Remembrance of Tim Jecko

By Tom Freiberg

We all entered Tim through his eyes.
• gentle friendly eyes
• depth

Whether he was:
• exuberant
• serious
• sad
• perplexed
• humorous
• and in the end, searching.

They drew us in. The connection was so easy. They engaged us.

Yale —
• knew him for 4 years
• senior year — intense — members of a group/twice a week


Easy laugh. Lilt. Twinkle

He could be very funny.

He could be very serious. During our conversations, he belonged 100% to me. And,
when he spoke, what came back was not only the words, but the music. He connected with

Swimming — easy to make too much, easy to make too little.
• In some ways, a metaphor for his life.

My father swam for Yale — he tried to interest me
• pool in Cincinnati/winter
• to me, enduring 2 hours of chlorine
• repetitious
• kick board — 15 minutes — boring
• measure improvement in 100ths of seconds
• the charm of it all escaped me.

For Tim —perfect.
• he liked chlorine
• could feel his body grow strong
• with it, the gracefulness
• butterfly — poetry in motion
• camaraderie
• he liked being coached
• he liked to win
• fierce competitor
With all the ferocity with which he swam, he was the most gentle of men.
Yale — majored in English.
• liked poetry/drama
• Drama School
• beautiful singing voice
o sang in a musical production of “Cyrano.”
• writer: “A wealth of memories will become the promise of my future.”

If I can try to sum Tim up, he was externally a graceful man and internally a man of

The composite, a gentleman in every sense of the word.

Independent gentleman
• actor
• writer
• teacher
• most telling, in the end, he handled his disease his way.

He was a real listener.
• Someone once told me the greatest compliment you can pay a person is to listen
to him.
• In those wonderful eyes, you could see him absorbing what you were saying.
• It was not judgmental listening.
• He listened with an open heart and an open mind and connected in a deep way.
You could not help but like Tim. It was easy to become his friend. This church is dotted
with friends from his swim club. By the way, they are the ones who smell like chlorine. They
are his friends. There are those of us from college. We are his friends. There are those from all
parts of this community. You are his friends.

And, Tim was devoted to his family.
• Chris, Nick, Sarah, Judy.
He loved you beyond all bounds. He knew his illness was very hard on all of you. He
was a man of compassion, and deep love. I know how much you miss him.
• Joanne.

You were Tim’s everything. Oh, how he loved you! You gave him love, devotion, care,
friendship, and complete honesty.

The last year or so tested the love between you and Tim. You gave it your all, and Tim
died peacefully because of it.

We say goodbye to our wonderful Tim.
• The world is a little lonelier without him.
• His legacy will live on.
• We will miss his friendship and humor and love.

There is a centuries-old ballad that Tim loved. It ends with the refrain: “Lady love, lady
love, welcome me home.”