Optimists’ Eulogies and Obituaries

I have collected many references to optimism in obituaries and eulogies and you can find my favourites in my book Optimism: The How and Why.

You can consider using similar phrases if you write an obituary or eulogy.

 “Integrity, optimism and an unwavering patriotic streak were his hallmark.”
C.V. Aravind on Arun Jaitley

"I think the thing that’s understated the most is his optimism. That’s what made John special, made John a giant among all of us.
Joe Biden on John McCain

"He had been to hell and back and yet somehow never lost his energy or his optimism or his zest for life. So cancer did not scare him"
Barack Obama on Senator John McCain

:"The horizons he saw were bright and hopeful. He was a genuinely optimistic man, and that optimism guided his children and made each of us believe that anything was possible."
George W. Bush on George H.W. Bush

"He was stubborn, optimistic, generous and kind."
Yvonne Moore on her husband former New Zealand prime minister Mike Moore

 "In the face of serious illness, her tenacious spirit and optimism inspired us all. Susan Bayh loved her family, our state and her friends with a smile and irrepressible optimism that will never be forgotten. Karen and I will be praying for Evan, their sons, family and all who loved and cherished this truly remarkable Hoosier. God bless Susan Bayh."
Vice President Mike Pence on Susan Bayh

“Throughout his life, in the midst of the most difficult trials, he always looked to the future with a spirit of optimism, faith, and love.”
Renzo Allegri on Saint Padre Pio

"Paudie Palmer enriched us with optimism and absolute positivity"
John Fintan on Paudie Palmer

“Optimistic, brilliant, diplomatic and kind, Steve led by bringing out the very best qualities of those around him.”
Ron Richard on Steven Minter

On Mark Cox: "He brought joy and a magnetic optimism to all who knew him and was a loyal friend to many."

“He was certainly the most optimistic person I’ve ever met. He always felt like everything was going to work out.” (Jonathan Hafen on Hyrum Smith)

 after a new family business on Ashenheim Road, Kingston, was burnt to the ground during the turbulent 1970s, and after being teargassed in the streets at demonstrations, stoned, cursed and shot at, he still maintained a determined spirit and a positive, optimistic outlook.” (Karl Samuda on Jamaica’s Douglas Vaz)

 “She was still the life of the party, full of joy, optimism and sweetness.” (Stacey Mollus on Carol Dupree)

“His infectious energy and optimistic spirit have helped LiveLaw outgrow its phases of uncertainty and doubt.” (M A Rashid on Professor Shamnad Basheer)

 “She was a vibrant fountain of happiness and optimism.” (On Marilyn Smith Gattis)

“He was certainly the most optimistic person I’ve ever met. He always felt like everything was going to work out.” (Jonathan Hafen on Hyrum Smith)

 "Our dad is what I call an oasis of optimism. No matter how bad it was, he wanted you to look at the bright side." (Carl Stewart on Postman "Mr Richard" Richard Stewart Sr.)

Sriram Panchu on Ashok Desai: "He was deeply concerned about the grim realities in the country’s politics, economic and social fabric; he yet never gave up hope of change and improvement. I once asked him if his optimism was misplaced. His answer stunned me. “Sriram, optimism is not an option; it is a duty.”

"Bea’s genuine optimism defined her lifeShe was a devout Catholic—quietly and privately spiritual." (Vale Beatrice Sybol Kalka)

"He is remembered most for his perseverance and optimism after his life-altering stroke at age 58 when he lost the use of his dominant side." (Vale Ronald "Gus" King)

"Her extraordinary love of people radiated from her presence. Her faith and optimism defined her life and fuelled her vibrant spirit. She took great joy in the service of others. She always gave more than she had." (Vale Gisele Workman Morlan)

"Brenda tackled each day with unimaginable faith and optimism." (Vale Brenda Jean White)

"Fred was faith-filled, funny and optimistic." (Vale Fred Dooley)

"She had an innocent optimism that blessed her with the extraordinary ability to find happiness and peace in everything around her." (A beautiful tribute too Dorothy A. Hunt of Northborough)

"She will be remembered for her jolly, optimistic , and open-minded spirit. Connie was always a ray of sunshine and extended warmth and understanding to everyone she met." (On Connie Holly)

“Jerry was a real believer in God and in the goodness and potential of his fellow man, a super optimist every day of his life, always happy, always positive, always encouraging and loving others.“ (On Jerry Tapp)

"We will all vividly remember Megan, who has left us many years too early, for her abundant talents, resolute independence, stubborn optimism, humility and kindness." (On Megan Flynn)

"Millie was an inspiration on so many levels, from the surface of the earth to the low-earth orbit.  She infused every conversation with compassion, optimism, energy, humor, and an un-shakable confidence that a solution could be found." (Dr Aenor Sawyer on astronaut Millie Hughes-Fulford)

"Pablo was not only a man of God but also a beacon of compassion and optimism. His belief in the inherent goodness of humanity and his boundless optimism served as guiding principles. He embraced each day with a belief that anything was possible." (A beautiful eulogy! Vale Pablo Benigno Mendoza Jr.)

“surprisingly humble, warm, friendly and caring, and relentlessly optimistic.” (AMEC CEO Warren Pearce on IGO CEO Peter Bradford)

"Norma ran her race well. Despite many years of living with pain, Norma was joyful, optimistic, and filled with hope, love and life." (On Norma Ziegler)

"As the ultimate optimist, Jerry lived by the motto that "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade;" and he instilled that belief in all of those around him." (On Jerry Segal (Gerald S Segal)

"Mandela’s relentless optimism and struggle for human rights and freedom are a source of inspiration for all" (Vale Nelson Mandela)

"No challenge could diminish his capacity for cheer and kindness. He greeted each day and each new acquaintance with a sense of adventure, curiosity, and optimism." (Vale Keith Baity)

"He was an optimist and a risk taker."
(Vale Roland Haertl, author of Escape to Freedom, a perpetual optimist's path.)
"Though he refused to be defined by his disability; his hope, courage, and optimism were an inspiration to all." Vale Peter J. Parisi 

Smiling Optimist

"Heumann was sunny and quick to smile, an optimist about the future."
(Joseph Shapiro on disabilty activist Judy Heumann)

 "His deep faith, contagious smile, and unparalleled optimism, were hallmarks of his character. "
(On Jim Benson)

"The ultimate optimist, her smile brightened rooms and melted hearts as she touched, then impacted every life that crossed her path." (On Martha Scharbauer Adams)

"Pat will best be remembered for her warm smile and infinite kindness. She faced life's struggles with a strength and optimism that were an inspiration to everyone around her." (Vale the optimistic Patricia Ann Parent)

"To those who knew him, Bud always had a smile and a handshake whenever he would greet someone.  He had a kind heart and enjoyed helping people succeed in life.  He was genuinely interested in people’s lives and well-being.  A mentor and good friend to many, he was an example of integrity and optimism."  (Vale Alvin Bud Anderson)


Unfailing Optimism

"Andy was a positive life force from the day he was born, and he lived every day to the fullest with his unfailing optimism." (Vale Andy Reardon)
"Art is remembered for his unfailing optimism and patience."

  Eternal Optimists


“His eternal optimism, kindness and competitiveness inspired us always to reach higher.” (Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents and Chairman Tucker Link on T. Boone Pickins)

"I called him my eternal optimist. He just had that glow, and he affected everyone he came in contact with." (Matt Patrick on his late son-in-law Grant Fisher)

 "He was an eternal optimist who prioritized faith and family, which infused his life with meaning and purpose.” (On John Braxton Gaither)

"This visionary, endlessly resourceful, energetic, powerfully persuasive and eternally optimistic woman was my personal friend and fruitful journalistic source for over 25 years. Remembered universally for her gentle smile – approachable and unintimidating – she was loved and respected by countless people in many different fields." (Barbara Chandler on Dieneke Ferguson)

"My Mimi Norma was an absolute legend. The only woman to see all 57 Super Bowls. With a precious Texas accent, she was humble, beautiful, brilliant, hilarious, joyful, fun and fierce. She was an eternal optimist, the best cheerleader and so much more."
(Gracie Hunt on Norma Hunt)

"Gerry was the eternal optimist and refused to let challenges stop him from living his life the way he wanted."
"He shared with us his deep faith in a forgiving God and an eternal optimism for life. For these gifts, we will be forever grateful."

 Infectious Optimists

"Maxine had a strong faith in the Lord, which was demonstrated by her infectious optimism, love of people, and joy for life." (On Maxine Gail Hunter)

"Everyone who knew Clara Cicogna Presutti remembers her brilliant smile, her endless energy, and her infectious optimism. She told many, “You can do whatever you put your mind to!” (On Clara Presutti)

 “He had a generous spirit with infectious optimism. His influence will remain in the lives of those who knew him.” (On James Winston Hayes)

"He was forever optimistic and encouraging, incredibly generous, and his zest for life was contagious." (On Gordon William Thompson)

"His optimism and positivity were contagious, and his #dontstopbelieving motto will continue to inspire us all."  (Reach for a Dream on Mark Pilgrim)



"His courage and optimism during the last years of his life will leave a lasting legacy for those who loved him."  Vale Michael Hurvitz

"When he was diagnosed with cancer last July, John approached his illness with characteristic courage and optimism, maintaining his usual attention to detail, diligently keeping a record of all his consultations, hospital visits..." Vale John Ryan
"His battle with cancer over the last year showed how he faced life's challenges with courage and optimism." Vale Bradley Blevins
"A triple transplant recipient, she lived her often challenging life with extraordinary courage and optimism."  Vale Elizabeth Webb
"Kim Haeg, paralyzed after a crash in 2004 when she was just 17, faced her life with #optimism and courage and was an inspiration to many...  she never lost her innate courage and spirit, her optimism — and an ever-present hope for the future." Vale Kim Haig (comments by Lisa Finn)
"Amris Bedford inspired everyone she met with her courage, kindness and optimism in the face of cancer."
 An Exercise? Have a think about an optimistic friend, write a compliment about their optimism and send it to them.
Read More From Optimists on their Optimism














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