My Father died 4 September 2002. The following
ran the following day in the Cumberland Times.
of my Father
taken 4 - 9 September when I went to help Mom arrange Dad's
My Father was the most honest, reliable, self-reliant, helpfull
man I have ever known.
He taught me the value of a man's word. I can honestly say that
I can not recall having ever heard him lie. He had a keen memory
for detail. I loved listening to him tell stories from his past.
I would occationally get together with Dad and one of his brothers
and listen to them for hours telling stories of their childhood.
My Father was reliable. If he said he would do something, he did.
If he said he would be somewhere, he would. Quite simply, you could
count on him.
My Dad taught me to be self reliant. If something needed to be done,
he did it. I recall hours on the floor of the garage when no more
than six or seven years old helping Dad repair the car. Even if
all I could do was hold a flashlight or fetch a wrench, he made me
feel needed. Dad built a good portion of our furnature. He built
a dinning room table and chairs, end-tables, bedroom furnature, and
even an ornate front door. I still own and use some of his
bedroom furnature. Dad's furnature was all built in the garage using
simple power tools. I recall comeing home from school one day to
find the house full of white dust. Dad had removed the living room
wall extending the room into the hallway. This was no simple feat as
the wall was a supporting wall. Dad had to re-work the rafters in the
attic before he could remove the wall. Dad knew every aspect of home
construction and could repair or upgrade anything from electrical
and plumbing to foundations and walls. He helped me put a window
in the wall of my garage when that portion was being used as a
bedroom for one of my children.
Dad taught me the meaning of service. For the cost of a beer and
possibly a sandwich for lunch, he spent many of his weekends helping
friends and neighbors. He added a recreation room to Bill's house,
replaced the flooring in Geraldine's house after her husband passed
away. Every year at Christmas, we would visit Fran, a widow in the
neighborhood we moved from when I was eleven, and Dad would always
bring a gift. Dad even bought a house for his brother to live in
when the brother's health made it necessary to retire early, and
the brother's mortgage was more than the early retirement would
allow him to pay. Dad only asked that his brother pay him enough
to cover the property tax, a figure much less than the mortgage
he was paying.
Dad taught me to fish and enjoy the great outdoors. It seems that if
Dad wasn't helping someone on the weekend, we were going camping or
fishing. I grew up in Sacramento California and was surrounded by
mountains, lakes, rivers, and streams. We would fish for salmon
on the Sacramento river, catfish on the many sloughs in the Sacramento
area, trout in the many lakes and streams in the mountains. Dad
wouldn't take the first place that came along to fish. Fishing with
Dad ment hiking often for several miles, to get to just the right
spot. The right spot was more a place of solitude, as there were many
times we caught no fish. We did catch our share from time to time,
but that didn't seem to be as important as enjoying the solitude.