Update: I apologize if this post keeps popping up on your Google Reader. I keep adding things as I think of them. I want to remember them all.
was the third boy of five boys and two girls.
grew up in downtown Chicago.
was one of only a handful of white kids in his school.
used to help himself to the corn syrup from the truck at the candy factory near his home.
lived in a neighborhood where the houses were so close together, when he was sent to his room he could shimmy down between the houses and come around and knock on the front door. I wonder if the pain on his bottom was worth the look on his dad's face.
would escort his mother with his two older brothers to the factory where his dad worked every night so she could safely bring him dinner.
was a straight A student but quit to join the Navy.
never learned to swim. Apparently, they only teach you how to float in the Navy.
moved to northern Minnesota and became a farmer, rancher and gardener.
also worked in a mysterious place filled with dark rows of shelves containing strange mechanical parts and smelling of motor oil.
could fix any machine: tractor, lawn mower, baler, tiller.
bought me a Lady and the Tramp dog from Hardees once when we were there without my siblings. Going to Hardees was a very rare treat especially with out my siblings and especially purchasing the ever-advertisted toys. I kept it a really long time.
used to be the one to pick me up from school when I got sick.
made me bait my own hooks and clean my own fish.
completed his GED and taught himself computer programming.
rushed our kitten to the vet one Saturday morning and comforted us on the way home because the kitten needed to be put down.
taught me how to drive a stick shift in our field.
loved western movies and Star Trek.
rescued my friend's family from frozen pipes by crawling under their trailer house and using a hair dryer to unfreeze the pump's sensor.
never got used to the fridgid Minnesota winters.
taught himself computer networking.
gave me this advice about freeway driving, "Don't worry. If their car is nicer than yours, they aren't going to hit you!" It was '93 and I was in his '82 Granada.
would read anything you put in front of him.
once recommended ginger beer for female cramps. (Knowledge he gained because he read everything that was put in front of him.)
has three children and ten grandchildren.
always ended his phone calls and visits by saying, "I love you!"
after being diagnosed with lymphoma and as he was preparing to begin treatment seven years ago, I asked him what he needed pray for. He said, "You and me." He just wanted to know our relationship was good.
never liked to let us know how sick he was.
fought diabetes, liver problems, lymphoma, and kidney failure,
but in the end it was his heart that failed him.
We love you, Grandpa Ken, and we hope to see you again!
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5 years ago