Tuesday, April 29, 2014

About Bill

He planted this grove of pine trees 41 years ago on his 3 acres of land.  (David was just 4 years old when they finished their new house.)

I felt his presence here as the wind whistled through the majestic tree tops.  (And a loud whistle at that!)

The deer, red foxes, wild turkeys, and birds love it here.

The grandchildren love it here, too.  Grandpa Bill was notorious for hooking up a trailer to his riding mower and taking the grandkids (and grown up kids including myself)  for endless rides.

Bill's hand is all over this beautiful landscape.  Everywhere I look, I see my father-in-law.

I watched as some of the grandkids helped Grandpa Bill by clearing two dead pine trees, preparing the wood for a special bon fire.

Bill was a tinkering-kind of guy.  His own father passed away from TB when Bill was only 6 years old.  Bill was self-taught on mechanics.  He and a couple of his sons built a space to house all of his toys  tools.

He taught all of his boys how to fix and repair mechanical things.

And the tradition continues.

Bill had a degree in Sociology from St. Ambrose in Iowa.  He dedicated his life to helping the disabled find jobs.

He had so many hidden treasures.  (Sometimes we overlooked the treasures and focused on the quirks that drove David and I nuts.  We all have quirks, though, do we not?)

My father-in-law was a champion of the unborn.  He honored life from the moment of conception to death.  And his own death was so very hard due to his battle with Alzheimer's.

For years, on a weekly basis, Bill would go walk and pray the rosary outside the (now shut down - praise the Lord) abortion clinic in Rockford, IL.

(Such a tearful and bittersweet moment.)

David (second from right) with his brothers at their father's wake.  David is the youngest of six children.

Bill loved his Catholic faith, his wife and children, and his country.  He was a Korean war veteran.  His father was a WWI veteran.

The American flag that draped Bill's coffin was his father's and had only 48 stars!

After the wake, the family remembered Grandpa Bill with a special bon fire made from those dead pines the grandkids cleaned up.  (He would have enjoyed seeing that.)

There was a beautiful funeral mass the following morning, followed by an Honor Guard outside the little, Catholic church.

The family that Bill was so very proud of (minus 4 family members.)

As I reflect on the person Bill was and type this post, I feel more blessed than ever to have married into Bill's family.  His traditional values have been passed down to his son, my beloved, and we will continue to strive to pass them onto our own children.

May the souls of the faithfully departed rest in peace.

~  Patty  ~


  1. Patty...
    This is a beautiful, heartfelt, touching tribute to your dear father in law.
    I feel now as if I knew him. : )
    Thank you for sharing him with us.
    And I shall continue to pray for his soul, that he may be happy in Heaven.
    Maybe the two Bills are meeting up there, sharing stories and even a beer, : )

  2. What a beautiful tribute. God bless all of you at this sad time.

  3. This is beautiful Patty! What a hard, beautiful day. Praying the happy memories sustain you all through this time.

  4. Such a beautiful tribute to what was a great man. I love the pine trees and that he planted them when your husband was 4. I'm sharing this with my husband, he would be inspired by Bill.

  5. What a lovely way to honor your father-in-law. And what a lovely man he was. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post and letting us all have a little glimpse into his live. Praying for all of your family. <3

  6. What a beautiful tribute to a great man of faith. A military service is so moving too. I'm glad your family had the time to enjoy the beauty of the land and honor him in yet another way. I miss my Daddy's homeplace but it is forever etched in the children's and grandchildren's mind. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Your homage to Bill had me crying...in exactly 2 days we will lay to rest my beloved stepfather, Bill, and he (born in 1922) should be graced with all the honor your Bill did.
    RIP...Bill & Bill.

  8. And may perpetual light shine upon them...
    I really choked up seeing that bonfire. What a fitting tribute to your father in law. A bright light for life, family and love in this world. You did such a beautiful job introducing me to him. I know that he will be a powerful intercessor for you, and you family.
    It's so wonderful to see that family photo too. What a joy our families are to us, we are so blessed. I pray that The Lord will bless you with his peace.

  9. How beautiful. A truly moving tribute. May God bring His comfort to all who miss such a wonderful man.

  10. I am just finally getting around to reading this post while my house is quiet. I am so glad that I did. What a beautiful tribute and post to obviously an amazing man. May your treasured memories continue to comfort you and bless many generations. Thank you for sharing a bit of your FIL with all of us.

  11. What a beautiful tribute Patty. I enjoyed reading this post so very much. He sounds like a wonderful man with a devoted life for all that is good. Sending continued prayers for your family.

  12. What a beautiful post of an amazing man. Thank you for sharing with all of us. You are all so blessed to have had him in your lives. I'm so glad that you were able to spend time with extended family; I'm sure it helped so much your hearts ached. Prayers to you and your mother in law. xo tara


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