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My Hero is Gone


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After a two year struggle to breathe despite suffering from severe COPD, my Dad passed last Thursday.  In hospice care in our home since July, Dad fought the good fight to the end, and thankfully died quietly in his sleep.

 

A child of the Depression, Dad graduated from Seneca Vocational High School in Buffalo, and at age 19, found himself in the U.S Navy following Pearl Harbor.  With a background in electrical systems, Dad was trained at the U.S. Naval Mine Warfare School in Yorktown, VA.  He served aboard the USS Chimo, a coastal minelayer converted to minesweeping.  His ship was the flagship of the minesweeping fleet off of Juno beach during the Normandy Invasion.  He was ultimately shipped back to the States and assigned to Officer's Training School at Princeton University.  An unfortunate football injury left him blind in one eye, ending his dream of a Navy career.

 

Dad returned to Buffalo, finding work sweeping floors in the Niagara Mohawk Power generating plant at Niagara Falls.  He rapidly rose through the ranks to Operating Engineer, and was recruited by Minneapolis-Honeywell to join their instrumentation/control systems group outside Philadelphia.  As computers became the norm in systems controls, Dad flourished as an engineer designing industrial and manufacturing control systems for clients like Mrs. Smith's Pies and Kiwi Shoe Polish, as well a government clients such as the Army and the New York City Sewerage System.  

 

Despite a lot of travel for work, as well as night school at Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia, Dad always found time to involve himself in my life and education.  He taught me how to play chess, how to use a post hole digger and a rototiller, and how to change the oil in a car.  He was head of the advisory councils for my Cub Scout and Boy Scout troops, as well as for my DeMolay Chapter.  He was a city boy who did not grow up with camping or hunting or fishing, but he learned everything he could, shared it with us, and supported us in every way possible.  Dad always had time to help us with homework and special projects like science fair and oratorical contests.  He taught me to read schematics and blueprints, to understand electrical wiring diagrams, and most importantly, to use tools.  When I found my first car, he helped me tow it home and repair the transmission, which was jammed in second gear.  

 

From Dad I acquired my love of books and reading.  My library is now full of his books, which he shared generously.  I will always be able to hear his voice when I open a volume and read his dedication. His books opened the world to me, and created a limitless vista of learning and adventure.

 

Also from Dad I learned to respect women; to think before I speak; to put every ounce of dedication I have into any project I take on; to treat all men equally; to honor God and my family; and to pass to my son what he passed to me.

 

One of the last of the Greatest Generation, it is sad that the younger generations will soon lose the opportunity to learn from these men and women.  I am who I am because of Dad; I loved him greatly, and will miss him beyond all measure.

 

Rest in peace, my Father.

 

 

GPa at the Helm.jpg

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Sorry for your loss.

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My condolences, LL.  

 

O God of spirits and of all flesh, Who hast trampled down death and overthrown the Devil, and given life to Thy world, do Thou, the same Lord, give rest to the soul of Thy departed servant in a place of brightness, a place of refreshment, a place of repose, where all sickness, sighing, and sorrow have fled away. Pardon every transgression which he has committed, whether by word or deed or thought. For Thou art a good God and lovest mankind; because there is no man who lives yet does not sin, for Thou only art without sin, Thy righteousness is to all eternity, and Thy word is truth.


 

For Thou are the Resurrection, the Life, and the Repose of Thy servants who have fallen asleep, O Christ our God, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, together with Thy Father, who is from everlasting, and Thine all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever unto ages of ages. Amen.

May his memory be eternal.

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So sorry for your loss Loophole. God bless you in your time of need.

 

Irish Tom

 

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Sounds like the nut didn’t fall far from the tree, LL. My thoughts are with you.

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Sorry for your loss, but wow, what a life. Sounds like he fit more accomplishments into his years than most anyone I've ever heard of. He was a man who did things instead of just thinking about it. A sharp salute to another veteran and member of the Greatest Generation.

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Loophole.   What a wonderful and fitting tribute you wrote for your Dad. I lost my Dad 20 years ago; he was a WW2 Army Air Corps Officer, and I was born late (1941). You were spot on with your analysis of how much you learned and took from your Dad. My deepest condolences and God Bless him and your Family.

 

Hoss C.

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Quite a man he was. You have my deepest sympathies for your loss. Lost Mom almost two years ago and a day doesn't go by that I don't think about her and miss her.

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My condolences for your loss Loophole.  That was a beautiful tribute to your father. Sounds like a great dad. 

 

Jax T

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LL,

 

  Condolences on the loss of your Father. What a full life that man lived.

 

  I lost Dad in '15. I think about him every day.

 

  RIP Sir ! :FlagAm:

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Saying goodbye to someone we love is heartbreaking. May you find comfort in all the special memories you shared with your dad.

My condolences for your loss.

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My hand on your shoulder, my friend.

Your words are high praise indeed.

A father is the foundation stone on which a son builds his universe.

In the fullness of time, when that mighty ashlar is lost, our own foundation is laid and sound, but there's always that sense of loss.

I should be able to think of something useful, enlightening, comforting, nonfattening and supportive to say, but ... I'm sorry ... 

Although I can think of nothing really to say, nothing is the absolute worst thing to say.

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20 hours ago, Forty Rod SASS 3935 said:

My Dad, my hero, passed 29 years ago and there is seldom a day when he isn't there, just out of touch,  just out of sight.

Ain't that the truth. Mine passed 35 years ago this November.

 

Loophole, my dad also had a love of the sea and sailing and lettered while on the Naval Academy sailing team. Somewhere I have a pic of him at the helm of beautiful sloop similar to your pic when we sailed not long before he passed.

 

My deepest condolences, pard. 

 

:FlagAm:

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When I read the title my first thought was 'my Pa'. I feel your loss pard and you are in my prayers. 

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