Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Papa Bear.....

It has been a tough week.
My sadness for the Turners (see last post) has been overwhelming.  Even though I don't know them I can only imagine she pain Julee must be feeling.
Also last Thursday my grandpa went to be the Lord.  My grandma died two and a half years ago and he has never quite recovered.  They were married for 65 years and he just didn't know what to do with out her.  My aunt and the rest of the family have been taking care of him the best she/we could but he is in a much happier place.  He is with his Lord and Savior, the love of his life, and his body is healed!
So I am so so sad to lose him and but am rejoicing for how happy he must be! 
Here is a little something my Aunt wrote about my grandpa, details him so perfectly:

My dad passed away on Thursday night.  I had the privilege of living down the street from him for the past 12 years – and closely shared in his life the past 2 ½ years since my mom passed away.  I am so thankful for those years. 

For those who never met him, I’d like to share a bit of who he was.  Dad was born to Irish immigrants, Katie and Neal, who both grew up in one-room stone cottages with dirt floors on the often harsh coast of Northern Ireland. Neither of them attended school after they were 16.  My dad always had a strong sense of patriotism to this country that allowed his parents to move to Chicago, find good jobs, own a home, go back to Ireland occasionally, and send their children to college.  In high school, dad was captain of the Calumet High School football team in Chicago and editor of the school paper.  He never stopped loving sports or writing.  Dad served as an officer in the Navy, (playing football for a short time at Notre Dame while he was in Officers Training) and after his service in the Pacific and in Navy intelligence after the war, attended Northwestern University where he received his bachelors and masters degrees in hospital administration.  In 1958, he opened a hospital in Chicago where he served as Administrator until his retirement.  For 15 years after retirement, he served as President and Chairman of a Foundation that awarded scholarships and grants to those in volunteer service and ministry.

He had a wonderful Irish sense of humor, was remarkably generous, and dedicated to his family and community.  But what defined him most was his faith. God’s presence was the core reality of his life.  And the presence of God within each person he met and the responsibility that this fact put on him, to reach out to others in whatever ways he could, was the guiding principle of his life.  He lived a life with intention and integrity.

In the last two years, as I saw much of my dad’s exterior drive and competence dwindle, I was touched to see the core of compassion and service that were at his heart.  He lived 90 full years and his body was worn out, so I wouldn’t have wanted to hold him here one day longer.  But our whole family will miss his presence in our lives.

I Remember:
Sunday Dinners
how much he loved popcorn
how he used to salt his pizza
how he like this terrible licorice candy
his silly Johnny and Debbie stories
sleepovers at his and grandma's
his awesome back scratches
how supportive and encouraging he was to me
what a spiritual role model he was
always reading his bible
the joy his great grandchildren brought him
his funny sense of humor
How much he Loved!

Today we head up to MN to say goodbye.  Even though it will be a tough weekend I am SO looking forward to seeing my awesome family.

I dug up some of my favorite pics of Papa Bear from the last few years, even a couple pre-digital era. :)
Papa Bear and GG on our wedding day!
Grandpa giving our blessing prayer.
In Vince and my first apartment.


At my college graduation.
 Graduation from college
Telling Papa Bear and GG that we were expecting their first Great Grandchild!
 Time at camp

 Meeting and holding his first grandchild, Bella!


 Christmas at our place.
 Celebrating Conor's wedding

Cousin Jesse's wedding
Holding his second Great Grandchild, Brynn, for the first time

 Visit up to MN.
 Papa Bear, Bella, and Poppi doing Papa Bear's exercises.





The day we lost GG.
The whole family together to celebrate GG.
All Papa Bear's grandkids and maybe a sneaky little great-grandchild.
Laurin wasn't born yet but here is 3 of 4 of his Great grandchildren.





Our last Thanksgiving and visit to MN with Papa Bear.
At his favorite eatery, Culvers!
First time meeting his Great grandchild, Brooklyn.


We love you and will miss you always.  Till we meet again!


2 comments:

Together We Save said...

That was such a sweet tribute. He sounds like an amazing man.

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    I used to be an elementary teacher but am now a stay-at-home mommy with three sweet baby girls. Bella is 6, Brynn is 4, and Brooklyn is 1. We also have a sweet Golden Retriever named Beckham. I have been married to the love of my life, Vincent, for almost 12 years. Although I hate the cold I am a Chicago girl through and through. And thats about all I've got!

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