He was born in Kentucky, son of a tenant farmer and moonshiner, the last of 6 children, November 27, 1922. The Great Depression and alcohol landed his family in Indianapolis. There they lived in a boarding house run by his mother. He finished only 8th grade.
He could have been bitter at his poverty, but chose instead humility and to live life with a gentle heart.
Stationed on Tinian Island as an Airplane Armorer he helped end WWII.
After the war he returned to Indianapolis and met his life’s love. He soon moved to Chicago as a machinist in the aerospace industry; teaching himself trigonometry to master the trade. A new car and cheap gas allowed the romance to continue. When the industry moved to Los Angeles in the mid 1950’s they married and moved west.
His work enabled affordable air travel and put men into space.
His love raised four kids and provided them material goods and opportunities he never had.
He saw his life as nothing special. I beg to differ.
He changed the world.
But more importantly he taught me everything I know and everything one needs to know about honesty and integrity.
Dad died December 31st 2011. My sister and I were at his side. I saw him shed a last tear, mouth words I could not hear, and then breathe his last breath.
He joined mother, and I am certain they then hosted the long awaited Revere Place, Culver City, New Years Eve Party reunion. The party included life long friends Irene and Kenny, and Uncle Rico and Aunt Bea, they had waited 11 years. It was now time.
I love him and miss him and will live my life worthy of this good man.