O my Dearest Daddy
My Dearest Daddy passed away past last night.
My father was almost 86 years old. He was born during the early 1920's.
By age ten he was the head cook and bottle washer at his father's farm out in the Utah Desert.
I love this picture. You see the concern for his responsibilities in his face. My son is much like him.
He served a Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints in the Minnesota and Canada.
This is his mission photo. Wasn't he handsome?
He served stateside in the US army during WWII. His older brothers were overseas.
He married my mother in the Salt Lake Temple in 1949.
They had 13 children. (I am number 12). I was the daughter of his old age. He was 50 when I was born.
(that is me and our donkey Jenny)
It was pretty wonderful to come at the end of such a large family. I got to share many things with my brothers and sisters but got a lot of my parents later time to myself. This was pretty special.
Some of the driving forces in his life were his love of the Lord Jesus Christ, and his family.
Most of my favorite memories of him involve him reading to us from the scriptures.
Another passion in his life has been the Boy Scouts of America.
He participated in the program and loved telling stories bout a scouting jamboree in Washington DC. He worked with most of his sons and some of his grandsons with the scouting program.
Here he is with my little brother Jonny at a scout camp. My dad was a master fire builder and taught me how to successfully build a fire with one match by the time I was eight.
He passed this information on to my son Joe.
My son finally mastered it the week before my father passed away and was thrilled to be able to tell him of that before he passed.
My favorite memories of my father of him with my children.
Twelve years ago my father suffered a massive heart attack and had to have 7 bypasses done. I remember the doctors saying that if he didn't find a purpose to live, that he would not live long. We all loved him and liked having him there but none of us NEEDED him like he needed to be needed. Two months later my oldest son was born and my father was NEEDED.
You can see the scar on my father's chest from the heart surgery.
When Joe was six weeks old, I had to return to work as a school teacher. My father was his primary care provider.
He took care of Joe everyday until he went to Kindergarten.
To keep himself healthy, my father would walk at least a mile everyday all year round.
Right up to the last, he walked to keep his heart going. It worked.
Last year Joe was home schooled and would walk every morning with his Papa.
This is one of my favorite pictures of my dad and Joe.
They had great times together. My dad was the best story teller. He loved to read stories to the little kids.
My father, being a college professor, always used big words with Joe and all my children. My son had a very large and interesting vocabulary. My father loved Geology and taught it for many years at BYU. My son loved paleontology and the two of them loved to identify rocks and fossils.
My father continued to help care for the rest of my five children. He was great to hold them, love them, and sing to them. He sang my children a special lulluby that his mother sang to him more than 80 years ago.
Wind of the Western Sea,
Blow, Blow, breath and blow,
Wind of the Western Sea,
Over the rolling waters go,
Come with the dieing wind and blow.
Blow him again to me,
While my little one,
While my pretty one,
While my little one sleeps.
(this is the poem by Tennyson)
I think though the best memory we will have of my father is his last day here. He was moved from ICU to a private room before hospice took him home. Bryan was able to bring the kids up to see him that morning. He was rallied himself and really had a good time with my children. He told them he loved them, cheered them up and gave of his great kindness to them. My little Hannah is only 5 years old and it just broke her little heart to see her Papa so sick. He called her over to him and she crawled up with him and he took time to comfort this little girl. It was a pretty tender moment in our family.
I appreciate the concern voiced by my blogging friends that have taken the time to track my down and find out where I am. I am sorry that I haven't been here to post for a couple of weeks but dieing isn't an easy thing to go through.