January 18 1945 – January 19 2017
Lieutenant-Colonel Jarymowycz was one of the most influential people in my life. He made history come alive in class but he himself was the greatest lesson. Teacher, warrior, intellectual, cartoonist, historian, dungeon-master, storyteller and more, he showed we do not have to be anything ONE thing.
On a personal level, he taught this nerd to publicly embrace D&D, war-gaming, and other geekery not as “loser” activities to be kept from others but rich, creative celebrations. Through his coaching of the debate team I learned the mind is a muscle, both in its strength and its need for exercise. And as my idol and friend, I stole much of what passes as my “charm” from him.
We don’t have to choose between being “professional” and being entertaining. In fact, being both makes you – and those around you – better for it.
He will live on not only in the lessons he taught and the stories he told. Truly; I still love sharing his tales. with friends and family, old and new. There’s the one about accidentally stumbling into the Queen Mum (and her security detail!) in the hunt for a washroom. Or the one about retreating the tank he commanded across the fields of Eastern Europe, chased by a scythe wielding babushka. And so many more adventures, battles, dialogues, and songs.
Which brings us to the final lesson. If there is an activity, or life change you are considering, if you can, do it. Who knows where you may end up, but you will have a story to tell. And in the telling we all become immortal.
Thank you, Sir.