Remembering a great man

  • Dementia overtook my father in law in the last 4 years and he finally, thankfully succumbed to it a month ago. We were able to take our time to plan his service and finally had the memorial yesterday. He was 87 years old.

    He was a remarkable man and a remarkable sports fan. He loved the Brooklyn Dodgers as he was Long Island kid. Heady days to be a Dodger fan in the mid 40s to mid 50’s and he loves to talk about his father who wasn’t a sports fan in the least. He would come home from work and say “everyone’s radio is on all over Manhattan, is something going one?” My Father In Law would tell his dad, “the Dodgers are playing the Yankees in the World Series”! I must have heard that story 50 times as his mind began to fail him.

    He was also a huge college basketball fan. Never had a real favorite but liked Indiana in the Bobby Knight years. He attended a NC game in St. Louis in 1978 sitting directly behind John Wooden as Kentucky beat up Duke. (imagine how much we would’ve hated watching that game!) He told me frequently of a guy from his HS who was a 6th man at KU, although I can’t come up with his name right now. He would go down to the Chicago Stadium for HS tripleheaders when his busy schedule allowed it.

    His boys were very athletic and my bro in law set an NCAA record catching a pass in every game all four years he played in D3 that of course will never be broken. He loved telling of his son in Jr. High football who was back to field a punt and the kick was way short and rolling on the ground. Every coach on the sideline and in the stands (dads) were yelling to let it go. David picked it up and ran it all the way to the house for a TD. My Father in Law was livid after the game. David said, “but Dad, when everyone yelled let it go, I noticed the defense started walking off the field. There was no way they could catch me”!

    He was a masonry contractor and won, if you will, an oscar for masonry construction. He was named the industry leader of the year. He cared deeply for all people, and to see union leaders come and honor him this week was remarkable. He thought all workers should be treated fairly. Not many union people go and honor the man who headed up the other side. You probably have been in masonry buildings that he influenced how they were constructed more safely, with better mortar, etc.

    He did get quite wealthy, but while he did live very comfortably, he invested in the inner city of Chicago through a faith based organization that provides very low cost health care, legal care, food, housing, etc. Millions of his dollars went to this neighborhood and who knows how much to other community development projects around the country.

    He let me marry his daughter, an amazing thing indeed! We now have 4 kids and will become grandparents around Christmas, and he was an inspiration to them as well.

    We believe that his life was lived to honor God, and his life was laying up treasures in heaven. Don’t mean to get too preachy but just want you to know about this great sports fan and father in law.

  • Sorry for your whole family’s loss. His memory will live on.

  • @wissox sorry for your loss. Nice eulogy. He was lucky to have a son in law that appreciated him.

  • @RockChalkinTexas @approxinfinity Thanks, he was easy to appreciate!

  • What a great lifetime of stories from, as you said, a great man. Hope those memories help sustain you and your family in the months and years to come.

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