Ned was always running about an hour behind schedule. His sister, Rosie, told once me she would just invite him to come an hour before he was actually due, so he would accidentally be timely. He always had a list in his mind that had to be completed before going on to the next thing. He took care of everything, making sure nothing needed was forgotten. He made it a priority to keep everyone happy, and we all relied on him for these things. He was our rock.
He was a fearless entrepreneur who made things happen. Without hesitation or doubt, he made everything look easy and seamless.
Ned enjoyed the lifestyle of someone much wealthier than he actually was because of what he chose to include in it. Although a native Houstonian, his time was not limited to Texas. He traveled among different cultures, and savored every moment, every cuisine. He incorporated the highlights of the world into his family's lifetime itinerary, and by doing so, made the world seem small to us all. From watching the elephants and giraffes in Kenya to tasting the finest wine in the cellar of a Burgundy chateau, or just sitting in the hot tub with the kids splashing in the pool nearby… he filled his life with variety. He participated in our lives. Everything was possible. Everyone was welcome. His life was rich and he shared that richness with all of us.
He was sincere, honest, optimistic and passionate about the things that interested him. He always seemed to focus on the positive side of everything, as that is all he wanted to include in his life.
The University of Texas will be hard pressed to find a more devoted football fan, and out of town games were never out of the question. As a result, I always associated the team color burnt orange with him. If you were ever uncertain what to give him for a birthday or Christmas, just make sure it was burnt orange and he was sure to like it.
Peach season must have been his favorite time of year, as he bought peaches by the crate and knew exactly when the peaches would be perfectly ripe in each state's local season. He also favored ice cream, so of course, peach ice cream stood out amongst all. Our family had many evenings ending with a bowl of peach ice cream before bed. I can't imagine anything much better myself to this day.
Ned worked hard to keep fit and healthy inspiring us all to join a gym as well. He looked about 10 years younger than he actually was. He lived in vibrant health until Alzheimers slowly took it from him the last years of his life. Even then his body was without other disease. It is ironic that the only medications given him in his last years were prescribed in case he felt pain… as he was unable to speak up for himself to know for certain.
We have years of his photos and home movies documenting our family memories. One thing you can't help but notice throughout them all is the genuine smile on everyone's face, and the smile on his. It is proof that we should all live life by his standards.
He will always remain a living inspiration in my heart and memory. I can still hear his voice as if he was next to me, which can be very comforting. He was a wonderful father. I love him dearly.