Today is my Dad’s birthday. He would have been 87 years old, but we lost him thirteen years ago, way too young. Almost all my family migrated to Seattle this weekend to be together to celebrate his birthday (May 7th), my brother’s birthday (May 6th), and to mark the day my Dad passed away (May 5th). It’s always a tenderhearted three days, but we had birthday cake, laughed a lot, and shared many memories. The sun shone, the temperature was perfect, the flowers all around were gorgeous, and it was a lovely family weekend. Dad would have loved it.
He was a gentle soul, with a wicked sense of humor. A much-loved college professor for 39 years, with a degree in English and Literature, and an advanced degree in Sociology (but a librarian at heart), he was always immersed in reading and writing projects of one sort or another. His study/library was the heart of our home. When my mother decided it was time to give up the family home a few years ago and move to a retirement home, the most difficult parting for me was with Dad’s study.His most precious project was our “Family History.” Being that passionate librarian/historian/keen-observer-of-the-human-race person, he became the ultimate “scrapbooker.” His project eventually filled over 40 binders with photographs, letters, and a written narrative of our family. He set our family’s story into the historical context of the times, and included local, national, and international events along with the daily happenings of his growing family. The volumes are now housed in the University Library, but before they were archived, my son and daughter-in-law (with help from my brother and his wife) scanned each volume so that we all have access to this family treasure.
As I sit here trying to think of ways to describe him, to give you a glimpse of this gifted, wonderful human being, I chuckle remembering that he loved to enter 25-Words-Or-Less contests. Keeping it short, simple, and right to the point, you will just have to take my word for it that he was a very special person who touched the hearts of many people and left some mighty big footprints on the sands of time. We really miss him.