Sample Eulogy for Friend-Colleague

Audience: business or civic group, family members
Message: The deceased’s personal qualities contributed to our lives.
Tone: formal
Timing: 2 minutes

(Names of family members present), friends, business associates….

When we here at the office heard of (name)’s death, we were shocked and saddened. We stopped. We stopped our problem-solving,… our concerns for the work getting done,… our push toward all deadlines. Infinitely more important than such routine matters is dealing with the loss of one who had become almost like a family member to us at work.

Mrs. (name) and children, let me try to tell you what we knew of your husband and father in his dealings with us, his work friends. First of all, (name) was a brilliant businessman. People from all over the country—the competition, state agencies, trade associations, our branch offices—have both written and called our offices to express condolences.

Your husband and father was not only a brilliant businessman; he was a good listener. Many of us remember hours sitting in (name’s) office, asking his advice on work and personal matters. Things big and small. Like where to invest money as well as where to attend church. He listened to our concerns and offered advice freely.

Your husband and father was honest. He never stole a trade secret, equipment, or productive time from the organization. No debtor ever called our offices to seek repayment. His word was his bond. We didn’t have to ask for a confirming memo or letter on decisions (name) made. When he told us something, we could believe him.

Your husband and father was compassionate. He came to our homes in time of death in our families. He visited and sent flowers and notes to our hospital beds and those of our families. He contributed his money to worthy causes.

In fact, I’m often reminded of the time (name) had just returned from a three-week tour of our Japanese plants. When he arrived at the office suffering jet lag and learned of my own mother’s death, he climbed back on a plane and flew across the country to express to me his availability to cover my work assignments, his assurances that I would still have a job two months later after I settled lengthy estate matters, and his personal support and advice on family concerns. Then he traveled all night to a New York meeting the following day, ever mindful that his work associates were continuing to count on him there. I never knew (name) to refuse compassion to anyone in a time of need.

Your husband and father was loyal. He never told us, his employees, one thing and our colleagues and bosses something else. When we were right, he stood up for us. When we were wrong, he helped us see the other side—often to our benefit.

Your husband and father had a great sense of humor. He shared the latest Aggie jokes with us. He saw the light side of every situation. And he kept reminding us in our times of desperation with deadlines that it was, after all, just a job.

I’m sure you, more than we at work, know this side of (name)—his brilliance, his listening attitude, his honesty, his compassion, his loyalty, his humor. A reputation for only a few of these virtues is in itself a good fortune for his family.

But I wanted this group gathered together in his memory to know that we, his friends at the office, also knew him as more than a dedicated professional. We loved a genuinely warm individual—one we will miss greatly.

Simply remember that for all these virtues, (name) has not gone unrewarded by his sudden death. Death is, after all, only the side of life that we can’t see from earth’s shores. Who knows what God has in store for His child. We ask God’s comfort on you, his family, in your time of sorrow.