Kristi and I scanned photos, planned the service, and otherwise worked to get everyone together.
He would have said that we were making too big a deal, he would have demured. And yet, he would have been inwardly pleased at all the hoopla.
Family came together from Arizona, Illinois, Arkansas, Florida and many others places. Classmates came in from downstate ("Lower Michigan" to the non-Yoopers) and Munising itself to pay tribute. His childhood friend, Joe Hase and his wife Barb came to the service as well, which tickled Kristi and I pink, as Joe's name is mentioned frequently in dad's writing as someone who got into a whole lot of trouble with Dad over the years.
As he would have wished, there was more laughter than tears. More stories than sadness. His tales live on in his blog and the hearts and memories of those he told them to.
|Kristi and I in front of the Floria window at the United Methodist Church in Munising, MI, purchased by our great-grandma Toot, $5/week until the $100 window was paid off.|
|Hugs to Terry from Joe and Barb Hase.|
|Terry, Jessie and Tracy at Dad's wake. Yes, he wanted smiles.|
|Dad's cousin, Jon Floria, and his wife Cynthia. They were such a treat to get to know!|
|Dad watched over the gathering with a manhattan in front of him, compliments of his wife, Terry.|
Because of him, this group of people came together, people whose connections to each other may not have otherwise survived the trials of time and distance. New connections were made, to be preserved in more stories, more gatherings and fun.
To the occasion.