The mass held for Joe Kuban at Nolan Catholic High School this morning drew several hundred friends and formers students to say their last goodbyes. Plenty of tears were shed for this gentle and impassioned man, even though Kuban himself seemed to so easily accept his eminent death with a stoic grin and a twinkle in his eye.

Kuban was extremely intelligent, and his mind never lost its sharpness even as his body was wracked by Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“Joe’s body was tired but his mind and intellect were not,” the Rev. Oscar Vasquez told the crowd. “Even in his illness Joe was a teacher. He taught us how to approach death with no fear.”