Eulogy to My Brother

We were living in Denver, Colorado when Quinn was born. By Christmas, Quinn was six months old and I had learned to hold him just like Mom and Dad… although I could do without changing the diapers. When I look back at that time I remember that Quinn brought joy to Dad and pride to Mom. I was going through old family pictures this weekend and I saw that joy in Dad’s eyes whenever the picture caught him holding Quinn, which was often. In a couple of years we moved to Rose Hill, Kansas, and I began to see Quinn as more than just a baby. Dad had built a playhouse in the backyard, I was twelve going on thirteen, Quinn was three going on four and he was talking to the point we could communicate about Saturday morning cartoons, flying a kite and shooting off model rockets.

The big change came when I went away to Germany for a year and came back. I now had a "little brother" and no longer a "baby brother." My parents had moved to Shawnee Mission, Kansas, and there I watched Quinn grow into a serious, sometimes playfully devious, always thoughtful young boy. Mom and him had an affinity for birds. Quinn had pet Cockatoos that loved when Quinn would stroke the back of their necks. Quinn was always up to something. One time I was sitting on the back deck and I saw two black shapes dropping to the ground from the tree. It was Quinn and his best friend dressed in Ninja outfits running through a world of their own making. My best memories of that time was of the hours that Quinn and I would spend together building spaceships and houses out of Lego, not unlike what I do with my two boys now. Sometimes Mom would catch Quinn for his sweet tooth by finding a box of candy wrappers hidden under his bed. But most of all, I think all the relatives will agree, that whenever we were at the Lake in Duluth or in Florida with Grandma & Grandpa, Quinn was always there, with his mop-top hair cut, intense eyes and love of being with the group.

After 1982, when Quinn was nine, I went out to find my way in the world. Mom and him lived in Albany, New York and Montgomery, Alabama as she moved up the VA organization. One memory stands out during that time. I went up to Albany to visit during the summer and we drove up to Lake George all together. We rented a small powerboat and had the best time on the lake seeing the sights. I have one picture from that day and it is a memory I will always treasure. In 1990 fate smiled upon us. I was going to Drexel in Philadelphia, I had met my wife to be, Kate, and Mom got a job at the Philadelphia VA. That is where I saw Quinn really start to blossom. He was in Band at high school, he was starting to get seriously interested in computers through the prompting of Lori and drafting (I remember helping him lug a full sized professional drafting table into Mom’s basement.)

By the time Quinn left for Pittsburgh to go to college his interests in the world really started to take off. He met Ken, Lori’s brother, and the two of them became inseparable. They lived in the same apartment complex together and I would hear about exotic scuba diving trips with Dad and other adventures with the extended Peyton clan. If you walked into Quinn’s apartment then you would have found bicycles hanging in the foyer, racks of computers blinking away. I remember asking Quinn what all those computers were for and he told me that he maintained a domain just to watch the hackers try and crash his system. It was always a marvel to me how he went to the very core of computer knowledge and became, as I would brag to my neighbors, an Internet Detective; there to protect the innocent against malicious viruses and computer hackers.

I’ll never forget sitting next to Ken in the auditorium when Quinn graduated from the University of Pittsburgh. Ken, in his quirky, polite way kept Kate and I completely engaged as we all witnessed Quinn’s moment.

It was there that we met Christine, Quinn’s wife to be. It was clear, just like in the photos with Dad, that Quinn brought joy into her life as well; as she brought joy into his. I remember, on the way back home, Kate and I saying how we knew those two would get married one day. As time went on, Quinn and Christine, became a backdrop to our lives. We would hear about the latest events in the Peyton world through their trips to the Lake, Florida and even Virginia as they explored their history with Dad. Every once in a while Quinn & Christine, and sometimes Ken too, would stop in Philadelphia to visit. We loved those times and so did our kids. One time when they came out, Quinn saw a picture of a Memorial Day cake on a magazine and made it the project of the weekend with Kate & Christine as his willing accomplices. The kids and I resigned ourselves to just eating the cake.

Of course all of these memories are happy memories. I am thankful to God that we all have these memories. I will cherish them as will everyone here. I ask God grant us his Grace to all of us as we let our sorrow heal our hearts and that we look to the life that is all around us.

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