My grandfather's funeral was one week ago. Some obituaries were published online (Herald-Sun and MRketplace; see also my uncle Shan's page about him). The weather was mild enough to be outside for the service comfortably.
Around 75 people were there; I wasn't in the center of the circle. I am thankful that my grandfather's nurses were invited to attend (that's tasteful), and honored that at least two showed up. I am especially touched that Anna told me he was such a sweetheart and she would miss him. Thank you for helping him age gracefully!
Many stories about him were told. I knew that he and my grandmother had a great love. My grandfather had remarked how much he enjoyed the article, interview, and photos by Valerie Schwartz about their love, so I'd say their love was known. I had not heard many of the other stories before, though.
One year, Lincoln High School called local car dealerships to borrow a convertible for their Homecoming parade. None agreed. My grandfather didn't like that, so their blue Skylark convertible was in the parade. Nice problem solving skills! Several reminiscences had that theme of someone with a problem, and my grandfather saying, "How are we going to make this better?" He didn't walk away from problems; he believed in community and contributing to his community. (Awesome!)
One conclusion, about my grandmother changing the flat tire on family vacation, that especially made me smile was that my grandmother had the gifted touch with tools, while my grandfather had a double dose of the social gift. I hadn't heard that story, but of course I knew their respective strengths.
I had not heard many stories about my grandfather's childhood. The way he told it, there was a lot of hard work. He didn't mention the poverty of the Jewish ghetto in Massachusetts, though. He and his father sold produce as well as odds and ends. His roots in hard work to move out of poverty, in retail and social connections, and in close-knit community go all the way. I agree with my oldest uncle that his success was The American Dream.
My mother said his last words to her were, "Make sure that order of 14 Regular comes in!" Yes, he was always thinking about selling clothing. He loved it, and it made him happy. Talk about a good career choice!
I don't want to forget his good points, especially his optimism! He went far with his smile and good attitude.