Tuesday, June 24, 2014

In Memoriam: Louis Awerbuck

It's with great personal sadness that I learned this evening of the death of Louis Awerbuck, soldier, fighter, firearms instructor, and a remarkable human being.

Louis was a soldier in South Africa, and a good one.  That's where I met him for the first time.  Most Americans who've benefited from his firearms and tactical instruction never learned much about what he did there, but it was 'good work'.  He came to the USA with the assistance of the late Jeff Cooper, who considered Louis one of the top half-dozen firearms instructors in the world.

If you had the pleasure of knowing Louis, there's not much I can tell you about him.  If you didn't, you'll learn a lot from these interviews with and/or articles about him.

In that last interview, in 2008, Louis said:

LA: I really don’t care about my death. I’ve had a hundred years packed into sixty. Why would I? I’ve got nothing to live for. I’ve got nothing to lose. I’ve got no Achilles heel. I’m not the average person. I’m an exception to the rule. The average person— wife and kids, lineage, wants to see their grandchildren play football or through college or whatever. Fine. I’m the end of the line. I’m the end of the blood line, completely.

Q: Most adults wrestle with some sort of fear or anxiety. It can be their financial well-being, their health, or their personal safety. What do you fear most in life?

LA: Probably physical incapacitation, if I were cognizant of it. Dependency, physical dependency, and being cognizant of it. Having Alzheimer’s and knowing I’ve got Alzheimer’s and not being able to [pauses] end it. That’s it. I don’t fear anything else because … Mr. Roosevelt said, “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself.” I don’t want to be dependent on anybody else. There is nothing else.

You can also read a very powerful post by Louis here.  He didn't mince his words about the things that matter.  He also wrote or co-authored a number of books that are still available.

Louis had been in poor health for some time.  He will no longer have to fear becoming dependent.  I'm glad for his sake his sufferings are now over . . . but he'll be sorely missed.

Rus in vrede, ou maat. Jy't dit verdien.



Sport Pilot said...

I took a number of courses Louis taught and greatly benefited from each of them. I also benefited from his wry acerbic wit and insight. His welcome to America story involving US Customs and BATF were distressing, illustrating the disparity of operations between East Coast Customs & Arizona. Short story he had a tricked out GI surplus 1911, a semi auto FN/FAL & Honda Goldwing seized/destroyed.

Old NFO said...

I great loss to our community. Sadly I never had the pleasure of meeting him. May he rest in peace.

Sport Pilot said...

yeah ONFO, you'd have liked him. Soft spoken but hard as nails. I remember sharing a story of kicking a door to clear a house with him and going through the entire step by step process with him. He had the ability to give you his complete, focused attention. It was a little off setting as you so rarely encounter such people. I'll miss him.

Anonymous said...

I had the fortune of taking various courses with Louis and, like many, perhaps most of his students, he left a deep impression on me. There are many excellent instructors out there, but Louis was much more than that. He epitomized the spirit of the Warrior and he was able to communicate that to his students. He had an uncanny ability to get inside the student and to know him/her better than the student him/herself. And like all Warriors, he was a man who was totally in control of his battles and his destiny, even until the end. He'll always be rememembered.

Benny Bennett said...

Amen and indeed... No doubt he is welcomed Home hearing the words " Job well done." .. True sadness yesterday afternoon in hearing of his passing ... May God bless his family and loved ones, may He grant them something resembling peace in this time of mourning...

Anonymous said...

I feel Denny H said it best with>

" "We're diminished" doesn't begin to cover the loss we have. The training industry has lost an icon."


dom s said...

May you rest in peace Louis, thank you and Leigh for everything! You will be missed! Dom