September 24, 2001

Dear Karen,

Please accept my condolences. I share your grief. I will always remember the first time I saw Rch. He was taking part in a 6th Grade Chapel performance.  I asked Norm Cox, "Who is that kid? Look at those eyes -they miss nothing. " I looked for him the next year, found him in my class, and was subject to that same steady, uncompromising look from those eyes for the next 6 years.

I remember the day he announced that it was Rch Lee –not Richard Lee. I also remember the primary reason -its not important now. But it was-- a mature decision for one so young - the request was made respectfully and was taken with respect – by everyone.

There are many, many memories, for our relationship grew from teacher/student, through several years, into one that was of deep, abiding mutual respect and admiration. However, one

memory does stand above all others. It’s difficult to describe the scene in an 8th Grade choir rehearsal -lOO plus, seemingly insane, unrelentingly undisciplined mass of testosterone laden and budding personalities -controlled by one teacher? Sure. Rch emerged as a peer disciplinarian, leaning on the particularly rowdy ones. I only heard much later that he was holding private, after-class, "counseling" sessions for the incorrigible. Rch was growing from a rangy kid into a very large, insistent force -one who found these disturbances interfered with his intense focus and sincere desire to learn.


I will always remember his talept his drive, and his intellect. I remember our amazingly mature conversations, his handshake, and his support. I remember his candid manner, his continual search, and his heart. But mostly I'll remember his friendship, his honesty, and his eyes.


Please give my warm regards to the family.



Gary Heidel