A photo of Lou Tice was on display at the memorial service honoring his life. Tice, who grew up in West Seattle became a teacher and an athletic coach going on to found The Pacific Institute, headquartered in West Seattle. He died at the age of 76 on April, 1. CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE TO SEE MORE
SLIDESHOW: Lou Tice memorial honored his life and contributions to the lives of others
More than 1,000 well-wishers attended a memorial service of former West Seattleite Lou Tice Friday at St. Edwards Memorial Church in Seattle
Tice, 76, died April 1.
A former high school teacher and football coach Tice and his wife, Diane, founded The Pacific Insitute (TPI) in 1971. TPI is a human potential education organization that has helped millions of people throughout the world.
When Lou Tice was a child in West Seattle, his father, a bread truck driver, died. Lou was six. He had three younger brothers. To get to school at Holy Family in White Center, Lou transferred three times on busses. One day, he got a bad cut on his eye on the playground. Back in class, his teacher was shocked to see his bloody face and ran to the principal's office for help. Father McGrath, who was head of the school at the time, took Lou to the doctor to get his cut stittched. On the way back to school, because he felt sorry for Lou, he bought him an ice cream cone. That gesture, Lou would later tell people, was the thing that got him interested in being a catholic.
Father Robert "Bob" Spitzer presided over the service and said, "Lou was inspired and could get other people to be inspired because of his inspiration."
Spitzer related a story about what happened shortly after meeting Tice. He was asked to lunch and was taken to the Tice ranch in Twisp, Washington via airplane. Spitzer said, " I came into this room full of people and Lou said, "Why don't you talk about the Four Levels of Happiness and how that might lead to peace. So I said 'OK' and the story is, by the time we got to the fourth level of happiness this person is literally grilling me on what a happiness for God might be. I tell them the parable of the prodigal son as I think Christ would have meant it and the man is crying and I had no idea who anybody was. But Lou was a surpriser and afterwards this guy gives me big huge hug and says, "If this is what religion is count me in." Finally Lou is leading me out to the car and I said, 'Who are those guys,' and he said, 'Oh that's half the cabinet of Northern Ireland and Jackie Ridpath and he's one of the heads of the Ulster Defense Force and he likes you, a Catholic, but that was the Holy Spirit. That's how Lou, galvanized like a lightning rod the Holy Spirit around his own indomitable, joyful, peaceful, surprising, serendipitous, impetuous spirit. I think that's why we loved him. Because that smile of his betrayed the smile of a life of grace."
As a high school student, Lou was an inspirational football player for West Seattle High. In his first year, the team lost every game. In the summer of his senior year, Lou organized the team to do intensive training. That year, they won all but one game. This spirit, according to David Sabey, who delivered a eulogy at the service, was what set Lou on the path that later became his life work helping others reach their personal potential.
Sabey, who met Tice when he was 13 years old, cited the organizations that Tice and TPI came to influence such as the Nelson Mandela organization and Oprah Winfrey's Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa and the first religiously integrated school in Northern Ireland. He noted that Tice had dealt with leaders of government and military from countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, Australia, England, Japan, China and business leaders including 62% of the Fortune 500 companies. Companies like Caterpillar, Boeing, Colgate Palmolive, British Telcom, Oracle and the coaches teams and players of sports teams like Nick Sabin of LSU, 2011 National Champion and Pete Carroll of the Seahawks and previously USC. Even China's Olympic Team. Sabey also noted that Diane Tice received a condolence note from General Colin Powell.
Many dignitaries attended the service, including Seahawks football coach Carroll and former Husky and NFL player Rick Redman and his family.
Sabey told Tice's life story at the request of Diane Tice. He spoke about Tice's early life in West Seattle. "Lou was born 23 inches long. The longest kid in the hospital for a very long time," Sabey said. Tice was tough and did what he had to to get by even as a boy. "Just to get to the first grade at Holy Family in West Seattle it required three bus transfers," Sabey said. "It would have been intimidating for most of us, but not for little Lou."
As a younger man, Tice coached football at Highline High School in Burien. Later, he was the first employee of the new Kennedy High School in the same town.
He and his wife, Diane, adopted many children over time. The children and grandchildren gave stirring remembrances of their grandfather and father.
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