My great uncle Steve passed away this weekend. Since my grandfather had passed away many years ago he was the man that filled that role for a big part of my life. He had one child who he wasn't that close to so my grandmother's (his sister) family sort of adopted him into ours. He came for birthday parties, holiday dinners, and graduation celebrations. Out of all of the people in my family he had lead one of the most interesting.

As a Korean war veteran he taught me a lot about patriotism. He was a staunch conservative republican that hung framed photos of both Reagan and Bush in his office. After the war he moved to California and joined the Los Angeles Police Department and retired with a nice pension. He spent several years in Montana on a large ranch which he later developed and sold off for a large profit. Deciding once again to relocate to California he met his lifetime partner (he was divorced and although he and Helene never married they lived as common law partners for 20 years) a short, full of life and energy, German woman. I always loved he way he called her schatzila which I believe means treasured love in German.

About 15 years ago he decided that he wanted to move closer to family and relocated once again to his roots, Kansas. For several years he lived 20 minutes away from my home. He was a regular visitor for dinner as were we at his house. He was an amazing cook and even more entertaining host. The stories of his past and of my grandparents always enthralled me. He led his life according to the simplest values; Love of God, Love of Family, Love of Country.

My uncle Steve was one of Bret and I's biggest fans. He adored our children and constantly told us that as long as there were family's like ours in upcoming generations he had hope for the future. He taught us how to appreciate the little joys in life and to live life to it's fullest. He was a great man and will be forever missed.

1 comment:

LegalMist said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.