December 2014 – Imre Pataki
Words never seem to capture the true feelings a person has for another individual. We may not remember all the things he said, but we will not forget how we felt when we were with him. We felt God’s love through you. I see you playing that perfect game of soccer in heaven this morning, running beautifully with a perfectly ageless intelligent performing body making good memories.
You cannot be replaced Imre, there was only one unique you. We are going to miss you brother. You have left us with good memories.
Tribute to Imre Pataki
The life of one man, whose depth of perception abounded into caring service to his fellows both young and aged, is fondly recalled and lovingly remembered as a gentleman perpetually striving to create good memories. It is truly an honor to pay tribute to this man who bore many tribulations himself. He spoke once of sad memories as a boy, aged 14, living in Yugoslavia but of Hungarian parentage, when his family’s possessions were confiscated by the newly established communist regime. Imre’s grandfather, an accomplished tailor, requested permission for the entire family to relocate to either the USA, Australia, or South Africa. In the wake of a Yugoslavian euphoric football victory over the world renowned Hungary, they were permitted to emigrate to South Africa. As a young man Imre played professional football in South Africa for Arcadia Football Club.
Also, Imre survived a parasitic infection as a young man which left its mark in the form of an enormous winding scar on his abdomen. He and Sonja dedicated their lives to the care of their daughter, Vinka, who from birth bore numerous physical challenges. Imre travelled extensively in search of potential remedies that would afford Vinka some comfort and quality of life.
Imre was a fantastic athlete, footballer, teammate, coach, referee, and fitness enthusiast. He held and maintained a black belt in the martial arts of Goju-Ryu and Aikido. He taught classes of preschool to middle school children a program which he coined ‘The Gentle Art’ - a program of physical activity and mental acuity. Watching him interact with these kids was affirmation of his playful youthfulness. His wife, Sonja, taught dance to these children, sharing the same space with Imre.
His nature was kindness personified. His spirit was gentle. He had a philosophical bent that was introspective and all inclusive. He helped me to discover latent resources within myself that brought clarity to problematic physical and spiritual shortcomings. He brought me much joy, serenity, and very happy memories. His was a life well lived. He served harmoniously with integrity in all his relationships.
I still and will always think of him with fondness. I will remember and practice the mainstay of his many aphorisms, “Find and work on the weakest link.” The world is a better place for having had the pleasure of Imre’s touch, his words, his ear, his charm, his love.
Rest in peace my friend – you have earned it…