Farewell to my Dad: Pio Sixto Baradello

Dear reader,

On April 16, 2012 while visiting my ailing father in Argentina I posted: “Educating the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs – Part I: Horse Saddles, Lemonade Stands, and the Case for Apprenticeships”. This brief article was inspired in many conversations I had with him as he recounted how he interrupted his elementary school education at 3rd grade, to help his dad support his family. He never returned to school but as he often said he completed his studies in “la universidad de la calle” (main street university).

Carlos and his Father Pio in Tiburon (CA) during his last visit in 2008.

Today, I write this brief entry to let you know that my Dad passed away while sleeping in the wee hour of Saturday August 25, 2012.

Farewell Letter — English version

Dear Friends,

I often asked myself what the announcement of his death would be like. What would I feel?  What would my new reality be?  How would I react? The death of many friends’ parents helped me to anticipate this moment.  But no form of intellectual preparation is sufficient for the real thing. 

The news arrived last night when Juancho, an old friend from Argentina, called me to tell me that my dad passed away peacefully in his sleep last night. I thought that Juancho was calling to confirm that he had arranged flights to attend my daughter Paola’s wedding next weekend… Unfortunately there was another purpose for his call. 

Today, memories are taking me to the past.  Of too many years of a father-son relationship managed over short visits and phone calls that now seem totally insufficient. I confront the sad reality that I will never again be able to sit down with him to have a coffee.  That I won’t be able to hear his stories of poverty and progress. That I won’t see him work art with his hands — his ability to repair anything and leave it, as he liked to say, “better than new.” That I won’t see him celebrate my successes, and in turn listen to him remind me to “be careful with success,” since the hubris of success so often sows the seeds for future failures. Or to receive his consolation and advice in the midst of my failures, when he would share some of his and tell how he overcame them, and then remind me of my educational capital, comparing it with his mere third-grade level education…

My dad will live on happily in our memories, but today left us a gaping hole that cannot be filled.

Thank you for sharing this moment with me. 

Until our paths cross again amigo, 

Carlos B. 

Spanish Version

A todos mis amigos,

Muchas veces me preguntaba como sería el momento del anuncio de su muerte. Que sentiría? Que nueva realidad viviría? Cómo reaccionaría? La muerte de muchos de los padres de mis amigos, me proponía una experiencia anticipada. Sin embargo, no hay preparación intelectual que valga.

La noticia llegó anoche a la medianoche cuando la voz de Juancho, mi amigo de toda la vida, me anunció su muerte. Pensé que el llamado era para confirmarme que había conseguido pasajes para asistir a la boda de Paola el fin de semana que viene. Lo habíamos conversado unas horas antes sobre su deseo de participar…. Lamentablemente el motivo era otro.

Hoy las memorias me llevan al pasado. Tantos años lejos comunicándome solamente a través de visitas y llamadas telefónicas. Confronto la triste  realidad que ya no me sentaré más con él a tomar un café y charlar por horas. Que no escucharé más sus historias de pobreza y progreso. Que no lo veré mas trabajar el arte de sus manos, capaz de reparar cualquier cosa rota  y dejarla “mejor que nueva”. No lo veré más celebrar mis éxitos y decirme “cuídate en el éxito” dado que es en el éxito cuando se plantan las semillas de los futuros fracasos… Y consolarme en mis derrotas cuando él me contaba de las suyas y como las había superado, y hacía un inventario de mi capital educacional comparándolo con su magro tercer grado de primaria….

Mi papa sin duda vivirá siempre en nuestra parte alegre y feliz de la memoria, pero hoy me ha dejado un vacío que se agranda.

Hasta siempre amigo y gracias por compartir este momento,

Carlos B.

About Carlos S. Baradello

Investor, thought leader, university professor, and advisor in areas of corporate innovation, born global entrepreneurship and venture capital investing.
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11 Responses to Farewell to my Dad: Pio Sixto Baradello

  1. Frank Cabrera says:

    Estimado Carlos,

    Estoy muy commovido por tus bellas palabras para con tu padre. Me entristece saber de su muerte, especialmente por los sentimientos que ahora albergas en tu corazon. Por favor recibe mis condolencias y recibe un abrazo de parte de Sandra, Sebastian y Felipe.

    Frank Cabrera

  2. Juan Ibanez says:

    Estimado Carlos,
    Un bonito ejemplo de humanidad ha dejado tu padre. Nos llega a través de tus palabras y las de Federico. Les mando un gran abrazo en estos momentos de pesar.
    Juan E.

  3. Gene Gerard Thomas says:

    Caro Amico Mio,
    I am out of town, but fortunately got your sad news by linked-in update. I am very sorry to hear about the death of your father. As you say, no amount of preparation can make you ready for the reality of a father’s death. That was my experience as well. You were very fortunate in your father, as he was fortunate in his son. I regret that I never met him, although I feel that you have conveyed his spirit lovingly, and that you live his spirit every day. God bless you and your family. And best wishes to Paola.
    Your Friend,

  4. Miguel Petty says:

    Carlos, I just heard today the sad news of your father´s passoing away. Your farewell letter is moving, and gives a wonderful picture of a beautiful faather – son relationship. I lost my father many many years ago, but I still have the pleasure if being with him in my dreams!
    God bless you,
    Michael Petty,S.J.

  5. Goodarz Goodarzi says:

    Dear Professor Baradello,
    I’m so very sorry to hear of your father’s passing. I would like to express my deepest condolences and let you know that my thoughts are with you.
    During times of sorrow and loss I refer to a piece of prose from the Greek playwright Aeschylus. I would like to share it with you:
    “Even in our sleep pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until in our own despair against our will comes wisdom to us through the grace of the divine”.

    G Goodarzi

  6. Charlie Biegel says:

    Carlos, I am very sorry to hear about the passing of your father. From your note I can visualize much of your dad in you. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.


  7. Nancy Truong says:

    Dear Carlos,
    I would like to express my sincere condolences on the recent passing of your father. Your farewell letter is very touching and I couldn’t help but read it multiple times. I can sense the touching and loving relationship between you and your father. I send my thoughts and prayers to you and your family at this difficult time.


  8. K. Glaub says:

    I am deeply sorry for your loss, yet your post made me smile. That your father clearly lives on through you is testament to what a great person he must have been.


  9. Dear colleagues, students, relatives, and friends, thank you for your kind words.

    Many of you reflected on the passing of a parent or a dear friend and shared insights on the mystery of life.

    Others commented on our daughter Paola’s wedding (9/1) exactly one week after my dad’s passing (8/25) as a celebration of his life and his continuity in my family and now in Paola’s.

    Many who knew my dad personally commented on particular story that touched them, his wisdom, willingness to help others, love for the tango and his ability to play the bandoneón.

    Thank you for your word of encouragement. It meant a great deal to me and my family.
    Your amigo – Carlos B.


    Querido amigo, colega, estudiante o familiar, muchas gracias por vuestras palabras de aliento.
    Cada respuesta compartió una reflexión personal sobre sentimientos parecidos de frente a la muerte de un ser querido.

    También, otros comentaron sobre el casamiento de Paola (Sep 1), exactamente una semana después de la muerte de su abuelo.
    Una coincidencia celebrando la continuidad de su vida en mi familia y ahora en la de Paola.

    Los que lo conocieron personalmente, comentaron sobre algún recuerdo particular que toco sus vidas, su buena disposición a ayudar, su sabiduría, amor por le tango y su habilidad de tocar el bandoneón.

    Muchas gracias por tu palabra amigo en este momento tan especial.
    Un fuerte abrazo – Carlos B.

  10. Ricardo ubeda says:

    Querido Carlos, lamento mucho tu perdida, espero estes bien y que lo recuerdos te sirvan para superar este dificil momento.
    Ricardo Ubeda

  11. larojas says:

    Querido Carlos,
    Mis condolencias. Si bien es un momento de tristeza, mucho más permanente es el legado que puedo ver dejó tu padre. Felicidades por el matrimonio de tu hija; así de imparable es el ciclo de la vida!
    Un gran abrazo,

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