Last night -I was to find out this morning- I lost one of the best influences I had in Life. My Grandfather, Donald R. KUEHN (I called him Grandpa), left his body behind, reuniting in Spirit with my Grandma who went before him, and went to a far better place than the World he left behind. And to be sure, the World (my World) is a lesser place in his eternal absence.
He was in Life a grand individual, working every day he was able, Loving any who would let him, and rarely (if ever) giving up on those who didn’t (at least as far as Family was concerned).
He is, was, one of a few remaining “Men” in this world, as I define such things, from an era of Human Life/existence where you were not granted such a title, were you incapable of -not only- providing House and Home for your Family, but Building it with your own two hands as well!
Always hard working, sincere, ever active, giving, courageous, firm yet gentle, and always there when Family, or Friends, or Duty called, doing quite literally all he could to help, in whatever manner he was able! As my Mother said, “…Selfless!” With an aura that let all in his presence know that things would work out, would get better, that there was still and would always be a Light to brighten the path, no matter how overwhelming, or daunting, or dark the situation.
In the shadow of the Tree of a Man he was, I am but a seedling, with little more than the hope that I might one day grow to be half as splendid as he was in Life. He taught me what I know of Woodworking, of being a man of my word, and of “financial” responsibility, and the value of honest, well done hard work! And through his example, the benefit(s) therein.
The first (and American) born of his German/Italian Parents, he was also among the last of an ever decreasing populous that put Family and Friends first, without question, without rebuke. To him (and to them), there is, was, nothing more important, no matter the circumstances. They did not cry or scream for divorce at the first sign of trouble, or discomfort, or hardship, they picked up their heals and strove forward, making the most of what they could, and what they had, even when it was very little. I don’t ever recall him even once complaining, not about the things he could change, nor the things he could not. He either changed them, or adapted, or both, and carried on with dignity, and his head held high, smiling!
He was a Gardener, a Woodworker, an Electrician, and all-around do-it-yourselfer! He served in the U.S. Army as a Radioman during World War II, and was a part of the forces that landed at Normandy. After returning to the states, he then continued the training received in the military to begin and continue a career in Communication(s), working with AT&T for over 35 years, and once retired, took Grandma in an array of Motor-homes and toured the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, taking a few Cruises around the Globe as well.
He leaves among the Living, 5 siblings, all sisters, his only child, a daughter, her three children (of which I am the oldest), and was able to see only one of four of his Great-Grandchildren, all begot by my sister, the middle (and only girl) of the 3 of us remaining. He will be missed dearly, Loved always, and, by me, never forgotten.
To be remembered, I believe is the greatest honor we can give any who have Lived. There is little -if any- other way to carry on their Legacy, for by all other means of Record, through time, unless passed from one generation to the next, orally, all things are eventually lost.
I Pray I am able to Honor his Life, and Memory, in that which I accomplish through the remainder of my own. As I fear while he was yet Living, I failed to achieve the potential he so often said he saw within me.