Time in a Bottle

Gregroy Hugh Effinger, 12/6/1951 – 8/14/2016

20141116_131932Sometimes you just don’t know where to begin. A week or so ago, on Sunday August 14th, we lost our brother Greg. He passed away in his home sometime on Sunday or late Saturday. His brother Tim had been looking for him to play golf on Sunday and was unable to reach him. Tim was able to get the police into his apartment late on Sunday night getting us the bad news. We raced to town and have been quite at a loss since. At a loss for words, thoughts, emotions, directions, and feelings. Writing an obituary is not fair to anyone. It distills ones life into too few words. This is the best we could come up with for the paper.

Gregory Hugh Effinger, 64, of Duluth passed away at his home on Sunday Aug. 14, 2016.

He was born Dec. 6, 1951, in Duluth to Lawrence and Angeline Effinger, the sixth of seven rowdy children.

He grew up in Duluth in the West End. He drove truck for many years among other things, and was able to see a lot of the country, but he loved his music and being able to be home.

Greg enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. He was a music lover and had a passion for playing from a young age. He loved movies, reading, cars and learning about all manner of modern technologies.

Greg was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Angie.

He is survived and will be remembered by his family, Jane Kjeseth, Buffy Effinger, Jerry Effinger (Kristy), Tim Effinger, Mary (Steven) Swor and Marge (David) Back; his nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends. He will be greatly missed!

I don’t care who you are, you’re never quite ready to pick out music for the funeral of your loved ones. Music is special because it has the ability to tug directly at your emotions, to reach right inside and connect with you and to form bonds with your life that sometimes you are unaware existed. Greg loved music. Greg grew up in a time when music was especially poignant and the sheer talent of the singers and songwriters of that age was incredible. I’ve been reacquainting myself with the music that Greg would have listened to and enjoyed in order to try and share just somewhat of a sense of who Greg was. I can tell you from experience, if you listen to music and just sit and think about those who you’ve lost, you won’t have an easy time.

Have you ever been driving in your car alone, listening to music and crying? It’s a very solitary experience. Your own thoughts and emotions while alone and thinking are very powerful. I had one of these drives the other day.

I suggest wearing sunglasses. It helps in some small way to trick you into thinking others can’t tell how you’re feeling. That being said, I also suggest that everyone here, take the time to live your lives deliberately loving and spending the time you have with your loved ones. If you can’t be there directly, make phone calls. Send emails or texts. Make sure you connect with your loved ones. Make sure they know you’re thinking about them. I do this. At least I try to very often.

Our world is so filled with distractions, I simply wish for you all to look up from what you’re doing once in a while and be present for the big show; the one that really matters, the one you are sometimes barely aware is happening all around you every day, the one in which you have a starring role, the one in which someday your loved ones will be remembering while pondering your soundtrack.

To me, Greg always seemed to be a very happy person. I got to know him only over the last 15 years through my relationship with Marge and their family. He was excited by new technology and always spending his time keeping up with the latest gadgets. Greg had a funny passion for cell phones and anything that could be found at Best Buy and we were able to connect by talking about all things technological. Greg must have been a spirit after the heart of Johnny Cash because his color was definitely black. He wore almost entirely black or grey clothes, decorated his home with black accents and furniture and even had a set of black dishes. So technology, TVs, stereos, phones, etc., being mainly black and sleek and shiny and cool had a special draw to him. Color was something that Greg provided for himself and his family in life. I will miss him.

Marge and Greg are the youngest siblings of their family, and as such Marge probably spent a bit more of her time growing up with Greg than she did with her other brothers and sisters. Marge and Greg still talked almost every week and this unexpected loss is going to leave a giant hole in her life that will take a while to heal.

We will always remember you Greg. You were always a treasure. To us anyways, you were.

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