On August 4th, my mother's husband, Don, died of pancreatic cancer. He was 81 years old. True to the nature of many of the older generation of men, he was both humble and proud. Don and my mom met when I was 16 years old. He brought my mom to my high school, and later college, events and graduation, and thus, became part of my life as well. My children called him "Grandpap," and he was present at many of our family holidays and celebrations.
Don was a quiet, reserved type of person. One who didn't really talk much unless you talked first. This made it a little hard to get to know him - - since you actually had to engage him in conversation, but when you did, it was worth it. He was very generous with his knowledge. I remember Jeremy doing something on the history of airplanes and asking Don if he knew of a web site or something that could help. He sent on a whole page of links with pictures! He taught me the finer points of driving a stick so I wouldn't burn out my clutch right away. He told my husband a way to use tubing with water to make sure the drop ceiling he was installing in the basement was level.
For all that, there was so much that we didn't really know. I knew he was an avid balloonist, but didn't realize to what extent until I read his obit. I knew he did some kind of engineering for a living, but didn't know what kind or that he worked on the design of submarines. All things that would have been neat to talk about.
We will miss him dearly,
May the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.