This morning my dad passed after a four month illness, it was the end of a life journey for a man who life on his terms yet loved us all and taught us so much.
My dad’s life was filled with passion and exploration. His passion for cars, working with his hands, cooking great food and spending quality time with friends & family.
He also never stopped learning, my dad was a avid reader and always trying new hobbies, at one time he took up the following, plants, model railroading, model planes, woodworking, drag racing, playing the acoustical guitar, photography, CB radio and probably a few more that I forgot. He took his hobbies seriously, getting books from the library, subscribing to magazine and studying his subjects. I was never told as a child I had to read because my dad would sit at the table and ready regularly, he had his fishing books and magazines and then whatever hobby he was on. He was truly a student of life, I remember when he first got his Commercial Drivers License and the time and effort he put into that, even testing himself to make sure he had the knowledge down pat.
He loved his country and spent almost five years serving in the US Navy in the Atlantic including being involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis & Bay of Pigs near the end of his active duty.
He traveled domestically with friends and family and many camping and fishing trips, being a friend to the outdoors and teaching his children about nature and conservation.
He absolutely loved all machinery, starting with working on cars (hot rods), as a teenager, being formally trained in diesel engineering during his US Navy time and taking that experience to a 30 year career with the Chicago Transit Authority in maintenance and bus repair.
My dad also loved family his sister, parents, his three sons and has no issues helping family out with all issues not to mentioning keeping our cars running great and feeding us well with his culinary skills.
Speaking of relationships my dad was the best buddy I ever knew, not just to me but to all people he met, no matter your background or income or walk of life my dad truly didn’t have strangers, they were friends he hadn’t met yet. In his jobs, various residences, he befriended so many and to my knowledge had no enemies. His gregarious smile, infectious laugh and outstanding generosity made him hard to hate. And trust me as his youngest son there were times I tried to hate him but the dude was so damn likeable.
He was more than just a dad, I spoke with my brother today and we said how we called and went to him for everything, relationship advice, insight on car repair, cooking know how and was probably the first life coach. He had such life experience (that he didn’t mind sharing), so that my brother and I were taught early on how to be men. He prepared us so well for life but living without him will be difficult.
But for those of us who knew him, its our job to take we he taught us and walk with that everyday, thus he will never truly be gone and we will all be better people for knowing him.
Filed under: Chicago