A long time student-practitioner of general semantics, be attended his first Institute of General Semantics (IGS) seminar-workshop (2 weeks long) in 1979, although he had been a long-time student of Korzybski's work before then. He soon became one of the small number of workers who helped keep the Institute going over the next few decades. He also served for a number of years on the IGS Board of Trustees.
Homer was one of few people who went through the rigorous teacher training course that the Institute had in place through 1980s and 1990s, became certified to teach, and served on the Institute teaching staff at a number of Institute advanced and beginner's training courses with myself and my wife.
In the miniscule non-academic field of general semantics and Korzybskian studies, Homer—originally trained in computer programming and systems analysis—was one the discipline's few genuine scholars. His editorial contributions included some writing, much work on the IGS internet site, and various publications, including the editing and much of the production, of the Third Edition of Korzybski's General Semantics Seminar 1937: The Olivet College Lectures, published in 2002. Homer's new Third Edition became the first one in which this book actually appeared as a book and not a roughly printed booklet with cheap galley covers. It became a genuine advance in promulgating Korzybski's work. Homer's Third Edition may qualify as the single best introduction to Korzybski's work in Korzybski's down-to-earth oral presentation style. In his Foreword, Homer wrote:
In this early presentation, [Korzybski] gives a complete outline of his system with the training methods needed to apply it. This seminar makes an excellent starting point for those wishing to apply general semantics in their daily lives.Homer exemplified such application (Korzybski's main emphasis).
I plan on writing more about Homer here and elsewhere. He was one of the most exceptional practitioners of GS that I have ever known. He was born in 1951 with serious heart valve problems and was one of the first babies operated on by famed heart surgeons Denton Cooley and Michael DeBakey. They saved his life but he also received numerous blood transfusions in his early years, which he discovered much later must have been contaminated with the Hepatitis C virus. He struggled with various vague health problems most of his life before he was diagnosed with the disease and liver failure in the early 1990s. Eventually, with his liver function deteriorating, he managed to obtain a liver transplant about 10 years ago. This year he had been struggling with continuing health problems and his new liver finally failed, although his sister Linda told me that he had a fairly quick exit. (I had just talked with him a month or two ago and he seemed fairly well—given everything he was dealing with.) Living with serious health problems most of his life, he had an ability to adjust and deal with things that few people will ever have to deal with. A roller coaster 'fanatic' and prodigious reader (among other avocations and vocations) he sought to live life to the fullest— a curious and awe-inspired participant-observer in a world that he considered wonder-full, even 'miraculous'. His own consciousness constituted one of the most wondrous and awesome parts of the world for Homer. Korzybski's "coveted consciousness of abstracting" was not just words to him. He worked at it. And he attained a fine character, perhaps the most precious thing that any man or woman can achieve. Homer's exceptional coping skills were reflected in his special dry and seemingly ever-present sense of humor (not in telling jokes but in his attitude toward life) and in his unstinting kindess and generosity to others. Oh yes—he applied GS.
Homer contributed in inumerable ways to the Institute of General Semantics, in work, wealth and wisdom and the furtherance of Korzybski's work for human sanity. My wife and I are among those who will sorely miss him.