We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Friday, July 12. 2013
My Dad died this week in the same way that my Mom died in February: complications following emergency hip surgery. A generation gone in little more than four months.
He and my Mom raised five half-decent kids and educated us all privately and to the max.
I'll tell you just a little about Dad. He was a grad of Phillips Andover and Harvard College (which he entered aged 16), served in the US Army from 1942-45, went on to graduate studies at the great University of Chicago and then was called back to the Army from 1951-53. After that, he began an academic career combined with private consulting and retired as a full Professor at Yale with a folder full of teaching honors and awards and two generations of grateful students to his credit.
His devotion to intellectual pursuits and lifelong learning have been an inspiration. I clipped this bit from the obit my sibs are working on:
He was known for his sharp wit, brain power, and intolerance of fools. He was an omnivorous reader and a life-long student. A confirmed atheist, he could quote the Bible (and Shakespeare) at will. A Christian at heart. He did not care for TV and for most of his life would not have one in the house or at the farm. He had no patience for movies. He loved outdoor labor, planting trees, his vegetable garden, liberal politics, all sorts of conservation causes, The New York Times, The Metropolitan Opera, ballet, Shakespeare, travels to England, Tuscany, and Scandinavia, the Tanglewood Music Festival, Cape Cod, the farm in Massachusetts - and his beloved wife of over 50 years and his large family (12 grandkids plus a great-grandson) which was always around.
Dad was 6'3", wiry but muscular, and good with chain saws, farm tractors, and tools in general. An inspiration and an impressive, masculine, tough, frequently caustic, hard-working and good man. Some thought he resembled Gary Cooper. He was stern, and not a "have a nice day" sort of person. He was good with firearms, but after two wars he had seen enough of them and quit them after training us kids. A New England Yankee born and bred, he disdained the pursuit of money, and ostentation. His intolerance of things of which he disapproved could be intense. As his kids, he was highly effective at keeping us scared straight, mostly.
We'll be keeping his apple trees at the farm pruned for many years, God willing.
Photo is my photo of a photo of Dad at the farm a while ago.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
I'm truly sorry for your loss. Those broken hips in the elderly are too often signs of more general deterioration. My mom passed about 6 months after her second one.
My father passed about 20 years ago. You never really get over it, you do get used to it.
Hang in there and help preserve the good memories.
Condolences from a frequent follower in West Virginia. Lost my dad a couple years back.
My deep sympathy is with you and your family.
What JorgXMcKie said is true: you don't quite get over it, but you get used to it. It gets easier, but it takes a while.
My wife and I extend our condolences. We have, from afar, enjoyed your posts and your discreet observation of many things. Your parents sound like wonderful people, excellent parents, and people that will be much missed.
You obviously come from great stock. Your parents were part of an amazing generation. Interesting that his athiesm didn't pass on to you. I'd guess there's an interesting story associated with that. May his soul RIP with the Lord.
Sorry for your loss BD. Envious of the example you had.
I hope it says "Go, Elis!" on his gravestone.
Sorry for your loss, old friend.
He lived a long, productive life, and was obviously esteemed by his children, leaving many good works and good memories. A funeral or memorial service is best done by putting the emphasis on a celebration of of the deceased's life, not on a mourning of the deceased's death. The obituary you have here is a celebration of his life. A life well done merits a celebration.
A sad time mixed with joy.
Very sorry to read of your loss BD. Continue his legacy as best you can. That is all we can ever expect to do.
My condolences. I also lost my father this past year. Sounds like he and your father would have gotten along.
Condolences from a Canadian reader.
Sounds like you were lucky to have him for as long as you did, but it's never long enough.
Remember the good times.
my condolences, of course. I had an atheist father and a church-going mother. My father,though, donated both money and time to her church, and always spoke positively about it, even though he didn't believe in God and never attended services. (I became a believe in God and a church-goer. My siblings took many different routes.) We had a full-scale funeral at her church when my father died. I think he would have liked that.
You were lucky kids, to have had such parents! Since my wife and I aspire to have my children someday say the same, you'll understand (I hope) that this is the highest compliment I can pay. It seems he taught you to work hard, shoot straight, learn throughout life and treat the women in your life well, and these are all valuable lessons.
I wish you the best during this difficult time, wrestling with the bureaucracy especially, and I hope your extended family can continue to have close and friendly relations without your parents as anchor.
My condolences, BD. As others have written, your dad lived a full, rich life. I'm sure both your folks passed on knowing their most important good works live on in their children.
Bird dog, my deepest condolences, it's especially tough so soon after your Mom's passing. They sounded like great folks to have as parents and influences for your generation. I wish peace for you and your family.
He's gone on. Both of mine will too, soon. It's a tough business.
Very sorry to hear of your loss BD. Sounds as though your Father was a heck of a guy.
My impression is that you are honoring your Mother and Father by the way you are living -doubt they would have asked for much more than that Sir.
I'm so sorry you've been hit with two much shocks in a short time. I know both your parents will live in your heart forever.
I am very sad to hear this Bird Dog and so soon after you lost your Mom. You have always spoken of them so highly and told us such great stories, thank you for sharing them with us.
Sorry to hear of your loss, your father seems to be a man we can all aspire to emulate.
It's not about whether we resemble our parents or not. It's about whether whatever course we took honored them. Your father's passing is a loss to you, but your life is a tribute to him. That's what counted for him.
My condolences on the loss of your father. Thank you for sharing a little about him. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
Your mom was a lucky gal! So sorry you have lost your dad. I think he was a type nobody would want to let go of ever--but, I believe you will meet up again. When the tears come to the surface of your heart take a deep breath, rest your eyes on the memories with him, and smile.
What a handsome gentleman! I'm glad you posted his picture as you have referenced him so many times and it's easier to put his words and positions together when you have a visual.
Personally, I wish he were less the liberal, but he raised a son with the communication skills to approach the many conundrums facing our world. May you find peace in the many days your shared with your parents and the various gifts they passed on to you and future generations.
My condolences to you on the passing of your father and mother. You dad sounds like he was tough and smart. No doubt that has rubbed off on you. I would guess you are the patriarch in the family now. I'm sure you'll make your parents proud.
My sympathies and condolences. I wonder if I ever ran into him at Yale?
May your memories of him always be an inspiration and a source of joy and gratitude for you.
I envy you your relationship with your Dad.
May he rest in peace. And may you find peace.
Our sincere condolences, Bird Dog - lost my Dad in '06. Still hurts, but, as he always said, it beats the alternative. Thanks for posting the picture of your Dad!
My deepest sympathies for the loss of your Father. He was truly a giant among men for raising a son like you, and your siblings.
May God be with you, your siblings, family and friends, and him, in the days ahead. Certainly he's glad to be joining your Mother, and sad to be leaving his family. May God bless your Father, you, and your family.
I'm really sorry to hear that. Maybe your dad didn't want to live without his soul mate of 50 years. Been married 33 years , it would hard to imagine living alone. Condolences
Sounds like a real classic, larger than life guy, my dads like that too. It must feel like a hell of a loss, and it is. Take care of those he loved, you can find comfort there. Maybe don't worry about the trees too much. All the best to your family from us here online.
I'm sad for your loss, but I'm glad to see such men are honored.
Thanks for sharing and I am so sorry for your loss. I am still a bit out of it from the loss of my mom last month myself.
It sounds like your dad was one of a kind and I know he will be sorely missed.
It is a gift to have a Father who lived so well and so fully. God bless you and accept my sincere condolences.
I am very sorry for your losses, Bird Dog. This has been a very tough year for you.
So sorry to read about the loss of your dad....what a tough year this has been for you and your family. Be gentle to yourself. He sounds like an incredible person, like your mom. I hope my children speak this highly of me when I am gone.
Sorry to hear about your loss, BD. You are a lucky man to have had such a father!
I am very sorry for your loss. My father also passed away 4 months after my mom.
Sometimes our loved ones are allowed to die so that we may open our hearts more to God.
My condolences. So much loss in so short a time. It sounds like your dad was a great guy who lived a full life and helped raise an active and caring family. We can't hope to do much more.
My sympathies and condolences to you and your family.
I agree with Chuck, sounds like your dad was a really great guy.
Such sad news. I suspect it wasn't the hip -- it was missing your mother -- his spirit wanted to go be with hers. What a fine portrait you've painted of him ... a life well lived and well loved -- who could ask for anything more?
My deepest condolences to you and your family. please know you are in my thoughts and prayers,
My condolences to you and your family.
He was blessed to live what sounds like a full life, and to see great grandchildren.
I'm very sorry to hear of your loss, BD. You and your sibs, and your children, were very lucky to have such a fine example to follow, I think the eclectic nature of Maggie's Farm shows that how well you honor him and learned from him. My condolences.
My condolences to you and your family. My mother also died from complications arising during emergency hip surgery.