Mel Pollner Eulogies

In Memory of Mel Pollner
November 5, 2007

Leslie Pollner

I just want to absorb and appreciate the love for my dad in the room at this moment. While this is one of the saddest days of my life, this experience is filled with the love and good will that my dad treasured. Over the next weeks, if you have a thought about my dad or want to share a memory—my family would be so grateful if you would send it to us.

This eulogy is so hard to write for so many reasons….in no small part because this is the kind of writing that my dad just would have loved to work on with me. We would have batted around drafts…My dad would have wanted me to find a framework—to develop certain themes—and if there was alliteration and puns in those themes—then that would have been golden. Since I can’t do that, I just want to share a few thoughts with you.

Our dad was a gift. He made the world a more beautiful and interesting place to be. While I will fail to capture the depth and richness of his character—there was so much to love about him: his incredible intellect, his sense of humor, his humanity, his ability to see subtle connections, his appreciation for the offbeat and the absurd, his love of whimsy. And of course, that sparkle in his blue eyes.

My dad was a remarkable teacher. You would share a thought with him and he had a way of helping you to develop and deepen that idea and helping you draw connections—where you might not have seen them before. He never imposed his ideas on you—he helped you shape your ideas to make them into something far more profound than you could have imagined. He was the best collaborator.

My dad was a sociologist in the truest sense. He was curious about people and he understood people. People were drawn to him. But my dad never wanted to be the center of attention. His focus was on others—to support them and to bring them to the forefront. He made everyone feel special.

And my dad was just fun to be around. I loved to hear his voice on the phone and I just loved being with him.

To be my dad’s daughter, was to know a love so pure and so unwavering. He cared for us so deeply and so completely. He lived a model life of dignity and quiet strength. He was so gentle and kind. My dad never disappointed me.

His life was far too short. But my dad was an incredible gift. And each one of us in this room carries a piece of him with us—and because of that he lives through us.

It was an honor to be his daughter.