Saturday, May 3, 2008

Remembering Karl Ware and Dr. Robert Adrian

I blogged recently about losing my dear friend, Michael Bjerknes, to cancer. Today I want to remember two other men who died much too young from this awful disease, men who were wonderful clients of my business and whom I considered to be friends as well.

Dr. Robert Adrian died suddenly last August from leukemia. He was the healthiest looking man I knew; I would have bet my house that he would have lived to be 100. He looked so healthy, just looking at him made you feel like you should go eat a carrot and run a mile. To say that people were shocked when he fell ill last summer is an understatement. When he died, it was simply incomprehensible.

Bob was a wonderful and loyal client to Julie & Company, and I am grateful for his patronage. But his support during my marital separation really struck me. He called me personally to express his concern and to tell me how much he liked me and considered me a friend, and that he would consider it an honor if I would call on him if I needed any help. I was very touched.

Bob left behind his wife, Janet, and four sons, and they are still in my thoughts and prayers. Having lost my mother at 18, I can know first hand some of the challenges they face. God bless them.

Now where in the world would I be without Karl Ware? He was my very first client, along with Pete Bianco, all the way back in 1997. Karl and Pete founded BioNetrix, literally one of the world's first biometric companies five years before September 11. After this tragic date, people intrinsically understood the rationale for tracking people by their fingerprints, retinas, and other bodily characteristics.

Karl was a true renaissaince man. Besides BioNetrix, he worked for JP Morgan, MCI, the University of Maryland, the National University of Singapore, and the CIA, where if I remember correctly, his dad was a honcho. He traveled the world and had extensive experience in international marketing, especially in Asia.

Karl was different. I remember once he tried to get me to sell exotic kites online. Only Karl. He was also one of those guys who could be any age - and no one knew for sure exactly how old he was. He liked that mystery, I think, because he always found a way to dodge the question. He could have been 25 or 75. Only Karl and his mamma knew for sure.

Karl quite frankly believed in me and exuberantly got me started in business. (Thanks for Pete Bianco and Steve Walker for their help, too.) Karl may not have been perfect, but he was a loyal, honest, decent man. Ultimately, what more could you ask for? He's been gone four years this month. I will always thank God for Karl Ware.

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