My friend Len Hoppe was in his early 40s when he died of cancer in January 1996. Tonight Roberta and the family are gathering in Memphis for a ten-year service of remembrance. I first met Len when I came to Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park as pastor in 1989. In the kindness of God, we became very close friends. During our service together on the elder board, I came to a deep appreciation for his vision, his wisdom, and his can-do faith.
Roberta asked me to write something for the meeting tonight. I was honored to pay tribute to a man who made such a difference to so many people. It was good to my soul to spend some time thinking about Len and his friendship and what he meant in my life ten years later. As you will see in what I wrote, I think the night before Easter is the ideal time for this remembrance.
My tribute is called Len Hoppe-A Friend Remembered.