever received.

I remember another time I was traveling around with Uncle Lou, just cruising around in that Cadillac and talking. I felt like a Prince. I remember the offices he worked out of – the one on Wadsworth and later the building he bought on Simms Ave.  I used to love just driving around with my Uncle Lou. One time I remember we stopped at a 7-11 to get a couple of Cokes. Sometime after that, while stopped at an intersection, my Uncle Lou tossed his empty can out the window. Well he noticed that I saw that, and without missing a beat, he told me, “Johnny, that’s going to give somebody a job”. He was always so quick –just so quick-witted. Years later, as I reflected back on that memory, I think I concluded that to be a lesson in city economics – probably with a minor in jobs creation. He was so funny!

I also remember what might be the greatest lesson of all from my Uncle Lou. The last time Uncle Lou and I were both together at the farm, was for one of the family reunions; we were just sitting and talking. Some of you may have been in the conversation. We seemed to get on the topic of health. Well at one point, Uncle Lou mentioned that he’d recently seen his Doctor, and that the Doctor advised him to lose some weight. Now imagine him telling this story with a very straight & serious face. When he told a story, you didn’t realize you we being set up because he was so darn serious. So as he paused, I said, Well what did you say to that doctor Uncle Lou? And just as serious as he could be, and as he embraced his belly with both hands, he said --“Well I told that Doctor that the weight is certainly NOT the problem, it’s the HEIGHT that’s the problem”. And of course he led the way in laughing about that statement. Everyone laughed!!

And I could remember thinking to myself afterwards – Who does that? Who pokes fun at themself, providing laughter for others, at their own expense? Well Uncle Lou does that! 

I’ve been watching all these Presidential Debates and for just once, I’d like to hear one of those candidates, any of them, make a little fun of themselves. JUST ONCE!

That’s the Uncle Lou I knew, always more interested in making others enjoy the moment, never really dwelling on himself.

Well I’m sure we all acknowledge that a life should be celebrated, not just mourned. And I know that my Uncle Lou would certainly agree with that.

I’ve been inspired by so many of Uncle Lou’s lessons, so I’m going to continue celebrating those lessons - always! I’m going to miss my Uncle Lou, but I’m never going to forget his smile, his laughter, his sense of humor, and I’m going to miss those Italian kisses. But more than anything else I will never forget his incredible acts of kindness and compassion to a young boy who needed that attention at an important time in his life.

On January 15th, my Uncle Lou called me at my home in California. It was the last conversation we had. It was so nice to hear is voice. I knew he wasn’t feeling well. But he still "put on a face". Of course he didn’t want anyone to worry about him. 

During that conversation, he asked me if I’d read a letter to you all today. I feel honored to have been among those considered to read my Uncle Lou’s personal letter.

I’ll read his letter now."