Jos Claerbout Memorial Service

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[Camilo Viniegra]

Like most people here, I met Jos at work. And in the first month I worked with him I suggested in a joke that we should get a couch. Of course, Jos took me very seriously and started working his magic to convince the manager that we had to get a couch.

So we went out to the Goodwill and almost immediately he spotted exactly what he wanted. It was an old, bright orange couch, and he loved it.

He sat down just for one second; he sat down and waited. And I watched him for about a half hour negotiate with all the workers there, in Spanish, to try to get it down from the eight dollars that they were asking. It would be unheard of to pay the full price!

So we brought it back to work, and we sat down, fully satisfied. And he turned to me and he said, "I'll bet, we'll make good roommates."

And I've been living with him for the past--almost two years--and it's been great. He's the best roommate.

I can always rely on coming home and finding a happy Jos. And from the moment I walked in I could hear him singing my name to the Simpson's theme song. He would always ask, "Who's my favorite Camilo?" And I would never know how to respond to that.

It was really wonderful living with him. He saw the good in almost everything. He just wanted to spread joy and I think he managed to do that for everyone. And I'll miss him. I'll miss seeing him in front of the TV knitting his toessels, telling me about his next crazy idea that he was going to make a reality. I'll miss him. I'll especially miss him when I'm home alone and realize that he's just not coming home. But I'm glad that I met him and I'm better off having known him.


[Renée Gentry]

Like many people, I had the pleasure of knowing Jos, unfortunately, only for a short time. But many, many stories will I cherish in my heart. And I'll always somehow keep in mind the intonation and the larger-than-life expressions that Jos carried with him, just by nature--just as a simple part of who he was.

One of the things that he always used to ask me--that would always throw me for a loop until I remembered it was Jos talking to me--he'd say, "Renée, what color convertible are you going to get?"

I don't even like convertibles!

"Jos, why would I want a convertible?"

"To carry all of the gold bars that my ideas are going to bring you!"

It wasn't just an ordinary armored car, it was a convertible. And that was Jos.


I'm afraid I won't be able to keep my composure to actually tell you a lot of the stories I would love to share with you. But I would like to leave you with this single thought:

What color convertible are you going to need--it will certainly be one that is larger than life--to carry away the memories, to cherish and hold them--that Jos has so graciously given to every single one of us?


[Emily Wilska]

I just wanted to share three constants about Jos.

The first thing--whenever he saw me, he, being twice my size [Ed. note: Jos was 6'3"], would always engulf me in a big hug, leaving me about up to his belly button. But it was always fantastic and made me feel so good.

The second being that he was a constant provider of sheer wackiness, from his autoresponders to our previewers, to his crazy Web sites, to his toessels, to his phone number 614-STAG.

And the very final thing is that Jos never, ever wanted anyone to be sad. It's sort of hard to remember right now and sort of hard to deal with, but once we get through this--think what he would be saying if he were standing here, and remember that he wanted to bring us nothing more than joy. Thank you, Jos.


[William Beaver]

Well, I'm a bit older than the other folks. But the Claerbouts and the Beavers go back a very long way. Our children and their children grew up together, and our son David grew up with all three of the Claerbout boys. And it's been such a joy.

Two instances come to mind--first, of course, is Jos's sense of humor. And you can imagine with a last name like Beaver, and a sense of humor like Jos's, there was just an unlimited opportunity! And some evenings Jos would come over unexpectedly when we were having a glass of wine with the Claerbouts.

"Oh! It's the Beavers. The Beavers are here!"

And things would just go on with him in a routine.

And at other times we were fortunate enough to share the birthdays--Jon and Diane's birthdays--with the rest of the Claerbout family. And we would bring these silly little gifts over and Jos would just make over these gifts--we just felt like these gifts, you know, like we had just made the Claerbout's lives.

So, in addition, much deeper than the sense of humor, Jos was a bridge builder when it came to working with other people. And this world needs, and has benefited from, the bridge building. And it's just been a pleasure to know him. Thank you very much.

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