The family he started

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my family recently lost my grandfather.  I talked about how my grandpa always used to say how blessed we were to have the family that we do.  I always replied to him that we had this family because of him (and grandma!) They both are an amazing example of the kind of people to be, how to treat others and how to live life.  My grandpa was part of the greatest generation that served our country and that alone made him a pretty remarkable person.  Some of the best memories I have of grandpa are from all of our travels together.  He was a planner and you could always count on him to have a detailed itinerary to follow and a video camera in hand.  We traveled Europe visiting relatives and learning about our family heritage, we took many RV trips around the United States and spent countless weekends boating at the river.  I’ll always remember grandpa’s hugs.  He would come up to me at any given time and give me a hug and tell me he loved me and that he was proud of me, not just for hello or goodbye, but just because.  On top of the hugs he would also randomly start massaging my shoulders, not because I asked him to, but just because he knew it felt good.  He did this to everyone in the family, he was a strong man with a huge heart for his loved ones.

The family got together the night before the funeral at my aunt and uncle’s house for a German feast.  My grandpa was born in Germany and we have always enjoyed family recipes of delicious German dishes.  It was hard since it was the first family gathering without grandpa, but in keeping with his passion for family it was exactly what he would have wanted.  On the other hand, it was also a fun night since Jacob got to meet the extended family for the first time! He has so many aunts, uncles & cousins who adore him and little cousins to run around with when he gets older.
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The next day was the service at the church my grandparents belonged to for years.  It was a really nice service filled with family and friends, some who we have not seen in a long time. IMG_7532The service was followed by a reception where we were able to visit with everyone.  It was so great hearing all the stories about grandpa and seeing all the people there who loved him.  Jacob was a trouper and let everyone pass him around and get their turn to hold him.

First up was Justin’s sister Stacey

IMG_7494Then my brother and his family
IMG_7504IMG_7503My parents with all 3 of their grandsons
IMG_7515My best friend Stacey
IMG_7523My cousin Mark has 2 little boys of his own, it has been a while since they were as little as Jacob
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After the reception was the grave site burial.  The grandsons and the husbands of the granddaughters were the pallbearers.

IMG_7727 IMG_7736There was a beautiful flag presentation done by the Air Force.

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It was a day of celebrating Grandpa and family.  Thank you Grandpa for the example you were, for creating this family, your hugs, massages and memories.  We love you and miss you.

2 thoughts on “The family he started

  1. What a great way to remember your grandpa! Not only the funeral and burial, but your written tribute to him, along with the photos. It really must have been a great guy – I’m sorry I never got to meet him!

  2. I feel so blessed that i was able to share a little part of life with him. I can attest to everything you said. Even though i was not one of his own grandchildren, he showed his love to everyone just the same. I remember the hugs and little shoulder rubs “just because”. He was truly a man of love, family and honor. He will be truly missed. I love you Shell.

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