A tribute to the Grandpa I never had...

When my sisters and I were growing up, we didn’t have a grandpa in our lives. Both of our grandpas had passed away before any of us were born. Our grandma was our one and only grandparent in our lives. Matt grew up a lot different. He had all four grandparents. When Matt and I started dating, his dad’s mom and mom’s dad were still living. Margaret (Matt’s mom) always has Saturday lunches with the grandparents. Willy was a lifelong member of the same community. He was well known. I knew who he was, but hadn’t spent a lot of time around him. So when we were dating and after we were married, one of the very first things I noticed about Willy was how quiet and soft spoken he was. The time that I was around him, he didn’t get worked up about much of anything. He worked hard, loved his family and loved his farm. Willy was an innovator. They said he was one of the first in the region to switch to notill farming. Him and his son that farmed with him, continue to be innovators and not doing the average, but trying the new ways to improve their farm. Willy loved pie. I’m not a baker. However, he would never complain or critique my ugly pies that were uneven and the crust was definitely far from picture perfect. Willy will be missed by many. Today as we lay him to rest in his final resting place, beside his wife that he has missed for ten long years, I will remember him as a farmer and stockman willing to take risks and do what no one else was doing. I will remember him as a family man, raising four children, all of which have been married for 25 plus years-a novelty in this age. I will remember him as a puzzle man. Every time we went to visit him he would try to get us to work on his puzzle with us. Matt is really good at them, me not so much. He ALWAYS had a puzzle out and working on it. I will remember him as a pie lover. It didn’t really matter the kind. I will remember him as a soft spoken man that when he talked you listened. I will remember him as someone who thought it important to be involved in your local community and volunteer on boards and organizations. Willy, you will be missed by so many. As there are tears being shed down here, you are rejoicing with your wife and farming those fertile fields of heaven (and I hope for your sake there are no thistles or trees!) You will be missed!