Sunday, August 22, 2010

Remembering Grand-Paw

We finds it helps us a lot to look at the past. Today we are going to look at Grand-Paw's life. Grand-Paw was born in November 1918, shortly after the end of World War I, the Great War. There was only him, his sister Mary and his Mother because Great-Grand-Paw died in the great influenza epidemic of 1918.

His mother remarried but passed away when Grand-Paw was 13 during the Great Depression. Grand-Paw, his six brudders and two sisters were then sent to an orphanage. He went to school and played on the baseball team. He was pretty good player too.

Grand-Paw School Picture 1932-33

Grand-Paw's High School Baseball Team
With his six brudders
He then served with the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC). In 1939, the war set Europe ablaze once more. Grand-Paw entered the 5th Armored Division. He trained in Kentucky, California, Tennessee and New York. On 11 February 1944, he and the other soldiers departed the Port of New York destined for England. Eyes constantly swept the seas for the sight of a U-Boat periscope. He was assigned to a Catholic Chaplain and was called Deacon Joe by the other soldiers.

The 5th Armored landed in Europe several days after D-Day. Grand-Paw saw some of the most bitter fighting on the Western Front in a place called the Hurtgen Forest. This action took place between 14 September 1944 to 10 February 1945. The American Army suffered over 33,000 casualties, while the Germans were at least 28,000. Ernest Hemingway compared the fighting there to the British Offensive in Paschendale during World War I. The weather was bad, shells burst in the tree tops sending splinters and shrapnel down on the soldiers. It was better to hug a tree than huddle in a fox hole. Dad's unit, CCR, saw action during the Battle of Hurtgen Forrest from 20 November to 8 December. CCR was awarded the "Distinguished Unit Citation" for this action and French Croix de Guerre for 14-20 September 1944 action at Wallendorf and Our River. The 5th Armored was the first to cross the Siegfried Line and the closest American unit to Berlin at the end of the war.

Grand-Paw liked dogs back then

Grand-Paw, a Sherman Tank, Hurtgen Forrest
Grand-Paw and Sister Mary

Grand-Paw came back to the states after the war and went to work at the Ford Motor Company. He fell in love and married Grand-Maw in May 1948. They raised a family of three girls and two boys. It was a good family. He was grief stricken when Grand-Maw passed away in January 2008. Then in November 2008 he was admitted to a hospital to never return home. Unfortunately he never fully recovered and he was destined to spend the rest of his life in a nursing home saddening both us and Dog Dad.

Grand-Maw, Grand-Paw and Chaplain from the War

Reading Sunday Funnies to Young Dog Dad

At Work

After Grand-Maw Crossed the Bridge

Grand-Paw was a good kind loving man. A man with a twinkle in his green eyes and quick to smile at strangers. What he went through would have destroyed many a man but he became stronger. He loved God, his family and baseball. We are sure Grand-Maw and Pudgy were among those to meet him. We will always be proud of him, and given his beginnings, we do not see how you could have asked for a better man.

Dog Speed Grand-Paw,

Essex, Deacon & Dog Dad

12 comments:

Jan's Funny Farm said...

A lovely tribute to remember your Grand-Paw. Thank you for sharing memories of his life. He sounds like a kind, loving man any family would be proud to claim. Purrs and tail wags.

Kira The BeaWootiful and Mom said...

Wooos! What a lovely tribute to a wonderful man. May we all be remembered with such love and care.

~husky kisses~
-Kira The BeaWootiful and her Mom

Dawn said...

Beautiful! What a life he had. That picture of him at work reminded me so much of my own Dad. I'm glad he and your Grand-Maw are together now, though it will be hard for all of you left behind. What a wonderful Grand-Paw you had!

Jake of Florida said...

What an interesting -- if tough -- life he had. Thank you for sharing the ups and downs. And now he is at peace.

Our thiughts are with you!

Joan

Oorvi said...

Thanks for sharing the story of your GrandPaw. He was a very brave and kind man and his story inspires us - Mercury wants to thank Dogdad too who must've helped you share this story.

Licks n wags,
Oorvi

Tatum Tot Spice said...

It's good to be remembering. What a great Grandpaw.

Kess And Her Mama said...

What a wonderful tribute to grand-paw. Your dog dad must must miss him.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful tribute; I wish I had known him, too. May the memories that you have help to heal the hole in your heart that his passing left. Wuf Ya - Opie, Floyd and Dogmom

Nat said...

Wonderful tribute to a good man. We're sorry for your loss, it sounds like he will be missed.

~Nat with Mika and Wall-e

Ludo van Doggy said...

oh, I missed so much! So sorry about Grandpaw! I would be soo sad to lose mine. I glad that he can be at peace now and happy in heaven. What a great Grandpaw and Dad he beed.
~lots of lickies, Ludo

Kess And Her Mama said...

Hi there Collies,
Drop by and collect your award.

Dawn said...

We've been thinking about you guys down there, and hope you are getting along OK.