Editor's note: What follows is the text of the eulogy delivered at Bill Meehan's memorial service last September by Tony Dwyer, Meehan's friend, confidant and colleague.
I want to welcome and thank everyone for coming to the memorial service today. Bill and his family touched many lives. I met Bill a little over a decade ago. I interviewed him to join the equity focus group at Prudential Securities. We took what we thought were the best ideas from the research department and passed them along in English to the brokers who could then present them to the clients.
Bill fit in perfectly, given his dislike for mediocrity. Even though he got it, he didn't like the glory. He wanted to join the group because he was a broker and liked what we were doing and thought he could add to it. Man did he.
Right away I took to Bill for three reasons:
1. He truly wanted to do the right thing for the brokers and clients.
2. He pulled out a tin of Skoal.
3. He asked me to go out for a coupla pops.
I thought to myself: "This is going to be one heck of a team." And it was.
Right away we supported and sponsored each other. He had the combination of a great heart and brutal honesty that many can only hope to have. He was sort of a combination of Archie Bunker and Carroll O'Connor. Bill made friends easily and people took to him right away.
Bill and I shared many laughs along with failures and successes over the years, and when I began writing for
I could only think of one person to join me in the Trading Track on
-- and that was Bill.
Bill was much more than an analyst. One of our great friends once said to me, "When you die, no one will care whether you were right or wrong about the market, they will care what kind of person you were." No truer words could ever be spoken.
Like all of us, Bill wasn't perfect, but he was one of the warmest hearts that I have ever encountered.
One thing that was unique to Bill was his spirit. His friend Danny Meehan (no relation) and I were talking this week about how we should have sold tickets to times when someone actually tried to win an argument with Bill. His close friends knew better and instead enjoyed others' frustrated attempts. Despite that, Bill was always quick to admit his shortcomings and mistakes, which was one of the most valuable lessons he could have taught me.
As I sat and reflected on what to say about Bill, a thought came to me that made me instantly laugh. I was thinking about what took place as Bill approached St. Peter at the Pearly Gates of heaven to negotiate entry. Can't you just see him looking at St. Peter saying,
: Hello there Mr. Meehan. One thing is for sure, you have a lot of friends and family that have sent me some wonderful prayers on your behalf, even a guy from a destroyer. You certainly had a very full life.
: You don't know the half of it. My counsel advised me to start out by saying that you folks up here blessed me with a wonderful life. I had everything that a man could want, a great family, wonderful children, great job -- where I actually got paid for my opinion -- and only you folks up here know how crazy that is. I was a TV personality and had a great number of friends, old and new. I never offended anyone ...
: All right ya hot shot, hold it right there! You never offended anyone? How about the time ...
: Let's not get into specifics here.
: Don't forget, I make the rules here.
: Annnnggggggg. Some of them are ridiculous and need to be changed.
: Go ahead, state your case.
: Despite some of my
drawbacks, I loved my family more than anything in the world and never let down a friend. I was never shy about giving myself to others, whether I knew them for five seconds or five decades. While most people down there would be affected by this kind of success, I always treated everyone alike, no matter what their position in life. I didn't change what or who I was, no matter what the situation. As you know, I said it like it was and then took action to fix what I could. Iloved my children and had an immeasurable respect for Maureen
and nothing could change that. I even went to all their sporting events.
: I know. Even when they didn't want you to.
: Well the coaches, refs and other kids didn't know what they were doing and were changing the rules without telling anyone. Either way Pete, whatever I did, I did so because I thought it was right or would help someone else. And at the end of the day, isn't that what is important? I rest my case.
: Well Bill, you got a point there. You were a great man in your own unique way. You were well loved, helped others, loved your family, took care of the needy and lived life to its fullest. I guess that could get you enough points to get in. By the way Bill, did you hear the one about how many Meehans it takes to change a light bulb?
: Very funny. No.
: Yeah we love this stuff up here. It took all of you. You to screw it up, two of the kids to remind you not to touch anything in the house to "fix," and someone to get Maureen to fix it like she did everything else.
: Aye -- very funny ya swine. Now to serious stuff. Can you ever win a trifecta up here and get a Bud? And just cause I have wings now doesn't mean I want a "Bud Light" either.
Over the past two weeks I have had the wonderful opportunity to speak to Maureen on a number of occasions at length. I have an incredible amount of respect and admiration for Bill's wife. At this time of crisis in her life and family, she has been strong.
The fact of the matter is that Maureen has said that this is bigger than Bill. In effect, it is a "call to arms." Not the kind most would think of, but the kind of arms that people use to hug, love and support friends with. Maureen told me of how she plans to get in touch with another wife in the community that lost a husband and has a 14-month-old and is pregnant with her second. Maureen has been strong for her family, but still reaches out to others who are in need.
I think we should all follow her example. Out of any tragedy comessomething wonderful. We have an opportunity to reach out and love those we know and those we don't during these difficult times. The true sign of strength comes from within.
We have lost a great friend, but have been reacquainted with and found many new ones. For that we are truly blessed.
May God bless Bill, his family and the rest of America.