WILKES-BARRE — John Moses used his favorite quote to eulogize his beloved brother, Dr. George P. “Doc” Moses.
The quote was from “The Prophet,” by Kahlil Gibran:
“And all knowledge is vain save when there is work, and all work is empty save when there is love; and when you work with love, you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.”
John Moses said his brother, who died Tuesday at age 81, had a “huge personality” and lived a “huge life.” He said his brother lived that quotation from author Gibran.
Moses, a prominent attorney, told a packed St. Anthony’s Maronite Church on Park Avenue on Saturday morning that he knew at a very early age that George had “an urge” to become a contributing citizen. He said his first memory of his big brother was on John’s first day of school at St. Nicholas.
John said his parents asked the school if George could bring his little brother to class and take him home every day instead of the parents because they were always working at their dry goods business. The school allowed George to bring John to school.
“Right from that first day of school, I knew that George would always take care of me,” John said. “I knew he would always take care of all of us.”
John said George graduated at the top of his class from St. Nicholas High School and graduated cum laude from King’s College. He said George was the first King’s grad to be accepted into Harvard Medical School, but opted for Jefferson Medical College because the tuition was too high at Harvard. He went on to become a surgeon.
“George went to the best schools and he carried that knowledge with him all of his life,” John said. “And he understood how to work.”
John said George gave “so much to so many” and “he taught us how natural it is for us to give back.”
John said George developed the simplest financial policy — “He just didn’t bill anybody,” he said. “Never once did George Moses send a bill to a patient. To the insurance companies, yes. And when he received a check from the insurance company, he would endorse it and give it to the patient.”
And then John talked about love and his brother.
“From that first day of school, until the day he died, he showed us all how to love,” John said. “And he knew how to nurture that love. How many of you out there received a call from George on your birthday or anniversary?”
John recalled a father/son dinner in 1968 when George was the featured speaker. He said George admonished the sons in the audience to work hard, to study and to set and reach their goals. And he urged the fathers it was their obligation to push their children, to nurture them along the way.
“Then he stood back,” John said. “And he said that wasn’t enough. He said they also had to take time to stop and smell the roses and we all know that George smelled a lot of roses.”
John thanked all in attendance for sharing in “this celebration of George’s life.” He said every person there enjoyed a special relationship with George.
“But only three people shared the honor of being his brother,” John said. “Myself, my brother Peter and our late brother Tony.”
John ended his emotional eulogy by telling a story about a street beggar who asked the great author Leo Tolstoy for a coin. He said Tolstoy reached into both pockets and found no coins.
Looking at the poor man, Tolstoy said: “I’m sorry, my brother, I have nothing to give.”
To his surprise, the beggar brightened. He said, “You gave me more than I asked for — you called me brother.”
Dr. Moses’ interment was in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Hanover Township.
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.