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“The Passing Of A Friend”

BRO viewer submission by Jeff Wilber:

Tim White was many things to me – He was my muse.  My conscience.  My confidant.   Most of all, he was my dear, dear friend.  Tim introduced me to my wife and was the Best Man at our wedding.  He was my co-conspirator on many a late night sojourn into the underbelly of Buffalo, with the final stop always being ETS.  We shared our dreams and our heartbreaks with each other, usually at three in the morning.  He drove me home on the darkest night of my life, his arm draped on my shoulder, his assurance that everything was going to be fine – and it was. 

Tim died this week, on Tuesday.  His long suffering body finally gave out.  Sometimes I think his spirit was just too great, his benevolence so encompassing, that a simple human form just couldn’t sustain it.  I like to think that.  When people die, you’re supposed to say nice things about them.  You’re supposed to find the moments of a life that exemplify them from, well, the rest of it!  When it comes to Tim, and I say this with all sincerity, his life was ALL exemplary!  I don’t think he wasted a moment.  If he slowed down, it was because he had to, because his body made him – never by choice.  

Let me tell you about my friend Tim: He grew up in Buffalo.  He went to college in Buffalo And he STAYED in Buffalo.  He made that choice.  He was a fine actor, a patient mentor, a raconteur of the finest order.  He was a generous director, a good brother, a loving son.  He performed on just about every stage in town.  He graced the airwaves with his voice, the pew with his faith, and many a barstool.  His acquaintances and cohorts spread across the breadth of Buffalo’s social spectrum – from the hallways of East High to the citadel of City Hall, Tim was known and welcome. 

And, for those oh-so-many, he was a friend without compare – always there when needed, never asking anything in return.   He had a mischievous grin, a cavernous guffaw and he could sing “Under The Boardwalk” to beat the band.  Many a wintry night was spent in the old Ray Flynn’s with Tim holding court, dispensing advice, teasing Marie or offering a sympathetic ear.  When he entered a room, everything stopped, all wanted to be near – and when he left, a sense of ‘goneness’ lay in his wake.  I do not exaggerate!  He was that kind of person.  And, in a town like Buffalo where there are less than three degrees of separation for all, you can confirm this assertion quite easily. 

From serving as the Artistic Director of the Buffalo Ensemble Theater – a haphazard of a black box space that did some of the finest stage work I’ve ever seen – to co-creating and implementing Business Theater Works, a program that provided theatrically based business training to major corporations, he never let up.  He preached the gospel from the pulpit of the Faith Missionary Baptist Church and served on the board of Upstate New York Transplant Services.  Tim was so much to so many for so long.  He gave so much of himself that it does not surprise me that, in the end, his body worn and his heart weary, he was called away – called home.  The echoes of his spirit will sustain us, his friends, for they are ingrained in the hearts and in the memories of those who loved him, and love him still.  Only so much can be given – and he gave it all.  A man rife with most desirable of attributes: Character.  

I didn’t see as much of Tim as I would have liked these past few years, being across the country and all.  But that doesn’t lessen the deep affection I have for him, or the permanent impact that he had on my life.  I will miss my friend.  I will miss him every day.  And I know I won’t be alone.

– Jeff Wilber, Los Angeles 1/14/09

“This passion, and the death of a dear friend, would go near to make a man look sad.” – A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

*The wake we be held Saturday at 11:00 am and the funeral is at 12 Noon at the Faith Missionary Baptist Church, 626 Humboldt Parkway, Buffalo, NY 14211, (716) 896-7612. In lieu of Flowers, please send donation(s) made out to the Church, in the memo section of the checks place the word “Scholarship”.

Although it’s stated 11 am, the door will be open at 9 am for viewing/wake. The freedom to speak at the wake is open to who ever has something to say, it’ll be a relaxed atmosphere and speaking will be encouraged. What’s also been told to me is that the funeral starts at 12 and will be over by 1, the burial takes place afterwards. Also, for those who’d like to be a part of it, dinner will be severed at the church after the burial. It’s asked that those wishing to return for dinner bring a dish to share. Suggestions would be meat, veggie, dessert, to supplement the food being provided by the church as the turn out is expected to be large. It’s asked that you bring it to the viewing and someone will take it to the kitchen.  

Written by WCPerspective


Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.

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