Goodbye and Hello – News of Death and New Life
Posted by oenophilus on September 26, 2007
It is with a very heavy heart that I share the news that our friend, Henry Lubke, has died.
While on a sales trip to the Baltimore market, I mentioned to Chip Lubke – Chateau Felice’s Maryland distributor – that we often took interns to help us with the Harvest. A few months later, Chip’s son Henry came to work with us at Chateau Felice to assist Genevieve and Tom van Camp with the 2006 Harvest. His competence, strength, eagerness, and gentleness quickly endeared him to all. Henry stayed on as a valuable member of the Chateau Felice team as Tom’s right hand in the cellar and recently enjoying the other side of the biz by working for our sister, Samantha in the Tasting Room. He was very excited to be a part of the wine industry, learning more and more under Tom’s wing and in his viticulture and enology studies; he had all the makings of a great winemaker. Even though Genevieve and I left Chateau Felice in November of last year, we enjoyed seeing Henry as part of the extended family. This loss has hit us all very hard. Our hearts go out to Henry’s parents, Chip & Jean, and to his sister, Laura and brother, Chase.
It seems very cliché to mention, but I must. It is so hard when you lose a friend who is 21 years old and, so very fundamentally, good. As we stumble around in shock, we all keep bringing up his qualities: kind, nice, gentle, funny, caring, supportive, responsible, hardworking…just good. I take solace in hoping that knowing Henry and having seen these qualities will help me become a better person. Goodbye, my friend.
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I also speak of Hello. Just two hours after I received the call from Samantha about Henry, I got a call from Genevieve’s mom, Úna, telling us that Gen’s sister Erin had finally given birth to a gorgeous little girl named Susanna Marie. We had been waiting for a few weeks now. Genevieve was in D.C. to be with Erin and her husband Jim for the birth…but Susanna was feeling all nice and comfy in mama’s belly. Genevieve came home after visiting for 10 days and still no baby. I am excited because I am an Uncle – a beautiful concept for an only child. I am happy because I love Jim and Erin very much and know how their hearts have swollen with love. I am thankful for the gift of family.
I look forward to the day, far in the future, when I will tell Susanna about our friend Henry and his example of goodness. Hello, little one.