Monday, May 31, 2010

My Dad

My dad was born on December 7, 1928 in Seattle at Swedish hospital.( 78 years later, his great grand son, Max would be born at the same hospital.) My dad was the youngest of 7 kids. His mom died when he was only 18 months old while pregnant with her 8th child. After his mothers death, he lived with his aunts, Hilda & Freida. They were his father's sisters, who immigrated to Seattle from Sweden when they were young. Neither one married and both cleaned houses for a living. They took good care of my dad and he loved them. He told me they would bake him bread in the mornings in their beautiful craftsman style home in the Green Lake area of Seattle. When it came out of the oven, soft and hot they'd spread it with peanut butter and he'd be in heaven.
My dad was the only child in his family who went to college. He worked on the trucking docks to pay his way through USC where he joined the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and met life long friends many of whom were older, having served in WWII before going to college. At USC he also became a life long Trojan fan. While in southern California, he met my mom. They shared 44 years of marriage, 4 kids and 11 grand kids, before his death.

My dad was a patient man and loving father. He devoted his life to his family. He worked hard, never missing a day of work. He eventually became a vice president for P.I.E., a trucking company he worked for for over 30 years before he started the business my brother and I still have today. He enjoyed life. I remember him fixing us breakfast on the weekends before the various sporting events. There was hockey practise, swim meets and boating that filled our childhood. After many years of camping, my dad built a houseboat that he and my brothers assembled on Trinity Lake. These summers at Trinity were the back drop for some of my happiest memories. Memories that are shared by his children and grandchildren today.

After retiring at 65, my mom and dad built their dream home over looking the Pacific Ocean in Lincoln City, OR. There he joined the golf club and had the worst handicap of any other member. I don't think he cared about that. He was loving his life. He was happily married to the woman he met when he was young. He had 4 children whom he put through college and turned out pretty well, if I say so myself. He had 11 grand kids that he adored, the youngest being my son Joe. He was living the life he worked so hard to secure. I remember watching my mom and dad hold hands while walking on the beach in front of their house. I remember sitting at their table on Thanksgiving with the ocean in the back ground and all of his kids and their families gathered together. I remember all of us laughing so hard because of something my nephew, Tom was saying. I remember my dad laughing so hard that tears came to his eyes. This would be the last time we were all one. My dad died in November the next year, less than 2 years after he retired. He was too young . When he died I had the feeling of being vulnerable. I had always felt the security in knowing that my dad was always there for me. I depended on his advice that I always trusted and his acceptance that was always there. He was a good man. A very good man. Having him as my father was one of my greatest blessing and I miss him terribly.


  1. this is beautiful, Janis. I've never seen photos of your father. He looks as amazing as you described. He was a very lucky man having a daughter like you! Thanks for sharing. Melissa

  2. Nicely said. Dad was one in a million and I know that he's still looking out for us - maybe from a bit further away - but there nonetheless.

  3. A beautiful and inspiring tribute.