Welcome - Allan Stern

We'd like to thank you for coming this morning to share in this service to honor the life of Robert L. Stern.

The service we hope will honor Dad in many ways. The first and most important way is its starting time: Dad was a lifelong golfer and we thought it would be appropriate to have the service early enough so that the golfers among you would still have time to get in 18 holes. Dad would have wanted it that way.

You'll notice in the order of service that there is no rabbi or minister officiating. Dad was not a very religious person in the formal institutional sense and it was his wish that any service held in his memory be basically a gathering of friends and family to share their thoughts of him. I'm sure he would have been surprised -- and pleased -- to see such a turnout this morning.

Some of you are colleagues of Dad from Mayer Brown & Platt or the American Bar Foundation, some are neighbors from Winnetka and Glenview, some are friends and relatives of Helen, some of you are friends and colleagues of mine from work or from Hyde Park. And, of course, there are Dad's relatives who have come in from Los Angeles, from Boston, from Seattle, from Tucson, from Portland Oregon, from Long Island, from Montpelier Vermont, and, in the case of my brother Ken and my daughter Alicia, from France.

To all of you have come from places far and near, welcome.

We are videotaping the service so that Danielle's two little children can some day have a better sense of who their great-grandfather was.

I know there are some of you who have never met Dad but may have only read his obituary in the Chicago Tribune on February 2nd.

Memorial services are for the living. It's my hope that when you leave this service, you'll all have a good sense of what kind of man he was, what he contributed to the legal life of this country, how many people he touched in different ways -- and how fortunate we all were to have known him.

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