Some of you might remember my grandfather from ROX #37 where J and B and Xy came and made fun of my wedding reception.
He died [yesterday] morning and I wrote this for myself, and in the true ROX tradition am sharing it with relative strangers:
George Wilhelm died this morning.
He was 94 years old, married to Helen Wilhelm for 70 years,. Faithful member of the St Gabriel Catholic Church in Connersville Indiana, employed at Roots Blower Plant for 40 years. He had 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and incalculable numbers of great and great great grand children.
That will be the official obituary, and it is accurate, but like most obituaries, it does no justice to the human who lived the life described.
George Wilhelm was my grandfather, and all the things good and bad ingrained into me as a man came directly from him.
So like most eulogies, this is more about me than him.
They are going to lay the shell he was in, infused and propped up with chemicals and cheap stagecraft in a criminally overpriced ornate box and proclaim that this is George Wilhelm and make us walk by and pay our respects to the effigy of what was once my Grandpa. But that putty and chemical model will not be George Wilhelm.
George Wilhelm is gone.
He is as gone as the small factory he and worked in all his productive adult life.
He is as gone as his hearing and hip joints that working the factory floor making blowers for battleships took from him.
Gone as the dreams he must have had.
I never heard my Grandfather complain.
If he resented the fact that he worked in the military industrial machine instead of serving in the military in WW2, I never knew it. My Mom’s Dad served in the Pacific and was wounded at Iwo Jima, but Grandpa George never showed envy... [More...]