In honor of Thaddeus Lorentz’s signature attire, the family wore bow ties to his celebration of life, held July 18.
By Karen D. Lorentz
KILLINGTON — Stories, music, laughter, and wine flowed freely and lovingly at a celebration for the life of Thaddeus R. Lorentz held at Pico on July 18.
The festivities were just as the longtime Rutland resident and attorney would have liked and enjoyed, especially the kind words spoken and honor accorded him by colleagues, friends, and family who wore bow ties, his trademark attire.
The bow ties caused fellow skier and speaker Bill Gross to comment that he didn’t know so many bow ties were available and that Google must have been inundated with searches on how to tie one — a reminder of Thaddeus sense of humor, he noted.
Gross said he had met Thaddeus on a chairlift at Pico and that by the sixth tower they had become “best friends.”
“He was infatuated with life . . . and with puns.” Some of his puns would “make people moan and groan and he would say, ‘What? What was wrong with that?’” — a comment that drew laughter as it resonated with all those familiar with his wit and delight in quirky humor.
“If you went to a restaurant with Thaddeus, you could never get in or out quickly, because he knew everybody or someone that person knew. He could work a room,” Gross observed.
That theme of a great friend with the gift of gab was often repeated in the many warm remembrances that recalled “a good person who truly cared about others” and particularly helping others and doing good things.
“I had an excellent education,” son Maciej said of his father’s voracious reading and discussing the “categorical imperative” with him when he was in the third grade.
In his heartfelt tribute to the dad he knew “forever,” Maciej praised his father for his work ethic, compassion, and being a generous person who was always willing to help someone. That included donning painting garb to help his son when he had gotten behind on a contract, Maciej said.
“My dad wanted the best for everyone… He was not interested in organized religion … but he believed in doing good. There may not be a God but that doesn’t mean I don’t have to be good — do good and help people. It matters,” Maciej shared.
Speaking on behalf of the Rutland County Bar Association, Judge Cortland Corsones said, “Thaddeus was always willing to help out the Bar and help the disadvantaged. . . . He was an incredibly good lawyer and true gentleman who represented clients with humanity.”
Judge Corsones also noted that even in his illness and just a month before his death, he had appeared before him in “true Thad” manner with “that sparkle in his eyes, dignity, and inner strength.”
Attorney and friend Stephen Dardeck observed that in handling cases Thaddeus liked to do deals where the attorneys would strike a bargain so everyone would feel good and no one would get the short straw.
Thaddeus was also remembered for his genuine interest in people. Even in the midst of a business meeting, he would ask someone about themselves and manage to inject information on a wine or the latest vineyard he had visited, noted longtime friend David Nelson.
Friend Dr. Doug Wilson recalled all the New Year’s Eve parties they shared with wine, champagne, and friends, and one year Thaddeus introducing them to 190-proof Polish Vodka that left them hung over. He was full of fun and jokes, Wilson said, pointing to his attitude of living life well and with no regrets.
In tribute to his love of music, Steve MacLaughlan, James Mee, and Chuck Miller played several of Thaddeus’s original compositions.
In introducing a few readings and songs from the musical Zosia’s Story, which Thaddeus wrote in collaboration with others, Rita Lane said it was a love story and about the search for a better life. The show’s creation came about because Thaddeus had a “song in my head that belongs in a musical,” Lane noted.
In their dramatic reading of the song “America, America,” Sandra Gartner and Peter Marsh shared the hopes embraced in the American Dream and what it was like for immigrants to leave their native Poland, family, and friends to start life over. They also paid homage to Thaddeus’s social commentary in their reading of “What’s Good for Business is Good for America.”
Katie Gartner Kaplan also showed the sensitive and artistic side of Thaddeus in her lovely renditions of his love songs “The Man of My Dreams” and “Loving Me Like You Do.”
In thanking people for being part of the day, which she noted Thaddeus “would have loved,” Stephanie Lorentz shared an inscription he had written when he gave her a copy of “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran.
“Good friends, like good wine, are to be savored and cherished. The more one tastes, the sweeter is the fruit. When a good wine is gone, it is not forgotten. This book is like a good wine; when it is read, the wisdom within shall be remembered. And friends are better than books and wine both; for they combine sweetness, and wisdom, and, most of all, love, into one. I hope we shall be friends forever.”
It was a fitting recognition of what so many found in their relationships with Thaddeus and in the memories and stories that continued over food and wine at the reception in Andrea Mead Lawrence Lodge.