It is with a great many emotions contending in my heart that I wrote this eulogy, commemorating the life of one of the bravest, kindest, and most determined people I have ever had the privilege of knowing, Democratic activist and organizer Roneen A. Henn. Sorrow, loss, relief that her pain is over, and a lifelong resolve to carry on her work and make the dream she fought for whole.
When the disaster of 2016 happened to us all, when hearts were down and the trenches were emptying, Roneen stayed. When the going got rough, especially in 2017 when the troll invasions began and the hard fighting was constant, she knew she was needed and she stepped up to the plate without even being asked. That’s who she was. She helped everyone who asked her, she brought cheer, she was there every day when a lot of others were not. She was more than just another colleague. She was my friend, and many others as well; I really miss her. It was hard for me to write this. Regardless of our views on politics or anything else, a great many people who she counseled and cared for and loved are bowing their heads, united in our Democratic Memoriam, one at last. That’s what she would have wanted.
Roneen is survived by her mother, Noreen Peters, and many that she took under her wing over the years, and the cause that she gave her entire life to. She passed down a great deal of accumulated knowledge and wisdom, and her method of running a big-tent organization such as one of our most venerable and lively institutions She was one of us. Although she was many years my senior, she was a Millennial Democrat with all her heart. We would not be where we are right now without her because she helped to shape the debates that have crafted our philosophy, and helped to visualize the worldview that we now represent, and have come to the national discourse to offer.
Each one of us matters, we are stronger than we know, and the work we do endures. Roneen was passed a torch and she never dropped it, but rather handed it to us, who will forever be honored by her trust and by the love she bore for all. As we resolutely approach the task of carrying that torch forward, we will have her in our hearts and minds.
Goodbye, Roneen. You will be missed.