Hanover, New Hampshire - April 2, 2005
Not only clergy are mourning the loss of Pope John Paul II. Millions of catholics and non-catholics across the world are saddened tonight - Including a New Hampshire couple who was good friends with the Pope.
Known the world over as Pope John Paul the Second, Upper Valley resident, Hendrik Houthakker is one the privileged to have known the Pope during his earlier years as Cardinal Karol Wojtyla.
"He was one of the leaders of mankind...that came through as soon as I met him," said Houtakker.
Houthakker met the Pope during the 1970's. The then Cardinal, spent two weeks at his Vermont residence. "He liked to walk with his secretary, who is still his secretary now - Monsignor Givas - and they went for long walks on our property."
The Pope was a friend of Houthakker's wife, Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka. The two, both of Polish decent, had met years before in Italy and worked on the English translation of "The Acting Person." Tymieniecka held Pope John Paul in such high regard that she flew to Rome when she learned of his illness and Houthakker says he spoke with his wife Saturday about his weakening health.
The Pope died at 9:37...hours after the phone call. Houthakker says he will always remember the Pope and the greatness that surrounded him.
"He has always impressed me very much. He's the kind of man that is a born leader," said Houthakker.
Nicole Oliverio - Channel 3 News