In recognition of Sean Paul Loika Englert

This spring is graduation season, and I take pride In two cousins – sisters Rory and Lauren – who are finishing Southridge High School in Beaverton, Oregon, with flying colors and earn their diplomas in June.  I also celebrate another cousin, Max, who received a bachelor of art’s degree in math and physics cum laude from Lewis & Clark College out here in Portland last weekend. But this post is dedicated to a dogged achiever bearing the Loika name: my nephew, Sean Paul Loika Englert.

Sean is 49 years old.  After dropping out from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas 30 years ago, surviving a spirited youth and eventually moving to Brooklyn, Iowa, he dedicated himself to the many sacrifices, lack of sleep, and who knows what else to complete a higher education.  On Sunday, May 19th, he receives a bachelor of art’s degree in social work summa cum laude from Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, a 65-mile commute from his home.

How he managed to attend all his classes, write several scholarly papers, commute and excel in school while holding down a full-time job – and a budding romance – is a true miracle more than a measured achievement measured by Sean’s grades.  Every paper he turned in, he worried whether his grades were good enough.

They were.  Sean excelled in school with a 4.0, so on Sunday, May 19th, Mount Mercy will award Sean Englert his degree. 

However, one day before his baccalaureate, Saturday, May 18th, Sean will marry Leslie Stanley, a woman who shares his wry sense of humor.  The forevermore commitment will take place – believe it or not – in the Brooklyn Memorial Cemetery at 3 pm.

Losing his head to a woman.

A marriage ceremony in a graveyard?  Perhaps it’s indicative of how Sean worked himself to death preparing for this weekend.  But he’s still ambulatory, right?

I commemorate this noble accomplishment filled with sweat, worry, planning, carrying on a romance and displaying the right household sensibilities to sweep Leslie off her feet.

Sean, I admire you.  Congratulations!

6 thoughts on “In recognition of Sean Paul Loika Englert”

  1. Congratulations to my amazing brother who always “caught on” a little faster in school than I did. Sean’s sharp mind challenged me, the little sister, to try harder than most and reach success of my own. Cheers to you big brother on such a worthy accomplishment!

  2. I would like to thank you all for your kind words. This is by no means an individual effort. Without the support of my loved ones, especially Leslie, this never would have been possible. Indeed, this is the culmination of a lot of hard work and sacrifice by everyone involved. It takes a village.

  3. Tell your nephew the Raven’s Nest is still for sale. He can hang is diploma behind the bar and keep one of the upstairs rooms available for your visits.

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