Mark Shea has written a very moving eulogy for his father-in-law who just passed away.
Rough hewn out of the Idaho woods, he was a man who really *lived*. Full of stories, flaws, mischief, and fierce character and courage—I’ve often thought his life would make a terrific novel, except it wasn’t fiction. He and his twin brother were raised to box competitively from the age of 5. He was a logger (and lost his little finger to a saw). For years he wore the finger bone on a chain around his neck till he lost it in a bar fight. He joined the Navy in WWII. He was blown off the deck of a ship that was bombed in the Mediterranean. He earned and lost rank more than once for fine service and rank insubordination. He married three times (most recently a couple of weeks ago) and was a devoted (and sometimes maddening) husband who fought hard his whole life for his family and who was, I have always suspected, made out of exactly the sort of tough stock that St. Peter was from. He was plain-spoken, a man of honor, extremely generous, willing to go to the mat over a principle, and a man of sorrow and acquainted with grief. He was highly intelligent, with a gift of the gab and a love of a good pun. He lost a son by drowning in 1978 and endured valiantly the long slow vanishing of his dear wife Pat into the mist and darkness of Alzheimer’s. He could swear and tell bawdy jokes like, well, somebody who was raised as a boxer, a logger, and sailor. And through it all he grew in grace and love and goodness.
There’s more but you should go and read it.