Gone but not forgotten … forever in our hearts … in loving memory … rest in peace
— these are some of the most popular headstone epitaphs. The challenge is, how do you sum up a person’s life in just a few words? You could even consult the internet, and today I discovered www.yourtribute.com which has sections on “The Best Gravestone Quotes;” “Gravestone Sayings for a Man, Woman, or Child;” and “50 Short Epitaph Examples.”
When I was dealing with the mortuary, I was told that just four words are included in the price of the grave marker, and each additional word is $31 per word. So yesterday I finally drove out to Diamond Head Memorial Park to see the epitaph I came up with the summarize the life of Carl Crosier.
Whether it was music, cooking, or accounting (according to Carl, those were the ONLY things he did well!) — Carl was a perfectionist who strived to create beauty in all his endeavors. That included trying to create historically-informed performances of Bach, spending hours on garnishes and beautiful pupus, or making sure that everyone got paid at the Priory.
After Carl died, I was asked what kind of memorial the Lutheran Church of Honolulu could do to honor his 38 years of music ministry, and I decided that I wanted to have a plaque on the Beckerath organ. After all, it was through Carl’s efforts, along with John Hanley, (see my post “The man behind the organs” ) that the organ came to be installed in 1975, and Carl was its first organist. You may know also that in Europe’s churches and cathedrals, there are plaques which memorialize the organists who were resident there through the centuries.
So last Friday, April Smith showed me the plaque which will be mounted on the Beckerath organ this week:
Now, you may wonder, how is it that the date of Carl’s being organist are 1972-1974 when the organ was installed in 1975? He actually was hired in December 1972 and played the aging Aeolian organ, fraught with ciphers. The church, however, was already in discussion with architects and organ builders about a major renovation of the building, which included a new organ. In the interim, the church purchased a positiv organ from Beckerath, which now resides at Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in Lahaina, Maui. (See my post “The Beckerath positiv organ”)
A couple of years ago, my husband Carl and I visited Irschenhausen, Germany, with Hans-Ulrich Erbsloeh, the voicer for the Beckerath organ, who invited us to stay in his ancestral family home. We even met his neighbor, the son of Rudolf von Beckerath! But what I was so impressed with was the beautiful church graveyard with its flowering plants where Hans’ grandparents are buried.