There are people in your life who come into your orbit and make an impression. They may be someone at your workplace, in your community or, as in this case, in the sport you enjoy. You may not know these people well but they make you smile. Tim Huebner was like that for me. Tim passed away unexpectedly and because I couldn't be at his memorial, I wrote this for him.
Here's to Tim:
I'm just going to say this upfront: The very first thing you'd notice about Tim upon meeting him was his size. He was a giant, yet a very gentle one.
I knew Tim as a fellow rower and competitor. Together with his rowing partner Patrice, Tim would put my rowing partner Stefan and I through our paces.
We chased Tim and Patrice across Monterey Bay, on the waters near Santa Cruz and countless times under the Golden Gate Bridge. Because of his size and strength, Tim could be intimidating—that is until you talked with him.
As you all know, Tim was passionate about rowing, boats and all things nautical. He shared his knowledge generously, regardless of whether or not that knowledge would fuel your race as his competitor. When Stefan and I would be lucky enough to eke out a win against Tim, his generosity and graciousness would shine once again.
Believe me, you learn a lot about a person's character when you compete against him. Tim was exemplary—never bitter, never rude, never, ever small.
Yes, Tim was a giant and his absence is a large loss for all of us in the rowing world. I've heard that Tim said that he wanted to live until he died. He did just that.
Thousands of years ago, the great philosopher Seneca wrote:
"It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it…. Life is long if you know how to use it."
Tim knew how and, in that sense, he lived a long, full life, inspiring us all with his love for rowing and enriching our lives with his gentle, kind presence.
He will be sorely missed.