Fanfare for the common man

Kansas City Skyline

Landon RowlandYesterday was the service for my friend Landon Rowland. It is hard not to smile when thinking of how to describe him. I heard several people lovingly describe him as complex. That complexity manifested as a man of un-ending curiosity, graciousness, fervor and conviction. He was also a provocateur and instigator which made him so interesting and aggravating—and appreciated.

His tangible legacy will be those concrete things that bear his mark—the Nelson, the Lyric, DST, Kansas City Southern but it was the small things that made him truly great. I looked at that packed church and thought that each person there would tell the same story of how Landon made them feel that he was his or her special friend and influencer. I have the same tale of encouragement, mentorship, provocation and sometimes shoving when needed. Landon’s intangible legacy will be the lives that were changed in small and profound ways because of his presence.

Most certainly the fate of the Health Care Foundation was different because of him. He was an early agitator to be sure that the voice of those who most needed the privilege of health would be heard. He helped the community feel its power. Others felt it too. We have a foundation with a mission that he could be very proud of — to serve the underserved and uninsured.

We will do our best to live up to the faith he placed in us and the weighty charge placed upon us.

I had to leave you with the symphonic glory that ended his service. It was a triumphant hymn that should be the melody that sends all people of character and ardor onward.

Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland 

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2 thoughts on “Fanfare for the common man

    Bridget: What a beautiful tribute to Landon. You captured him perfectly and he might not even have any criticisms to make about what you wrote. And, what a beautiful way to open Friday morning with “Fanfare for the Common Man”. What a pleasure for me to share that afternoon with you.

    Bridget, What a great tribute to Landon. You captured him so well. I cannot say how much Landon influenced and encouraged me over the 24 years I was lucky enough to be in his presence. He valued you and all your work so much and mentioned it often. You and I, as well as hundreds of others, were blessed to have the friendship of this great man. No one can know how many lives he touched and how he changed community for the better. I know we are both deeply saddened with his passing and joyful of the fact a man like Landon actually existed! Thanks for this, Gayle Hobbs

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HCF's Local Health Buzz Blog aims to discuss health and health policy issues that impact the uninsured and underserved in our service area. To submit a blog, please contact HCF Communications Officers, Jennifer Sykes, at jsykes@hcfgkc.org.

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