In Loving Memory Of Barry Spring4 Jun, 2001 By: Marc Spring imageSource
In Loving Memory Of Barry Spring
My father was and always will be my hero. On April 4, 2001, I lost him to one of the most horrible diseases, cancer. He was only sixty years young. I have spent the last four years trying to be just like him, and without him, The Image Source would not be here today.
This month, we choose to memorialize an industry icon and visionary, who also happens to be my father. I, as editor, believe that Barry Spring truly deserves this recognition from our industry, not because he was my dad, but because of the great man he was to all that were blessed to know him.
As children get older, they are always asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Some answer a fireman, a baseball player, a doctor, or a rock star. These are all very noble occupations, but from day one my brother, sister, and myself all wanted to be like our father. Every person who met our father loved him. He was the kind of person you could depend upon, and many did.
Our father was a fantastic athlete. He was a first baseman and Golden Glove winner in New York in the late 1950’s, and was drafted to play professional baseball by the Milwaukee Braves. As baseball was not as lucrative a sport back then as it is today, dad decided to go get a college education. After getting his degree, he sold copiers for Apeco and then Atlantic Photocopy in New York. As with everything he did, dad led both companies in sales. In early 1964, he decided to venture out on his own and opened his own dealership; and Imperial Photocopy was born. Our father was a real visionary. He was one of the most influential people in the copier industry, a real icon. He touched everyone’s lives; he was the founder and force behind Copylite, which he started in 1971; the first company ever to provide generic copier replacement parts to the industry.
Instead of mourning the passing of our father, we should focus on celebrating his wonderful existence on this earth. Our father was loved and respected by all that knew him. Those that were fortunate enough to get close to him were the very privileged ones. In our biased opinion, he was as close to perfect as a human being can be. Actually, with modern technology progressing so quickly, scientists would be wise to use his DNA for their cloning trials. What a great world we would have with thousands of Barry Springs running around. We would have some problems though, getting tee times would be more difficult, there would be a shortage of Haagen-Dazs, and microwave popcorn would be banned. For those of you who knew our father and his amazing sense of smell, you understand the popcorn issue.
We choose to remember our father not as a sickly cancer patient, but as the handsome and youthful person that lived a wonderful sixty years. In fact, there were dozens of instances when strangers would meet our father while with us, and easily be fooled into believing that he was our brother. We accepted this as an extreme compliment to dad, and not as an insult to the way we looked! Yes, dad was slightly vain! His biggest concern about chemotherapy was not the nausea, not the loss of appetite, but the fact that he would temporarily lose his beautiful head of hair! Our father was a beautiful person, both outside and inside. We remember many times where strangers would recognize dad as Burt Reynolds or Tom Selleck and wanted his autograph.
One of the most uplifting things in our lives was the countless encounters with others who knew our father. They would talk about him with such passion remarking, ‘what a good and fair person he was’, and these conversations meant so much to us. Going to lunch with dad was always an experience and we felt at times he was running for mayor, since he stopped at every table and greeted everyone. We would be eating dessert and he would just be sitting down to order. It made us realize how well loved our dad was, and is. He never judged anybody and his love was certainly unconditional as he accepted everybody for the way they were.
We believe that Billy Joel should re-write his song and title it ‘Only the Great Die Young’, since our father was more than just good. He cared about his friends and family, and always wanted the best for us. He did not have a mean bone in his body, unless of course he made double-bogey.
Right now dad is pretty busy up there, reminiscing with his mother, grandmother and relatives, practicing at the driving range, rounding up his poker group, having a catch with his idle Mickey Mantle, and looking down on us and realizing how important his life meant to all of us. Personally, dad, you have inspired and encouraged us throughout our lives and because of you, all your children are successful, good people. Dad, thank you for sixty wonderful years of your life, we are glad God made us a part of you. You were a great father and an awesome grandfather. The Sunday visits with bagels and cookies will be terribly missed.
You were so brave through it all, and now you have been released from the disease, the discomfort, and pain that go with it. You are now free. Free to roam around the heavens, in a golf cart, or on your Harley. When you get settled up there, get us your email address. Dad, we love you dearly and want you to know that we are all going to be okay.
This piece on my father was part of the eulogy that my brother presented at his funeral. He so eloquently stated what a hero my father was to me. He lived a short but very meaningful life. In the end he said, “I did it all,” and that was very important to me. I miss him everyday and think about him every minute.
On behalf of our family, we would like to thank all of you, who have called and sent your condolences. It has made mourning his passing a little bit easier.