In Memoriam
Alfred John Mozier, 1933-1999
 
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A Family Man in Any Culture - These photos, circa 1957, were taken by my father, Chin-Yuan Weng, using his Minolta Hi-Matic 9 rangefinder and its built-in f/1.7 45mm lens.  Featured here are Uncle Al, his wife Aunt Sue, his two infant sons Mark and Richard (I wonder which one was which), and his mother-in-law, my grandmother Lee Hui.

On January 2000, the kin of Al Mozier gathered to honor his memory, to celebrate three birthdays and, well, to eat.

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Arlington
19th January
Dinner at Rip's
20th January
Peking Gourmet Inn
21st January
Goodbye
22nd January

The following eulogies were read at the funeral of Sargeant Major Alfred John Mozier, given in full military honors at Arlington National Cemetary on 19th January, 2000.

Waging a yearlong battle against lung cancer, my uncle died over the penultimate Christmas holidays of the first millennium AD, three days shy of 2000.

In his prime, Uncle Al was a taciturn man with a sardonic wit when he did have something to say.  The things he loved were the irises in his backyard, Gilbert-Sullivan operettas, Tanqueray Gin, Ellery Queen, Frank Herbert, mah-jong, computer role-playing games and Chesterfield cigarettes, which did him in at the end.

He loved people more than he loved those things, but you’d never hear it from him.  There were many nieces, nephews, grandsons and granddaughters that sat on his lap, and ate his flapjacks on a Saturday morning.  Despite the perennial temper tantrums that bolstered his image as a crusty curmudgeon, he remained fiercely loyal to the family – his only wife and two sons – throughout the past four decades.

When Uncle Al met my Aunt Sue in Taipei, he was already trained to speak Mandarin with academic precision. The earliest years of their long marriage were spent in Korea in the wake of the war, where he was stationed as a liaison officer for the U.S. Army.  Since this tour of duty he reported to the Pentagon, and they lived in the hills of Maryland ever since.  For my sister and myself, he was the pre-eminent emissary to Rockwellian Americana: Saturday matinees, bowling, bacon and eggs, and Christmas parties at the V.A. club.

Uncle Al took me to see Star Wars back in ‘79, taught me to play Backgammon and Scrabble (even as he cheated when I began to beat him), bought me a recording of G&S’s Mikado, and brought me home from downtown Washington, DC at 1:00 am one inexplicable night.  He never knew I caught him pissing in the garden to fertilize Aunt Sue’s chives (the goo tsai), or how much I craved for his Swedish meatballs.

Here is a gin-and-tonic to you, Uncle Al.  Enjoy the new millennium from way up there.

- Charles Weng

Dear Uncle,

I’ve been wanting to see you ever since I received news of your illness last year.  The high school entrance exams in Taiwan kept me from coming, and I postponed the visit until this summer.  I guess I’ll be a little late.

I am flushed with memories from many a yesteryear.  Well, two – when I was two and three.  Amidst vague impressions of those fleeting moments, yours was the one that came into sharp focus.   In those two years, you and Aunt Sue gave me a lifetime’s worth of love, which I shall never forget.  My entire family is forever grateful for your understated empathy and all-out support.

My faith tells me that births and deaths are but immortal souls in transition, deserving in themselves neither joy nor grief.  Just as a birth brings untold promise to this world, a death can also be a harbinger for hope unseen.   You, uncle, justify and ennoble my belief that good, kind souls merit ascension into paradise.

Do not worry about your loved ones, Uncle, especially your wife.  We will look after her, with the same care and devotion you gave her for over forty years.  I regret I cannot say goodbye to you in person; I hope these words will do.

Take care and bon voyage!   Thanks to you, all is well at home.

- Jennifer Raven Weng

For Al Mozier
bulletEulogies (Al's first page)
bulletArlington: Full Military Honors
bulletArlington: Family Portrait
bulletDinner at Rip's
bulletBanquet at Peking Gourmet Inn
bulletFootnote from Maryland
Travelogue
bulletTravelogue Home Page
bulletTravelogue Index
bulletGallery: Temple Hills, Maryland
 

   
1999-2010 by Charles Weng. Do not copy or download any content from this web site without permission. To contact the author, please write to inquiry@c-weng.com and include the word c-weng.com in a concise subject line.