Over the weekend, my family shared laughs, told stories and wiped tears as we said goodbye to my "Grandpa Bear."
He passed away last Monday. His passing was unexpected and many hearts were broken. The loss of my grandfather was truly the end of an era; the family he created was large and he lived even larger. Ted had a life so full it's impossible to sum up all his travels, friends, business associates and family in one post.
Grandpa Bear knew how to light a room, and he had a spirit so gentle I'd never heard him utter an unpleasant word about anyone. He had a dry humor that took me a few minutes to process, leaving me to experience many amusing "ah ha!" moments in his presence.
Pa Bear grew a company that supported an entire family, and the memories of working the switchboard after school will be with me forever. My brothers worked in the shop; my father, uncle and mother in the office. As the years passed my Hubby joined the team, and my brothers graduated from making doors to selling and servicing doors.
Work was truly a family affair.
Pa Bear had a grand office upstairs with one of those mahogany desks only important people sit behind. He meandered downstairs a few times a day to check with the billing office and collect his reports. He was still putting up red flags well into his 70's. No questionable sale or return slipped by him. Not one.
He was a respected, much loved CEO. He did business the way business should be done, and he treated his employees the way he would want to be treated.
My grandfather's funeral procession literally shut down the small town his funeral and company resided. As the dozens of cars rode past his place of business, taking him to work one last time, police officers had traffic stopped at every corner.
Pa Bear will certainly never be forgotten. And the family he built will forever be thankful for the legacy he left behind. He had class, wit and humor. He loved a good glass of wine and the Sound of Music. He taught his very large family how to live well and live honorably.
Ted, heaven is waiting with a bottle of red. From all of us, this one is for you.
We march on, with you in our hearts. And we will forever celebrate the life you lived, and the time we had.
Happy Trails! Call someone you love today, life is short!