Here is Rudi Holzapfel’s In Memoriam story. Holzapfel is a poet, writer, scholar and owner of The Poor Sinner Bookshop in Tipperary, Ireland, died Feb. 6, 2005, after a 3 ½-year battle with GIST. Rudi loved all things beautiful. Aside from being an extraordinary poet, he loved old books and fine art. He was a teacher in Germany for more than 20 years before opening bookshops in Ireland. The written word was Rudi’s life. He advised on the establishment of the Fethard Historical Society Book Fair in Ireland in 1996 and participated in the fair for nine years. The 10th annual book fair, held one week after Rudi’s death, was the only one he missed. A moment of silence held in his honor ensured that he was present in spirit. Luke Golobitsh, Life Raft Group member and Rudi’s caregiver, said, “A doctor once told me people who are mean just get meaner when they are dying. Rudi just got more polite and gentlemanly as he got closer to death; he has always been an inspiration to me to be polite.” He is survived by his wife, Ulla, daughter, Marja, son, Francis and dog, Inde, whom Luke swears prolonged Rudi’s life. The following is a poem written by Rudi’s friends: Nora, Danny, Thomas, Martin and Mairead: A scholar, a poet, a neighbor, a friend A man of letters and words A dreamer, a realist, all rolled into one Emotional, pragmatic, sublime A man who cared, who laughed, who dared Who shared his thoughts with the world A man who lived not one, but ten lives In the short time he spent on this earth A man who listened, who heeded and advised Expressed his views but never criticised A man who despised those damned politicians Their corruptness, their greed their shame A man who loved this country and village The red hills of Cappawhite A man who loved his house in Monevaun Enjoying his privacy therein Imaginative, inventive, creative, expressive True, loyal, gentle and kind Interesting and interested in all he met In their views, their thoughts, their minds A man who dined at our table so often Who regaled us with his adventures and tales A man who exchanged gifts with us Who shared our lives and woes A man who has left a void in our lives A community who grieves for the poet A light extinguished but his spirit lives on In our memories, our hearts and our thoughts. — By Erin Kristoff

Read more from our In Memoriam section here. Also be sure to read the inspirational member stories section.

Erin Kristoff
Author: Erin Kristoff