I’ve been to too many funerals lately. I’ve struggled whether to mention this one, though, because while I knew the deceased and his family for years, so did most of the rest of the community.
Anything I might say or remember had been shared or experienced, because this person had made himself so available to so many others.
Brian Moody, just 52, died after battling brain cancer. He was born on Christmas and died on Easter. How’s that for bookending a life?
His two boys, Will and Ben, spoke at his funeral. They told stories about how their parents met. The two remembered his wit and his constant advice. Moody, who served on the Charleston County School Board for 12 years, and chaired it for a couple of more, was never content with anything that was average. That’s why a “C” was not acceptable on any of his boy’s report cards.
For the past year and a half, Moody fought his disease with the same integrity and pragmatic approach he lived his life.
His sweet wife, Maribeth, will have many a jewel in her crown. She was at his side providing strength and support every step of the way. That part of the vow that says “in sickness and in health” has a new meaning now.
An accountant by trade, Moody was as sharp with his tongue as he was with his pencil. His one-liners often left his friends laughing, but he could be just as formidable when defending his point of view in an argument. I don’t think he liked to argue as much as he enjoyed the punch and counter-punch.
I admired his candor and willingness to tackle an unpopular vote or decision. On the school board, he was often the swing vote. That always gave me solace, because that meant he was listening to both sides and would determine what would be the best plan going forward. I wish more politicians would look at the world through that lens.
Professionally, we often sat across from each other during live viewer call-in segments. Moody never dodged a question and gave thoughtful, considerate answers with no apology to its popularity.
His funeral service included elements of his personality that totally captured the essence of his spirit. There was humor, uplifting music, inspiration and even a reference to not allowing the service to last longer than necessary.
Clemson lost one of its biggest fans when Moody died. On those days this fall when the sun in the Upstate is that special color of orange, the Moody tailgate experience will lack a certain something.
His boys plan to maintain the tradition, but that’s not their primary mission. Moody left other orders.
Will and Ben shared a letter their father wrote about a year ago. It implores the boys to take care of their mother once he’s gone. It tells them how proud he is of what they’ve become as young men, but that a true measure of who they really are will be determined by the love and support they provide to their mom in the days and years ahead.
Once again, Moody gets the last word and he delivers a message no one in that packed church will ever forget.
Reach Warren Peper at firstname.lastname@example.org.