He is my mom's uncle, but to even just say that sounds totally wrong...he was like her second dad. He was my grandpa's brother and best friend. He did everything with my mom's family and he did everything for my mom's family...at least that is the way I remember it. My mom and her brother and sister have different, equally as wonderful, memories of this man...but I can only speak about my memories and what it was like to have the most magical great uncle anyone could ever imagine.
He loved his family beyond words and was NEVER afraid to show it...having tea parties with just me and him, hiding coins all over our house every time he would visit...the excitement of finding those coins was amazing! Looking back at his life I have come to realize things I never have before...this wonderful man somehow managed to embody a childlike spirit up until the day he died. He would get excited and find simple wonder in things that the average person would pass right by. Because of him I notice more, I enjoy the little things...because of his love of taking pictures, I now really appreciate the beauty of catching every moment you can with a picture. He gave and gave and gave and never expected anything in return.
He was precious...and I will miss him more than I ever expected. Below are a few pictures of the memorial service we held on our own for him...Even in his death he was still giving by donating his body to Ohio University for research. We decided to play several of his favorite songs, read a few reading and leave flowers on the steps of what used to be the house he grew up in. It is now a flower garden which couldn't be any more perfect because he also had such a love for nature, he was always reminding you to literally stop and smell the flowers.