Dad was a great man – a part of that “Silent Generation” that just went ahead and did what they were required to do with little complaint.
He grew up in Harrison, NY. A big part of his childhood was during the Great Depression. He was one of 4 children (Hank, Grace, and Ralph).
During WWII, he joined the Army Air Corp at age 20. He was part of a bomber crew that flew B17’s and B29’s during World War II as part of the 500th Bombardment Group. His 10 mancrew flew 33 low and high level bombing missions out of Saipan, striking Japan. Of the 25 crews that started, only two crews survived.
When Dad returned from the war, he did what most GIs did: went to work, got married and began his life again. Mom & Dad married in 1945 and celebrated nearly 70 years of marriage until Mom passed in 2015. 5 children later, they each still had their sanity somehow. They bought an acre of land in what, at that time, was farm country in Armonk, NY. Dad would spend most of his weekends in Armonk ( from Long Island ) building a house which became our home in the early 1950s. Dad built the house himself with the help of his brother, Ralph, at times. He spent almost two years of weekends doing so, with no power tools. At one point during the construction, he fell off a ladder and broke his ankle in multiple places. This injury came back to haunt him in his 90’s which is what ultimately put him in a wheelchair.
Dad commuted from Armonk into NYC for decades spending his entire career with Exxon. The determined man that he was, Dad went to night college to earn his college degree to help him advance in his career. This he did despite working full time in NYC, having a growing family, and taking care of a house.
In the late 70s and early 80s, his hard work with Exxon landed Dad and Mom a position in BERMUDA that had them living the high life for several years. Dad was forced to play golf 2 or 3 times a week at Country Clubs and entertain clients at posh establishments regularly. This was a wonderful reward for putting up with raising 5 brats.
Dad was a great golfer and would always beat us when in his prime. For years, Dad and some of us would play golf each Saturday or Sunday. It was never in doubt who would win.
From a young age, Dad was a diehard Chicago Cubs fan. He cheered on the Cubs through many decades of terrible and ugly baseball seasons. He was finally so happy when the Cubs won the World Series in 2016. It had been over 100 years.
Volunteerism was important to both Mom and Dad. Even into his 60s, Dad volunteered on the Southbury Ambulance Squad for years.
He, as was Mom, was always there for us. He coached little league, always took us on vacation to some place that was memorable, and was home every night to take care of his family.
We couldn’t have asked for better parents. Both Mom and Dad encouraged us to always strive to do our best and reach our full potential. In difficult times, you could always count on them to help. They loved us unconditionally and cherished each of their grandchildren and great grandchildren. There was nothing they wouldnt do to help family.
And as he always said - Don’t forget, don’t take any wooden nickels!!
God Bless Him
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