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Eulogy for Dr. Claire Loe

Dr. Dave Ross, president and CEO of the Task Force for Global Health and former director of PHII, delivered this eulogy in honor of Dr. Claire Loe at her memorial service in Houston, Texas on December 10, 2016.

I feel it an honor to be here to come and say a final goodbye to my friend and colleague Claire.

Family, friends and colleagues: a light has gone out of our lives, and we feel a sense of darkness. I cannot remove that sense of darkness, but I can tell you that the bright light of Claire’s spirit fills our hearts and fills this room. Her light has gone out, yet it has not. Her light was not an ordinary light. Claire illuminated many lives. Her light represented the living truth of peace and decency and compassion for others. Her commitment to social justice and to the core public health tenant of concern for all people remains through the lives she touched.

Claire was a perfect fit for The Task Force for Global Health. Many of you probably don’t know much about the Task Force. The Task Force is a special organization, doing very special work that is made possible by very special people. Claire was one of our special people. 

Claire’s values aligned perfectly with our organizational values. The Task Force stresses collaborative approaches to solving big problems. Claire was innately a collaborative person. The Task Force strives for social justices by addressing health problems that afflict the most marginalized. Claire’s life was devoted to social justice. The Task Force builds its work on consequential compassion, which means that caring is not enough. No, we insist that we make a difference. In every fiber of her being, Claire was a compassionate woman devoted to seeing her work make a real difference in the health of many.

Claire was a quiet and serious woman who was always helpful and kind. She was a serious colleague devoted to solving technical problems that would unleash the power of information to improve health. When working with Claire, I felt I needed to bring my A game. She expected a lot of herself and that inspired me to expect a lot from myself.

And, of course, Claire shared her values visibly through her car. Everyone knew Claire’s car and, through it, they knew Claire. The Task Force was a perfect place for her car. It spoke to our values also.

In closing, I must say that I am happy that Claire lived to receive her Hilton Humanitarian Award medal. That award speaks to the values and meaning of Claire’s life. It is the most significant humanitarian award given in the world and it is a fitting way to honor my friend, our friend, your sister and your daughter.

Her light will forever live in our hearts. Every day, I walk into our lobby and I see the award. It reminds me of the goodness, kindness and compassion that is Claire’s lasting light.