Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'm Back

Thanks for your thoughts, prayers and comments here or via email following the passing of my father in law.

My father in law Robert passed away last Friday. I wanted to share just a few things about him.

I first met Bob in 89 when I began dating his daughter Emily. My wife is the youngest of his children. Bob had five other daughters and one son. His large family also consists of 18 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren.

Born in 1919 he would later join the Army and served our country during WWII. He fought in the battle of the bulge. He was very proud of his service and although he enjoyed talking about it, it often brought out deep emotions when he recalled fellow soldiers that did not make it home.

After the war, he returned home to his wife Josephine and resumed college at the University of Iowa and received his professional engineering license in 1950.

At the funeral service I learned more about the engineering firm he worked for. I found it very interesting. There were only a handful of people starting up this company. It may sound strange to make this comparison but recently I watched "The Pixar Story" The simularities of a small company with limited staff reaching to achieve great things was amazing. Clearly there is a certain drive which exists in some people and from that drive big things can happen. The firm thrived and Bob traveled overseas to head up engineering projects in Liberia. Many bridges were built and I am told still stand today. He retired in 1984.

As you can see from this photo Bob had a good sense of humor.

Bob loved to learn things and even recently was studying DVD courses about the war and vikings.

Over the passed several months, as his health began to fade, his family really stepped up to assist him at home with meals and care giving. Although his body was weak near the end, his mind was alert. During his final days he did not sleep well and his family asked him if he would like to move to hospice care. The hope was that he would be comfortable there for a few days and return home rested. On Friday he fell asleep early in the afternoon and later that night he passed away peacefully.

At the service Tuesday he was given military honors. This was a first for me and it was very moving. A soldier stood under a nearby tree and played taps as two others stood and saluted his casket. The flag was folded with precision, inspected, and presented to his son.

Bob along with my mother in law, who passed away a few years earlier, will be greatly missed.

Thanks again everyone for your friendship and support. The "Team" is certianly here to help one another through lifes other ups and downs.


sambycat said...

i am so sorry for your loss.. thoughts and prayers are with you and your family..

Craig Wheeler said...

Sorry to hear of your loss. I wish the best for you and your family through this rough time.

Chris said...

Good to hear from you, Jeff :-)

Matt said...

Happy you're back!

mgreene said...


Sorry to hear that. It's such a shame that the WWII vets are dying off at such an accelerated rate.

Mike G.

Chris said...

What an amazing man! They really don't "make 'em like they used to". I've a couple of uncles that servered in the 101 Airborne during WWII, the grit and charachter of that generation is nothing short of amazing.

Thanks for sharing, Jeff!

MikeF. said...


Thank you for sharing that. I can see he was a great man with a great family.

Joggerblogger said...

Thanks for the post, can't have been an easy one.

Basil said...

What a nice tribute to what sounds like a great man.

Rae! said...

Thanks for sharing. How are all of you doing?? I hope all is well. Sending hugs to everyone.

megreader2003 said...

I am sorry to hear about your family's loss. It was good to hear about your wonderful father in law. He appeared to have a wonderful sense of humor.

sambycat said...

thanks again for sharing - just thinking about you!!