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Today would have been your 91st birthday.  I miss you.  I was fortunate to have you all those years but I still miss you.  I miss your simple man and honorable instruction to life's problems.  You would be proud of the fact that we tried to take care of all these kids with your compassion.   It was your character to just love them and ignore all of their noise and drama but it has been an effort for us.

Daddy, I am glad you are not worrying anymore about money and bills and stuff.   You haven't worried in a long time since that alzheimers got to you but somewhere I know you thought about who was needing.  That was always a concern for you.   You always were giving to others and I can still see you with your shiny pants or old worn shirt.  I would buy you clothes but you loved those old brown shoes and yellow shirt and brown pants.   I can still see you making do.   Daddy, did you know that you had so many people attend your funeral, that it took three rooms to hold all the people?  Did you know people sent sympathies from all over the world?   There is this great community called The Daily Kos and they all sent condolences.   There were people in the music business that your cousin Harold knew that send cards and flowers.

Daddy, did you know even thought I failed at making the VA restart you medical pension, I made sure you had a full military funeral?  Daddy, you made the front page of the local paper when you died.   I bet you did not know that people loved you all over town because before the Nursing home , you were left pretty much to the mercy of the world except for we three girls and our kids who did our best for you.  The Tigers Den , the drive in restuarant that you and Mama owned shaped lives for kids returning from Vietnam where ya'll fed them free.   No one ever went hungry if they stopped by the Den period though.  I got this letter from the high school alumni?  Here it is Daddy.

Amanda,
 Please accept my sincerest condolences on the passing of your father. I know how hard it is, but you were very lucky to have him as long as you did. He is now in heaven and will be watching over you and your family. Take care of yourself.

Your father did a great thing for the teenagers of Douglas County by giving us a place where we could hang out without getting into trouble. I spent may great evenings at the Tiger's Den with my friends. I found you dad's picture in the 1940 year book as a freshman so for the home page and his In Memory page I put him in the class of 1943. I'm sure there are many people who will be there to pay their respects. I'm in Cincinnati or I would be there, too.

That was very honorable of him to do that. I'm sure those Vietnam vets remember that as well. They received so little recognition for the hardships they endured during that war. I'm glad there was such a good turnout for his funeral. That is really the only way we can judge what kind of life they led. Obviously your father led a good life and was loved by many. I'm so glad people loved him enough to want ot pay their respects. You should be very proud.

Love Brenda
DCHS Yearbook Alumni Staff

Daddy, I heard your voice Sunday as I woke up and Jack had your old sermons playing from the 80's at WDGL.   I remember you had a big listening audience.   You never judged just preached love, so I didn't go to a building Sunday for church, I just sat down and listened to your instructions of teachings again.  It did me a world of good.   I
remember you paid for some of those spots yourself and the TV repair shop was a sponsor most the time.  No one sent you  money like those televangelists who you did not approve of.   You just spoke like the old timey preacher man you were.

I hope I told you enough how much you molded me.  I hope I told you how much I appreciated you never raising your voice or your hand to me and my sisters.  I hope I told you how much I appreciated you sitting and talking to us better than the character played on Father Knows Best and how you instilled value to God, community and country in all of us.  I know you would like the new Pope even though you were not Catholic, but just a man of Faith.
I loved the way you loved all people, and how I never heard you say a curse word but came close when you heard George W Bush was put  over the White house.   I loved everything about you Daddy.   I loved Mama, but you know, you were my favorite.    Mama  stood up and spoke out and you were a teacher of everything good in my value compass.  Daddy, when one puts those two traits together, it is a powerful stand.  You know that though, because I have seen you tell preachers or so called people of faith who preached money and letting folks fall by the wayside, they weren't preachers.   I was proud of you when you stood up to hypocrisy.

  I was proud of you everyday.  Mama was always standing up and speaking out to anyone but you were still my favorite.     Speaking up, standing up for truth and justice is a very powerful tool.  You did not know the meaning of quit and no matter how hard things got for you, you kept on keeping on.  You always thought of everyone else first.  I think you waited on my sister to leave from her visit even, when you asked for a cup of coffee from  the attendant after sis  left , and you took a sip and went to sleep to never awake in this world again.  You probably knew if you held out till she left, she wouldn't see you take your last breath and she would get more upset.
You never had any money and you were such a hard worker but people then like now considered success by the money one made and saved. I got your blanket and hat and I gave your suit clothes to the Okicap, which you would have wanted me to do.  Everything you owned would fit in a small box but you possessed more than mere material things.  

  Daddy..you were not poor.  You were the richest man in town.  I am 63 but I am still Daddy's little girl.

I can't say Happy Birthday.  I can still say, I love you Daddy.  I miss you.

From years ago.. I will play this video I made for all Alzheimers patients and dedicated to you.  I am glad your mind came together the day before you died when you called to tell me you loved me.

 

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