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Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012 02:56 am


Oct. 1, 1925 – Nov. 3, 2012

“What a wonderful life” is hopefully what my dad is saying up in heaven. He sure did his best to give his four children a wonderful life growing up and for that we are thankful this holiday season. A child growing up in Chicago during the Depression, my dad was determined to provide his high school sweetheart, Ruth, and future family a wonderful life. My parents always tried to provide opportunities for us, often times foregoing things for themselves. Family vacations were always a priority, trying to see the 50 states and collecting soil from every state we visited was an adventure!

Loving the snowy winters, my dad joined the ski patrol in northern Illinois. Our new family adventure was snow skiing. Purchasing a condo in Colorado provided new family traditions. How he was able to get all four of us in double-layer-tie ski boots and out on the slopes was amazing to us. Passing this adventure on to our children was easy but with one-snap buckle boots!

Dad volunteered throughout his life with various organizations. Later in life after retirement, he loved speaking to groups about his WWII and Korean War experiences flying. He felt honored to be included in the military history education group and Springfield Civil War roundtable.

A tragic turn of events occurred in 1992 with a car accident killing my mom and landing my dad in intensive care. We now look back and realize how lucky we were to have 21 more years to enjoy his life with us. The four of us made a pact to help him enjoy his remaining years, as he had provided for us growing up. As everyone experiences at some point, the trials of growing old are not always easy. We hope our dad is proud of us and the life we provided for him during his time with us. Trying to understand the aging process is tough. We hope our dad always felt the love we have for him and now in our hearts know we have a new angel watching over our families this holiday season.

–Dawn Staley, daughter

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