I remember the time I first spoke with Mr. Peter Prier on the telephone. It was almost thirty years ago. The next time I spoke with him was in person when he and two of his sons and I went to lunch at Siegfried's Deli. That was maybe ten years ago. Each time I drove past the violin making school in downtown Salt Lake City that he founded, I thought it was pretty cool that I knew such an amazing man.
Truth is, I knew those two sons better. One served with me on an LDS mission in Denmark. The other (the one pictured above...) and I shared many great times while we sang together in a university choir. I met a sister at a writing conference last year and the more I learn about her, the more impressed I became. You can tell about a father by looking at his children.
I used to spend more time with the Priers. They worked downtown and I worked downtown. We'd try and get together at least once a month. I then moved to different offices and they had things happen to them as well. I miss those days, but things have changed.
Even though I didn't know him all that well, I always looked up to Peter Prier. I admire anyone who dares to dream then works hard to see those dreams fulfilled. Even if he hadn't immigrated from Germany and established an amazing school that created beautiful works of art, I consider him a great man.
On Monday, the family patriarch passed away and it makes me sad. I didn't realize just how young he was. Maybe some of you don't consider 73 as "young," but I do. And even if he were older, any time a father is taken from his family is painful.
So, another chapter of life closes and those who remain must deal with a new reality, a reality without their father and friend. I can only offer my prayers and sympathies. Then again, maybe I can be a better person, someone who dares to dream. Farewell Peter. God's speed.
* Photo used without permission from: http://img.deseretnews.com/images/article/midres/1552478/1552478.jpg