Issue #63  10/7/2003
A Personal Note

My father died two weeks ago. As you might expect, it was a difficult time for me, because we were close. I want to thank those of you who learned of this personal tragedy and expressed your kind condolences.

While I know that his passing has little to do with the purpose of this newsletter, I did want to share with you a little about my father.

My dad was a kind and an ordinary man--a regular Joe, as they would say back in WWII when he joined the Navy, winning a Bronze Star and a series of other medals in the process--all of which he hid in a drawer. To support his family, he worked first in a cold storage facility and then as truck driver--both very rough and dangerous jobs. While unloading his truck, he once had a swinging girder hit him in the mouth. In the hospital, he was actually left for dead, covered with a shroud until a nursing aide heard him moaning. When he stubbornly drove himself home late that evening, he downplayed the blood and the stitches to my mother and me.

Two years ago the state of New Jersey awarded him its Distinguished Service Medal for his meritorious service during WWII, but they might also have given him a medal for all the help he gave his senior group, his town, his church and even the state of New Jersey itself (he had been a representative for a state program for the elderly among many other things).

His sense of humor held up to the very end. People just seemed to love my dad.

While he always thought of himself as just an ordinary man, he was an extraordinary person to the rest of us. An ordinary, extraordinary husband, father and friend, who was loved and will be missed terribly by all who knew him.