Paul Hurd’s passing was a stunning and staggering loss for our family. Laurie’s first reaction was it simply wasn’t true. I was in the hospital having my appendix out and had to reassure a concerned night nurse I was just experiencing a grieving process. We’re a strong family, but that night we were all deeply tested.
By week’s end, all 23 of us had gathered, first to support each other, but determined to honor this exceptional man. Then the “wave” began: we became engulfed in an incredible outpouring of concern and love from students, parents, teachers, staff and friends, past and present, and from different eras.
Each evening we met, we were energized by this “wave.” When one of us faltered with a tearful memory, the expression, “ride the wave” would put us back on a high road of energy and optimism.
The wave never left us. Whether it came from Facebook, emails, telephone calls, personal comments, visits, or the many unexpected people who came to the ceremonies, we all felt immersed in a love that enabled us to be our best selves in order to truly honor Paul W Hurd II.
Paul was known for his relentless commitment to truth and belief in one’s best. Students were known to head in the opposite direction when they saw him coming. Paul has always been greatly respected for such outstanding qualities of integrity and character, and you could feel this respect throughout all the communications and activities that honored him.
But the amazing emotion that propelled those two weeks of remembrance was love, to a degree I’ve never seen at Hyde. This perhaps is Paul’s legacy: he personifies Hyde’s words and principles and now he will be best remembered for the love he inspired in all of us.
This is how I will remember Paul W. Hurd II. He revealed the heart of Hyde, helping us all realize the deepest connection of our Hyde community is love. I love you Paul with all my heart, and I hope you come to know how much our families, schools and communities and world are better because of your contribution here.
Onward, Joe Gauld