Glorious Gentleman

Today as we mark a year since our first lockdown began I wanted to use the opportunity to write about my amazing father, Joachim, who sadly succumbed to the virus back in April 2020. To say that I am still coming to terms with this loss, nearly a year later, is an understatement especially as he was still very much in his prime of life having just had his 66th birthday. The last year feels like a dream, or nightmare, depending on your perspective and I have wanted to write about him before, but today I thought would be a good opportunity to start.

Joachim came into my life when I had just started secondary school as a result of a passionate love affair with my mother and quickly was welcomed in our home by all of us. Including, magnanimously, by my farther who recognised what my mother and Joachim had and both men became firm friends. This has always perplexed outsiders looking into my family, but from my perspective it seemed completely normal, and when the time came that my father and mother divorced that was done amiably one afternoon using a website.

Joachim therefore, from an early age, had always been an amazing addition to our family unit, and I was the proud son of two fathers. Both complimented each other and I tribute a large part of my future successes to the input they had on my upbringing. My father, Edward, is an excellent cook and every night we had amazing meals at home, whereas when I spent time with Joachim he loved eating out and opened my eyes to fine dining from around the world. Certainly his penchant for the finer things in life rubbed off on me and we shared many happy experiences from luxury hotels to fast cars. He was pure class to the core, having worked his way up from a poor upbringing in Germany, he was not shy of hard work and demonstrated to all the naysayers that you get out what you put in.

It was therefore an honour to have him as Chairman of my company, Fluidata, when I set that up and he expertly supported me in finding finance, growing the business and then successfully exiting in 2015. Like my paternal father Edward, he had high morals and always demonstrated complete integrity in anything he was involved in. So growing up my view of business was shaped by his view that you treat people well, you get out of the way and let them get on with it. When news of his passing made it onto LinkedIn we were all blown away by the number of people who contacted my mother to say how much he had influenced or shaped them during his career.

Joachim died because his immune system overreacted to Covid, and while fit and having never been in hospital before in his life, it was on the ventilator where he caught numerous bouts of pneumonia which wrecked his lungs, and the Doctors made the decision to turn off life support. Could lessons have been learnt from his experience? Certainly. I hope that today less are suffering from the same response but it seems only now with the vaccine rollout that those numbers are dramatically dropping. Sadly it was too late for my dear farther and the world is a sadder place without him. My mother bravely soldiers on having lost her true love and we focus on the few rays of sunshine that come our way.

Last week we laid Joachim to rest at the base of a spectacular Larch tree which has taken centre stage to a wood we have planted in his memory. Opa’s Wood (Opa is German for Grandad) consists of over 2,000 new trees alongside existing trees including 700 year old oaks looking out on a hill in Warwickshire over five counties. A fitting resting place for a glorious gentleman.

24 Comments

  • Edward says:

    A great eulogy to a very special person who we all miss, thank you Piers.

  • Leslie Perrin says:

    Tears in my eyes, Piers. What a friend we had in Joachim. So keenly missed!

  • Gillian Boswell says:

    What a beautiful eulogy Piers. You make it easy to understand why dear Joachim was such a loved man.

  • Lulu says:

    As a modest man, Joachim would be proud of your words and probably overwhelmed too. The world has indeed lost a Gentleman.

  • David & Pamela says:

    A lovely piece Piers – we both miss him very much.

  • Susie Harris says:

    Beautiful words for a wonderful man x

  • Norinne says:

    Joachim made the world a better place and is sadly missed. This is a lovely tribute, as is the wood that has been planted.

  • Anne and Barrie Wood says:

    A brave and true blessing. Thank you Piers. We all miss Joachim.

  • Nancy Padfield says:

    What beautiful sentiments and a true testament to Joachim’s success as an amazing man that graced our lives, and made this world a happier place. We all miss this “glorious gentleman” we were all so fortunate to have called our friend.

  • Phil & Liz Riman says:

    Piers, a glorious and fitting testament to a completely unique and wonderful man. We just really miss him.

  • Andreas says:

    Thanks for sharing your memories with us! Still can’t believe it happened

  • Alex Zadnik says:

    Dear Piers,
    A wonderful tribute to a very special man whom we all loved and admired.
    Alex and Megan Zadnik

  • achim fischer says:

    Worte die einem sehr nahe gehen , und die Werte von Joachim wiederspiegeln. Joachim war für Maria und mich ein
    wahrer Freund und geschätzter Gesprächspartner. Er war immer sehr Stolz auf seine Familie die er über alles Liebte.

  • Stephen & Jan Yardley says:

    Thank you Piers – a glorious gentleman indeed, and much missed

  • Bud Blackmore says:

    Piers – Such a wonderful tribute to Joachim. I’m inspired by the way you explain your acceptance of him as your father because I know he accepted you and Toby equally as his sons. Joachim was a great business associate but an even better friend.

  • Geoffrey & Tecla says:

    Joachim was such a very special person. So unfair that he has been taken from us. We miss him so much. Our love to you all.

  • Jamie Cayzer-Colvin says:

    Well said and thank you. It was a great privilege knowing your father and the world is poorer without him

  • Suzanne and Larry Viner says:

    Beautiful words, Piers. You encapsulated perfectly the essence of a unique gentleman. So sad that he became a victim of this terrible virus. How special and appropriate that the new wood with its stunning views has been created to honour his memory. Much Love to you and all the family x

  • Lucy and Kevin says:

    A wonderful remembrance, Piers in honor of this “glorious” gentleman and for so beautifully paying tribute to your family. A lesson in love.

  • Eric Turner says:

    You write of your love for Joachim with such tenderness and eloquence Piers. He would be deeply touched by it if he could read it, as Maggie and I have been! Those years we spent together in Paris were priceless and one could not have wished for a better boss, and later friend. What times we had there! We wish you, Toby, Trish and Edward happiness and good health and hope one to walk in Opa’s Wood in your company. Love Maggie&Eric Turner

  • Eric Turner says:

    Thanks for that.

  • Madeleine Bell says:

    Yes,what a Glorious Gentleman he was !
    We are missing our dear friend Joachim very much .He has left us but he is forever in our hearts

  • tricia roeser says:

    Piers – as always you seem to have found the words to describe the very special (and unusual given the circumstances) relationship both you and Toby had with Joachim. He was a truly lovely man, God rest his soul.

  • Martin Maynial says:

    One of the greatest man I ever met

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