Archive for January 25th, 2011
A new movie called “Hot Coffee” is featured at Democracy Now. The new film:
looks at the stories of four people whose lives were devastated when they were denied access to the courtroom after being injured. The film documents how corporations have spent millions to promote the case for tort reform.
One of the main ways to keep injured people out of courtrooms is to use mandatory arbitration clauses, a topic I addressed here.
Richard Vieth was my father. He died on January 14, 2011 at the age of 78, after battling cancer for the past few years. Two days ago I attended his funeral at the Hope Lutheran Church in St Charles, Missouri. The minister gave a detailed celebratory sermon.
The church was packed, even though there was no obituary; no arrangements had been made to publish one. I have decided to publish my own obituary here to make certain that anyone who wants to know about my dad can see that he lived a long active life, that he recently passed away and that he is missed by the many people whose lives he touched. I would also like to annotate this obituary with some personal observations.
At the time of his death my dad (who also went by the name of Dick Vieth) was married to Carolyn Vieth. They had been married for about 20 years and they had made their home in St. Charles, Missouri. Monica Brown was my dad’s step-daughter (Carolyn’s daughter). About a dozen years ago, they both adopted Lynne Bright as their daughter. From 1953 through 1990, my dad was married to my mom, Katherine D. Vieth (formerly Katherine Wich), and they had raised five children. In order of birth, those children are Vicki Kozeny, me (Erich Vieth), Jan Vieth, Kathy Albers and Angela Vieth. My dad is one of four children; his sisters are Jeanne Mertens, Peggy Huston and Mary Malawey. He is survived by all of the above, and by more than a few grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
During his long career at McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing), Richard Vieth worked tirelessly as an aerospace engineer. He helped design cruise missiles and other highly sophisticated weapons. One of his early projects, back in the 1960’s, had been the Dragon anti-tank missile. He took his job extremely seriously, working many evenings and weekends. When I was a teenager, I asked him how cruise missiles could know where to fly while they were traveling over water since all water would presumably look the same; he abruptly stated, “I can’t discuss that. It’s top secret.” He was deeply convinced that America needed to maintain its great military strength to stay safe, and he was proud to play a part in that effort. Upon his death he was recognized by some of his fellow engineers from McDonnell Douglas.
My dad was also a bicycle enthusiast. He made many extensive bicycle journeys here in the United States and overseas. He was an active bicyclist until a few years ago.
My father characterized himself as a “conservative” on his Facebook page. He was especially outspoken in local Republican politics during the last few decades of his life. For instance, he was active with the St. Charles, Missouri Pachyderms.
My dad was also highly active with his church, Hope Lutheran Church. He wasn’t shy about singing loudly in the church choir nor about preaching to virtually everyone he met that they should accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Prior to his death, my dad wrote his own long eulogy and copies were passed out at his funeral (here is a copy). He wanted to make certain that the people attending his funeral knew the importance of accepting Jesus Christ.
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