Friday, August 10, 2012

Goodbye Grandpa

Like I mentioned in Christmas Gatherings post, my Grandpa passed away just after Christmas. He had problems with his legs for years and fell in his home a couple times. A few weeks before Christmas, he took a bad fall and even though he didn't break anything and there were no bleeds on his brain, he just was never able to recover from it. His health diminished pretty quickly and within a week or so it was fairly evident that he probably wouldn't survive. And at a certain point, death became a relief for him. Laying in a hospital bed aggravated his problems with his legs and he was in tremendous pain most of the day. So while he is horribly missed, I'm thankful he wasn't in pain longer than he was. And I know he is with his Savior. Having that knowledge makes missing him easier.

My grandpa was a bit of a gruff man. I think old age makes most people a little grumpy - I can't imagine how frustrating it is to not be able to walk like you'd like to, drive, or do things you used to be able to enjoy. (He loved to play pool but couldn't stand well enough to play in the past several years) But my grandpa was a little rough around the edges even when he was young, so you can imagine how aging adds to that. But despite his gruff exterior, he really was a wonderful man, who loved the Lord, his wife and his family very much! How he cared for my Grandma, who suffered from Alzheimer's for 14 years before passing away just a few months ago, was very inspiring. He personally cared for her until he wasn't physically able and then he still visited her every day in the nursing home, even when she had no idea who he was. Such love and commitment!

I also mentioned in the Christmas post a bit about the legacy that he has left. His faith and my Grandmother's faith were incredibly important to them and incredibly evident. And they encouraged their children in their faith and in turn, they encouraged the next generation. Every single one of us is a professing Christian. It is such a wonderful feeling to know that my entire family will be together in paradise forever.

I have a bunch of wonderful memories with my Grandpa. I'll always remember his candy dish. All my cousins have the same fond memory of getting to snag a lemon drop candy from the candy dish on the coffee table. You couldn't really be too sneaky and snag more than one though, because the candy dish was also a music box and would tattle on you! Grandpa always kept it stocked though - I think he got a great amount of joy out of sharing those with us. Over the years his candy dish changed a few times, but it was always present. When the family was able to choose a few items to inherit, I made sure to ask for one of them. Someday, when my kids are old enough to not break it and not help themselves to the candy all day long, I'll put it out. Filled with lemon drops, of course!

It was funny what a cheap frugal man he was. He grew up in the Depression, so he didn't waste a penny! This didn't impact me much except for at breakfast time when visiting. He used to buy milk in bulk if he could get it for less (ie. 10 cents cheaper!) and then freeze it. And if you've ever tried to drink thawed milk, you'll know what a crummy idea that is! It never mixes back to real milk. Bleh!

My Grandpa collected stamps as long as I could remember and whenever I'd go to visit, we'd "collect" together - soaking stamps for hours, pressing them in encyclopedias and then putting them in the books if they were one we didn't have, or carefully organizing all our duplicates.

But the time I spent playing pool with him when they lived in Oregon is probably my most prominent and my favorite memory. We played countless games and I got pretty good. Well, I thought so at least. Looking back, I probably wasn't very good, but he made me feel like it! He was a good teacher! That's my most cherished time.

Here is the biography from his funeral program.

Edgar “Bud” Steinmeyer passed away Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011 in Corona from complications resulting from a fall.

Ed was born in Pipestone, Minnesota on July 6, 1925 to Rev. Joseph G. and Almut Steinmeyer. He was second of four children, all of whom served in World War II. Ed served two terms in the U.S. Navy, in World War II and again in the Korean War.

Ed married Arlene Johannsen in 1947, the girl who lived next door when he was growing up in Pipestone. They moved their young family in 1952 to Anaheim, Calif., where they lived for the next 28 years. Ed and Arlene retired in Grants Pass, Ore., followed by a subsequent move to Sun City, Ariz., and finally to Corona in 2001.

Ed served as Quality Control Manager for Kwikset Locks where he worked for 30 years until retiring in 1982. He will be remembered for his faithful care of his wife, Arlene, who has had Alzheimer’s for the past 14 years, his devotion to Crown of Life Church, and his longtime service as Scoutmaster for the troop associated with Zion Lutheran Church in Anaheim, Calif.

He is survived by his wife of almost 65 years, Arlene; his daughter, Susan (Ken) Wiley, Torrance, Calif.; his sons, Joseph (Gail) Steinmeyer, Yorba Linda, Calif.; and Mark (Kathie) Steinmeyer, Corona; 12 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; a sister, Geraldine Bandy and a brother, Duane Steinmeyer.

A few of my favorite pics of him

Here he is with his siblings. (Left to Right - Edgar, Duane, Geraldine & Donald) Wasn't he a cute little boy?!
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In the Navy. So handsome!
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My Grandparents' wedding picture
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My Grandparents, my mom and her brothers
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Two good buddies taking a nap. I was about 1 year old here.
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At my wedding
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Meeting Austin for the first time. Austin was one week old.
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Christmas 2008 with my little family
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Meeting McKenna for the first time. It makes me sad he never got to meet Bella too.
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