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23079In Memoriam: Hector Roybal

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  • Laura
    Apr 2, 2008
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      The following is a tribute given by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi at the
      funeral of Hector Roybal this February in Southern California. He
      was a good friend of NARTH and a longtime supporter of men coming
      out of homosexuality.

      I am very glad to be here today to honor Hector and to celebrate his

      Anyone who knew Hector knew that he was fully and actively engaged
      in life, and fully engaged with people. If you spent just a half-
      hour with him, you might well be interrupted a dozen times by calls
      coming in to his cell phone. He was always talking, networking, and
      connecting with people around the world. Even when I was in Europe
      giving conferences, people would come up to me afterward to
      say, "You know Hector, don't you?" They would tell me that they knew
      and appreciated him and were thankful for his work and support.

      Hector did not want to die. It was not that he was afraid of death,
      since from every thing I knew of him, he had a rock-solid faith. But
      the reason he didn't want to die, was because he did not want to be
      separated from the people he loved. And he loved a lot of people--
      and because we felt his love, we loved him. That's how it works, and
      Hector knew that; we love people when we feel their love for us, and
      you couldn't help but love Hector.

      And you couldn't help be annoyed by him: strong-willed, pushy,
      opinionated and controlling. But if he was pushy, it was because he
      pushed himself. If he was demanding, it was because he was equally
      demanding of himself. And if you called him on that, he'd back down--
      -he did not want to hurt you.

      Hector and I went out to lunch together about a month before he
      died. We were talking about his work, his life, the fact that his
      cancer treatments were no longer helping, and about his expectation
      that the end would soon come. It was at that time that he asked me
      to speak at his memorial, and I agreed.

      What we said must have remained on his mind, because a few days
      later he told me again, "Thanks, Joe for saying you'd speak at my
      memorial service." Discussing a memorial with a man who will soon
      die, I guess made me a little nervous, so I said something silly --
      "Oh, don't worry Hector, it'll go great. It's just too bad you
      won't be there to hear it." Without skipping a beat, Hector answered
      calmly, "That's O.K. Joe, you can tell me all about it when we meet
      in the next life."

      Hector was driven by a sense of mission - not only to perfect his
      Christian walk, but especially, to help other men...men who
      struggled with homosexuality, but sometimes, even just strangers he
      met that he'd give his time and energy to. After battling to
      overcome his own boyhood insecurities and self-doubts, he had become
      a leader of men. That's a lesson for all of us; whatever our
      struggles, we can work to grow beyond them and offer a life of

      To Hector's wife Sharon, we want you express our deepest
      condolences. To his children, we want to say that the older you get,
      the more you will understand the man your Dad was; the more mature
      you become, the more you will appreciate his determination to be
      what he wanted to be---a leader, a Christian, and a loving family

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