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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Farewell Reb Tevye

It is with the greatest sadness that I tell you of the death of my longtime student and friend Nash Long. Nash died on Sunday after valiantly battling ALS, or Lou Gherig's disease.

Nash was one of the most gentle, sensitive and kind men I have ever known. Although he had a lengthy career in city government, his first love was music. Nash was a member of the Dallas Symphony Chorus, and the choir of First United Methodist Church of Garland, institutions which he loved dearly and served faithfully for decades. Nash loved to sing, and continued to study singing and learn new vocal literature right up until the time that his health condition made it impossible for him to sing anymore. Of all the things that ALS took from Nash, the loss of his ability to sing was the greatest blow.

Of the many fond memories I have of Nash, the fondest are from our annual "geezer" recitals, in which all of my shall we say, more mature students would gather at the home of Russel and Marion Young for an evening of singing and dining. One of Nash's favorite musicals was Fiddler on the Roof, in which he played the role of Tevye on a couple of occasions. He loved to sing "If I Were a Rich Man" complete with fantastic animal impersonations.

Nash was taken from us far too soon. But if there is comfort to be had in such a loss, it lies in the fact that Nash is with the Lord he loved so much, full and whole in body and spirit, singing in the heavenly choir. I rather envy him actually. For now, he is singing music more beautiful that we can even imagine on earth, and he's singing it in the very presence of God.

You will be sadly missed Nash. You were not just a nice guy and a good friend. You were truly the embodiment of good. Thank you for all the music you shared with us, and thank you for all the good deeds which you modestly and quietly went about doing every day. You made the world better and kinder by being here, and I know that your generous spirit will live on in the hearts of all of us who knew you. I hope that we all remember how kind and generous you were, and live by your example.

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