Last Monday, my amazing grandfather passed away. I had just seen him the week before for Easter and it was a huge shock to get the news. This past week has been hard for all of us, but I'm glad we had a chance for the extended family to gather in PA this weekend to remember him. I miss him so much already!
This is the eulogy that my uncle read at the funeral:
Today our family gathered in PA to say good-bye to our beloved Dad who died this past Monday morning. We celebrate his life and will miss him very,very much. My youngest brother Matt spoke these words about my Dad and what a wonderful man he was today at his funeral Mass:
I’d like to share a few thoughts about our Dad. There are so many images and memories that come to mind as we look back over the years
First, Dad was a man of deep faith and integrity. He lived his faith daily. He took what Jesus taught us, and weaved it into the fabric of his life. He delivered food baskets to poor families at Christmas and Thanksgiving. He and my Mom volunteered with homeless kids at Covenant House in New York City. He worked tirelessly for vocations as a member of Serra. And most importantly of all, he modeled for his children the importance of treating others with respect and helping those in need.
Our Dad was also a man of strong vision. He set his goals high and expected his children to do the same. When Dad was a teenager, his mother died, and he then took on the responsibility of caring for his younger brother and sister. Dad proudly served in the Navy during WW II, and was the first in his family to earn a college degree. In every endeavor he undertook, my Dad achieved great success…whether as a father, a corporate vice president, or as a dedicated volunteer, he gave his best in all that he did.
Family was everything to our Dad. My parents met as sophomores at Easton Catholic High School. Their 62 year marriage was one of abiding love for each other and their six children as well. It is no surprise that Dad’s favorite scripture passage is from a Letter of St Paul….”love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
My parents shared a love of adventure. On one of our many family camping trips, my parents and their 6 small children vacationed for a week in a pop up trailer in the Adirondacks... in the pouring rain...and we all thought that was fun! Mom and Dad saw to it that their children traveled by car to lower 48 states, and only once did they accidentally leave one of my brothers behind at a rest stop.
As we kids left the nest, their adventures continued. My parents traveled to over 100 countries, including all 7 continents. They hiked among the penguins in Antarctica. They climbed the Great Wall of China, and rode camels through the pyramids. They cruised on the Nile and the Amazon Rivers, and made pilgrimages to the Holy Land and almost every place in the world where our Blessed Mother has appeared.
In his later years, Dad was his happiest when we all gathered from near and afar for countless spirited family celebrations at their home high atop Skyline Drive.
My parents were proud of their 14 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren, and traveled frequently to attend their baptisms, first communions, confirmations, concerts, dance recitals and weddings.
Yes, family was everything to our Dad. All of us will miss him very much. Yet, we are grateful for all that Dad taught and shared with us. And we find great comfort in knowing that he now is at home in Heaven with our Lord.