Dave Lauer was overcome with emotion when he first saw the portrait of his late father. It was an image he hadn’t seen in more than 10 years.
“When I saw it, I lost it right there,” he said. “It was such an emotional moment.”
The hand-drawn portrait of Dr. Paul Lauer once hung in the Founder’s Building, where he worked for more than 30 years. Dr. Lauer, who died in 2007, was a surgeon and the first specialist hired at The Everett Clinic in 1949.
After the picture was taken down, it was stored away in a TEC building with other physician portraits—unbeknownst to Dave and his family. It was only through a chance encounter at a recent Little League game that Dave was reunited with the portrait.
Jessica Duffy, practice manager at Lake Stevens, was at the game to cheer on her daughter. She was wearing a TEC t-shirt when Dave, the umpire, struck up a conversation.
“Dave remembered his father’s portrait hanging in the Founder’s Building. He was sad to see it had been taken down,” Duffy said. “He said he called the Clinic over the years but had no luck locating it.”
Dave left his phone number with Duffy but wasn’t too optimistic the picture would be found.
Sensing how much it meant to Dave to find the picture, Duffy set out on a mission. Over the next few weeks, she worked with Facilities to locate the portrait. After the picture was found, Duffy was able to share the good news with Dave.
She unknowingly called Dave on what would have been Dr. Lauer’s 101st birthday.
“It was obvious that finding the picture meant a lot to him, especially on his father’s birthday,” Duffy said. “Just being able to make the call meant so much to me. I could tell from the sound of his voice that he was overwhelmed with joy.”
For Dave, the picture was more than just a memento to hang on his office wall. It was a symbol of the great man Dr. Lauer was and all that he’d done for Dave.
Dr. Lauer served as a Navy second lieutenant and physician on the USS Missouri. He was on the battleship in Tokyo Bay when Japan surrendered, ending World War II. Dr. Lauer and his wife, Celia, adopted Dave as a baby. The couple raised Dave and his three siblings in Everett, where they were proud to be the children of a popular physician.
“We couldn’t have had a better childhood,” he said.
Dave now has his father’s portrait hanging next to all his family’s notable accomplishments. He gets a warm feeling every time he looks at it—something that wouldn’t be possible without the help of Duffy and the Facilities team.
“Jessica really spearheaded this for more. I can’t thank her enough,” Dave said. “My father would be proud.”