A leaf flutters to Earth


My friend Wayne Wittman wasn’t at his Minnesota Precinct Caucus on Tuesday, March 1.
My guess is he’d never have missed his precinct caucus. He was always an activist.
From his obituary: “Wayne lived every day of his 86 years to the fullest. He had a long, satisfying career, a family he deeply loved (who loved him equally). He had zillions of friends. He died with his boots on, doing what he loved. According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Wayne was the definition of success: “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children…to leave the world a better place…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
As the story came across the internet: Wednesday night, Feb. 24, Wayne “had a heart attack while riding the MTC [Metropolitan Transit] bus home from a union gathering. He was rushed to the hospital but never regained consciousness.”
“A Leaf Flutters to Earth”?
Wayne Wittman was a common guy, like all of us.
We humans are all like leaves on a tree, and there are many trees, many varieties, in many environments, everywhere.
Just like human beings.
Wayne’s life of contributing to his family, very broadly defined, ended abruptly as he sat on a bus heading home from being of service to others. I’d guess that he’s happy that his death didn’t disrupt too many others’ lives. It would probably be the way he’d like to depart this earth for eternity … going home.
I know from knowing him, his particular “leaf” on life’s tree was a very productive one. Wherever people are in the world there are trees, and leaves. All of us are connected.
Wayne didn’t make his precinct caucus on Tuesday, March 1.
I’m sure he would tell us all: get involved in politics. “Politics” is each of us, at every level.
(Looking for Wayne’s leaf? It’s the golden one that just fluttered down to Earth …)
Wayne was in Vets for Peace (to which he recruited me a dozen years ago, and of which I’m still a member).
[Here is the Veterans for Peace’s Statement of Purpose:
We, having dutifully served our nation, do hereby affirm our greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace. To this end we will work, with others, to increase public awareness of the costs of war; to restrain our government from intervening, overtly and covertly, in the internal affairs of other nations; to end the arms race and to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons; to seek justice for veterans and victims of war; to abolish war as an instrument of national policy.]


  1. I was not planning to attend my precinct caucus due to recovering from hip replacement surgery, but I know my dad, Wayne, would find a way to haunt me! So, both my husband and myself went, walker in toe where I limped in. Thank you for this nice, personable article about my dad!

  2. Hello Dick. Thank you for sharing your perspective on our Dad and for your kind and loving words. He was an amazing man, and all of us kids and his grandchildren have learned more about just how amazing we was over these past weeks. He truly did die the way he would have wanted..on the bus following a labor meeting where we won support for a political resolution that believed would enhance our democracy, on the way home without inconveniencing anyone else. Thank you to all who have helped us celebrate his life, and to all, both today and in generations to come, who will continue his work and his commitment to love, justice, inclusion and a more peaceful world.
    Bob Wittman
    One of Wayne’s 5 Children

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