Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Honoring Anthony Strauss

Tomorrow I'll be attending the funeral of an amazing young man. He was compassionate, creative, and rambunctious, had an electric personality and a megaphone for a voice. He had so much still to give to his family and to the world. His potential was unlimited. Dear Anthony was just 10 years old.

Anthony was not lost to cancer like his older sister Gloria was in 2007, but rather as a result of a freak accident in his home. Five years ago, Gloria's six siblings all had the chance to say their goodbyes to her in the hospital, but not Anthony. Last week he was there at home one second, in ICU the next, and now his family will be laying him to rest tomorrow. Their grief is overwhelming and how can anyone come up with words that can comfort such a tragic, sudden loss, or even comprehend it? I certainly can't.

I love the Strauss family and I loved Anthony. His nickname was "Amps" because he was so darn, wonderfully LOUD. He completely cracked me up. You never knew if he'd show up in army fatigues with a mohawk, or wearing a suit and tie. This young man had style.

Energy? You bet, and Amps was only on his way to breakfast.
My son Miles took these photographs of Anthony's unforgettable entrance to the final camp dance last July.
My daughter Alex is 11 and called Anthony, "my little dancing buddy", from the numerous Camp Goodtimes events that they saw each other at. During the whipped cream fight at the carnival last summer, Alex had the job of filling up kids hands with whipped cream from the sidelines so they could get back in the foray. Alex kept a steady supply going to Anthony and he exclaimed to her, "YOU ARE AWESOME!!" A little later in the fight I went over into the "low impact" zone where kids with  physical limitations could still participate and a young blind camper needed a target. I corralled Anthony and said, "C'mon Amps, take one for the team!" He gladly got down on one knee and offered up his head so that little Julia could experience the joy of obliterating a fellow camper with whipped cream. A lot of kids would have run away, but not Anthony. He understood FUN more than most and I don't think Julia will ever forget that moment.

I won't be able to comprehend that Anthony is really gone until I see the Strauss family all together and notice that gaping hole between Joe and Sam. There is nothing in this world that will ever fill that void.

As it was five years ago with Gloria, and now with Anthony, healing can only be found with honor, remembrance and love.

Please keep Anthony and the rest of Strauss family in your thoughts and prayers...again.

Gloria in 2007

Anthony last summer


For those interested in supporting the Strauss during this time of such tremendous loss, you can visit


  1. Thanks for honoring the Strauss Family with such beautiful photos of their precious children. My heart is heavy for their loss.
    Carol Bradley Mother of Panda and Loop

  2. Paul ,I have never met you or the Strauss ,but the pictures and story tells it all.Thank you for sharing those beautiful moment..I can just imagine the hole it is leaving the Family and so many....May God bring you comfort too Paul,to you and your family as well as lots of strength and comfort for the family.Anthony and his family are in thoughts and prayers .I will be on RosaryLive with Tom and the Crew.

  3. Your beautiful photos of their children, your memories and your presence in friendship are significant gifts to the Strauss family, as they are to us. May God bring comfort to your family, and to everyone who knows and loves the Strauss family, tomorrow and in the days after the memorial service.

  4. I so vividly remember that moment during the whipped cream fight this year!!!! I remember how hard Julia laughed when she hit Anthony, and I remember him being such a great sport about it and laughing along. My heart just hurts for the Strauss family. Thanks so much for sharing the great pictures, and the great stories, Mooselips.

  5. When I heard the news, I had no words. You've found the perfect words for something I could never have even imagined. I know Gloria is taking good care of him. Thanks for sharing your words when I had none. <3 Pinky

  6. Thank you for this beautiful post. I also have been emotionally paralyzed by the news of Anthony's death...just unable to comprehend such a tragedy coming to the Strauss family...again. I appreciate this opportunity to share in the joy of Anthony's life.

  7. What a lovely tribute to an amazing young man. Everyone who knows or has heard of the Strauss family is grieving. I know Gloria was there to greet him upon his arrival!

  8. Thank you for your beautiful tribute. My heart hurts all the more that I was unable to attend the funeral or express my love and sympathy to Doug, Kristin, Alissa, Maria, Joe, Sam and Vincent. I pray that the outpouring of love from the community strengthens the family in faith and love, and does not tempt the children to despair at the loss of their siblings. God bless you for your friendship to the Strausses.