His friends couldn't write a decent eulogy

The Lincoln "community" is compelled by the death of Phillip Paludan to serve out the dish it best knows how to prepare: puffed rice. Hardly fare for a wake and you wonder if these people have ever seen a steak (or the combination of claim and proof).
Illinois state historian Thomas Schwartz [said Paludan could] "provide these wonderful flashes of insight into issues that others had studied and studied. He was able to say something new, and something important."
Don't tantalize, give us "something important."
[Schwartz] said many of Paludan’s books and essays are considered seminal works in Lincoln scholarship.
Seminal? This is no new field. Details, please.

His employers at UIS released a death notice that simply recapped prizes and positions. It's as if we have a university with no hint as to how to signify the importance of a thinker. The obit published by the Gettysburg Institute is even more shallow (it seems to originate with this).

My friends, when a beloved prize-laden Lincoln scholar passes away, we want to know why that man was so highly regarded and what he contributed. Now, Schwartz, talking of Paludan, said "Everyone was very much impressed by his broad intellect and his ability to take complex issues and break them down into very understandable and discreet parts."

The friends of Paludan needed to do what Schwartz attributes to Paludan - it was their turn to take complex issues (the winning of prizes, the winning of their esteem) and break that down into very understandable and discrete parts. Here's an example one can copy the next time a Lincoln scholar wins a prize or publishes a book or dies: "Whitehead's Philosophy of Organism gave rise to process theology."

Model that. It's understandable. It's discrete. Show us the goods. Otherwise, your eulogies sound like the last words spoken by the city chaplain over the body of a John Doe found in the landfill.