In a 24-hour period this week, I've lost 2 'friends', 2 people I've know and appreciated. Not that I had a whole lot of interaction with either of them....but they've just always been around since we moved here in 1976.
The first to pass was Bucky O'Connor, my friend Linda Bruderer's dad. Bucky so reminded me of Roger Osborne. He was soft spoken, always friendly and always willing to chat with me when we'd be at the same event. He was tall and stately. Just overall...an amazing man. Linda was lucky to have him as her dad, just as he was lucky to have her as his loving and caring daughter. If you remember, once my mom died, I learned it doesn't help the grieving to say, "I'm sorry for your loss" because it just brings the loss back to the forefront...and so I've learned to comment on the good reasons for their existence, for the good memories. Thus is was with Linda. She took the time to send me a fast email about her dad after his passing:
Susan-Sorry I didn't get back to you yesterday to thank you for your kind words. I couldn't have asked for a better father. I'll never forget his wonderful sense of humor. I can't help but wonder if he and Dennis (this is Linda's brother who died of cancer decades ago) 'went out to breakfast' to catch up on all that has happened these past years. Yesterday when we met with the Priest I asked if he would allow us to have the song Danny Boy at the service. My father loved that song and he used to hum/sing it to my kids as he'd walk with them on his shoulder. David has even taught it to Gavin who sang it to GGpa one time. Priest said no. Not apart of a Catholic service. He did say we could do it before or at the funeral home. Anyway long story short Jim Wells called this AM and I don't know why I mentioned it to him (yes I do) and he said Annie has sung it for a few occasions and he'd ask if she'd do it for me. So Father Divit's will allow it before the service starts tomorrow. Happy day! Bagpipes and Danny Boy. Dad will love it.
Because of the very snowy conditions and slippery pathway I was not able to attend the funeral today but I hear the funeral was wonderful, the priest gave a marvelous and touching sermon, and that the bagpipes were great. Bucky was a veteran and valiantly fought to defend freedom and it was all listed in the obituary and typically, it wasn't something he talked a lot about. I am happy I got to know him. When I went to the visitation yesterday, and saw him, again I was struck with how much I compared him to Roger, and how very much I miss Roger. Is this not the gentlest, kindest face?
LORAIN - Edward M. "Bucky" O'Connor, 94 of Lorain passed away peacefully Thursday, January 12, 2012 at Mercy Regional Medical Center following a brief illness.
Mr. O'Connor was born in Lorain on June 17, 1917, the son of the late William and Catherine O'Connor. He was a graduate of St. Mary's High School. An US Army veteran of World War II, he earned the American Theater Ribbon, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon, Philippine Liberation Ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.
He was a devoted member of the St. Mary Church, now known as Mary Mother of God Parish. He served as an usher, Eucharistic minister and an Altar server.
Mr. O'Connor worked as an outside shipper-railroad engineer for US Steel, for 43 1/2 years retiring in 1983. He was also a volunteer at St. Joseph's Hospital in the emergency room for many years. He was a member of Hibernia and a life member of American Legion Post 30.
He was avid Cleveland Indians Baseball fan, enjoyed model trains, fishing, and most of all spending time with grandchildren.
Mr. O'Connor is survived by his wife of nearly 68 years Betty J. (nee Cook) O'Connor, daughters, Linda J (Kenneth) Bruderer of Lorain, Karen A. (Brian) Stawicki of Amherst, grandchildren, David (Patricia) Bruderer, Keri (Tyler) Keith, Melissa (Curtis) Nielsen, Kathleen (Darin) Herzoff, Daniel (Jessica) Bruderer, Brian (Amber) Bowers, Steven (Ashley) Bowers, Victoria Stawicki, Sabrina Stawicki, Jacob Stawicki, 10 great grandchildren, a sister Mary Wright of Lorain and several nieces and nephews.
Burial will follow at Ridge Hill Memorial Park Cemetery, Amherst Township with full military burial rights provided jointly by the American Legion Post 30 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 451.
Shortly after hearing about Bucky's passing, my good friend Michelle called to tell me that her dad had passed away at 3:45am that morning. She was kind enough to call me because her brother had immediately posted the info on FB, before all the family had even been notified and Michelle knew I'd hate hearing about this from FB...and she was correct.
Now Chuck and I had a bit more time interacting because we attend the same church. When we first moved here Chuck played the organ...and had been doing it forever since he was the ONLY musical person in the ward and had been the only one for years. Then, sadly, I was given the calling to play the organ. Now playing the piano is one thing...the organ quite another. One Sunday, early in my 'career' (short lived as it was), as I walked down the aisle, Chuck was walking up it and as we passed, he called me Butter Fingers...and he was so right...not kind, perhaps, but no one ever accused Chuck of lying. That just was Chuck.
Back in the day, you would always find Chuck at church activities, fund raisers (really back in the day) and book projects, ward dinners, etc. He was just a fixture with a very dry sense of humor, and a quiet and under-the-breath chuckle and you never really knew who or what he was laughing at...but you knew he found some things funny.
Chuck had battled disease and had not been very well for a long time. Michelle and I realized that his time was short and we prayed that he would get to the point quickly that going on and enjoying the hereafter would be so much more beneficial than lingering...and he did. At last. Look at this face, this smile...this is SO Chuck. Below you'll read about his being a drafting supervisor and I remembered suddenly his amazing hand printing...it was exactly like the handwritten labels on drafts/schematics. I envied that precision in his writing.
LORAIN - Charles Glenn Morgan, 76 of Lorain, Ohio died Friday, January 13, 2012 following a lengthy illness.
He was born on February 27, 1935 in Connellsville (Fayette Co.), Pennsylvania to the late Myrtle Anna (nee: Thomas) and Charles Glenn Morgan. Mr. Morgan moved from Connellsville in 1959 to Lorain where he made his home for the remainder of his life. He was employed as a design drafting supervisor of Phaudler, BP, both of Elyria, Ohio and Metaullics Systems in Solon, Ohio. Mr. Morgan was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Lorain. He was a dedicated family man. Mr. Morgan was an active musician in various bands and a former member of the Musicians Union.
He is survived by his wife of forty nine years, Carole J. (nee: Jackson) Morgan, his son, Charles G. (Shannon) Morgan III of Sandusky, Ohio, his daughters, Michelle E. Morgan of Lorain, Amy R. (Barry) Suggs of Cullman, Alabama, his sisters, Eva Fike and Carol Adams, both of Pennsylvania, grandchildren, Aden, Alicia, Lyndsey, Brenna and Evan, and numerous nieces and nephews.
There is a picture at the top of this entry. I think I found it on a link from Jocelyn's blog, a friend of hers perhaps. But when I saw it I fell in love with it and it is now my desktop photo. It's a constant reminder to me that our time here may be long or short but ultimately, what we do with each 24 hours is usually short...often too short. It's a reminder to me to make good use of my time and my activities, choosing wisely on all accounts.
But for certain, knowing these 2 men have been wise choices and they will be missed by the universe. Thanks Bucky and Chuck...for crossing my path.