Friday, November 5, 2010

Reflecting on a Life Well-Lived

I recently attended the memorial service for Maynard Raffety. The church was standing room only and it seemed the whole community turned out to pay tribute to a great man. Maynard served on both the hospital board and our foundation board. In fact, he was on the search committee that brought me to Grinnell almost 18 years ago. I had the privilege of knowing Maynard from my first few moments in this community. He was the consummate board member. Wise, honest, caring, mission focused, and supportive are a few words that come to mind regarding his commitment to great governance at GRMC. Personally, he always made you feel special and you knew exactly how committed he was to making a difference in the world.

Dr. Stan Greenwald is Maynard's cousin and is currently serving on the GRMC board of directors. He provided a stirring eulogy at Maynard's service. The thing that really stood out for me in listening to Stan was "The Maynard Test." Stan and Maynard grew up together on neighboring farms and Maynard was the eldest of the kids from the two families as I understood it. "The Maynard Test" was simple: What would Maynard do in this situation? What would Maynard say in this situation? "The Maynard Test" clearly led you to do "the right thing."

Stan comforted the family, and especially the many grandchildren, by reminding them that although they would miss Maynard, he would live on in each of them through the wonderful example he was in the way he lived his life. He was truly an exemplary man in love of God, family, and community. Stan has all the same awesome traits Maynard was known for and I have been the beneficiary in both counts for their service on the hospital board.

When I went to see Maynard at the Mayflower Community a few days prior to his death, I was moved by how peaceful he was. We shared a few moments of memories (such as the time he flew me and a couple buddies to Phoenix to watch the Hawks play in a sweet 16 basketball tournament game - what an amazing flight halfway across the country! Because of the low ceiling that day, we were literally flying through the valley between the Rocky Mountains!) We talked about the common love we shared for the hospital and its mission to the community. He told me he was glad to have known me and complimented me for the leadership at GRMC. Even in his final days, he was focused on others. As I said goodbye to Maynard, I told him my life was blessed immensely by his friendship and that I was grateful for the opportunity to know him.

We will greatly miss Maynard; however there is no doubt his legacy of kindness, generosity, community spirit, hard work and wisdom will live on. GRMC is a better place because of Maynard and the work of countless and selfless leaders like him.

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