It has been almost two years since Burt Meisel wrote his final “Is this about insurance?” column for Life Insurance Selling, resigning after 12 years of writing the column due to deteriorating health that would claim his life in August 2009 at age 77.
The staff and I’m sure our readers still miss having him right alongside us, “sharing the thrill of the daily successes, and the disappointment of rejection,” as Burt said in his farewell letter to readers.
In that letter, he also said, “It’s up to all of you to carry the torch, to further the cause, to help those who don’t yet know they need your help. If over the years any of what I’ve shared with you has made an impact, given you an idea, or helped in any way, please pass it on. By working together to support each other and our industry, both we and our clients will benefit in the process.”
In the spirit of his words, I wanted to include here the text of an e-mail I received this week from the Meisel family. And if you have any stories about Burt or the impact his columns might have had on you, please share them with our reader community via the comment box below.
It was a little more than two years ago that Burt Meisel was first diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and when the article came out in Life Insurance Selling that Burt was ill and would no longer be able to write his monthly column, the outpouring of love and regret from his readers was unbelievable. We received hundreds of letters and e-mails from his followers in the insurance field-force in a very short amount of time and every one of those letters was read to Burt as they came in. They were all received by him with a tear in his eye, but a smile on his face and that smile remained until August, 2009, when Burt passed away.
As I’m quite sure you will remember, when Burt spoke, he always ended his speeches in the same way. He’d say that he had spent “xxx” number of minutes or hours attempting to help simplify the insurance concept for you, your prospects, and clients; so he felt you owed him that much time. So, when you found another person that needed some help, hand-holding, listening to or just being there… step forward and help them and tell them to PASS IT ON! In that way, you’d repay him.
For the past year and a half, our family has been actively attempting to “pass it on” to the unfortunate people currently fighting this terrible disease that, at the present time, has no cure. We have participated in raffle drawings, TV fundraisers, and walk-a-thons for ALS to help in any way we can to repay the wonderful people that stepped up to the plate when help was needed for Burt.
On December 5th, the Pointe Academy Dance Center (where Burt was a dancing dad/granddad) will be presenting the 3rd Annual Burt Meisel Holiday Show, a fundraiser to benefit ALS of Michigan. If you are interested in supporting this worthy cause, we would be honored if you would send a donation payable to ALS of Michigan to Burt’s daughter, Dori Ranck, an instructor at the Pointe. Her address is 2870 Treyburn Lane, West Bloomfield, MI 48324. Donations can also be made online directly to ALS of Michigan at https://www.alsofmichigan.org/ssl/donations/ . Photos of the past benefit can be seen at: http://www.pointeacademy.com/indexnew.html.
Thank you for your consideration and God Bless you and your family during the holiday season!
The Meisel Family
ABOUT ALS OF MICHIGAN:
ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a progressive motor neuron disease. ALS of Michigan provides critically needed services including programs like respite care, augmentative communication services, support groups, workshops and a medical equipment loan closet for people with ALS in the community. It also supports research into the cause, treatment and cure of ALS.