Today a dear friend died, Frank Blazina. And I cannot imagine a world, my world, without Frank around. He was 83 years old and his beloved Jerry is 87. They have always been our friends and also were my folks' friends. In fact, it was Bonpapa (Roger)'s birthday today so perhaps Bonpapa and mom were among those greeting him.
We met Frank when we first moved to Sheffield Lake. He was our Home Teacher and loved by all our kids. When I notified them I received remembrances from them:
Jordan: He was a special person.
Cara: So sad. I will pray for comfort for all of them.
Jocelyn: Best home teacher. I loved when he read from his big thick poetry book. And when he prayed in our home. And he died on Bon Papa's birthday. A happy reunion there.
Marissa: Those are precious! What a great example of love and kindness.
Dawn: He was the best HT I've ever had as a Hatch. And he died on Bonpapa's birthday, too.
His daughter, Janet Fish, posted this picture with the story: "My Mom packed my Dad's lunch everyday he worked. When they were newlywed she used a piece of cardboard to hold a slice of pie. He wrote a note on that card and a note of their life together everyday since. Mom has boxes and boxes of these notes. Some of the notes are on his picture board which will be at his funeral on Wednesday. Wow was he an awesome man."
I have heard this story and have seen these notes in person long before his death. Jerry is so sad and just wants to die to be with him. She always felt that she and he would 'go' together. I don't think she's very happy about being left. In fact, Jan told me that Jerry goes to bed at night but when she wakes up in in the morning, still alive, she's madder than a wet hen.
From the internet obituary:
Frank R. Blazina, a life-long resident of Lorain, passed away on Friday February 19th in the hospice unit of the Main Street Care Center in Avon Lake.
Frank was a veteran of the United States Air Force attached to the 6167th Base Unit during the Korean War. He was the recipient of the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal.
He had been employed as a machinist for both American Crucible and Western Enterprises.
Mr. Blazina was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Lorain Ward. He enjoyed the company of his children, spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ, gardening, and fishing.
Survivors include his wife of fifty-six years Geraldine (nee Hess), son Jim Bearden (Barb), daughter Janet Fish (Larry), sisters Kay Mannie and Janet Rodriguez, and brother Louie Kish. He also leaves many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Florence Blazina, by brothers William and Thomas, and by his sister Darlene Porter.
This picture was taken by another granddaughter and commented me that this is how her grandparents always said goodbye to her when she left, by standing next to each other at the door.
The funeral was the loveliest of funerals ever! Robert played the organ, I was chorister and I also accompanied Mary Beth Lyon as she sang the requested hymn Nearer My God to Thee and she also played the flute for one verse.
Jerry's son, Jimmy Bearden gave the eulogy. Janet was surprised but Jimmy said, "I may have left the church but I have not left God." He did a great job. Told sweet and tender and humorous stories about Frank.
Frank and his buddies went into a bar one night and Frank saw a new waitress, a very cute waitress and told his friend that one day, some how, he was going to marry that waitress. Frank went over to the grill side and ordered a cheeseburger. When he finished he left the waitress a 50 cent piece as a tip, pretty big tip back in that day. Then he went to the bar side to sit with his friends. When Jerry left the bar at the end of her shift, she passed Frank and gave him back the 50 cent piece and told him to buy a beer on her....and Jimmy held up in his hand THE VERY 50 cent piece. Frank had kept it all these decades.
On Frank's last day on this earth, Jerry had her hand covering Frank's hand and said, "Oh, my angel". At that point Frank pulled out his hand from under her, placed it on top of hers, and said, "no, you are my angel". And then died. What a powerful expression of love between a husband and wife. What a wonderful LAST WORD to treasure!
Robert spoke on Frank's service in church..in 3 bishoprics, High Priest Group Leader a few times, always willing to serve and fulfill his duties. Bishop Wells had given Robert a story about how when Wells was bishop, he had 61 names of members that needed to be located and checked on which is the LDS way. Frank was given 2 months to do this and in less than the 2 months Frank had come back with all 61 names having been accounted for.
There was a luncheon held after the burial, on this horribly windy and and rainy day. It was great to serve this family and to see the love and interaction. I also got a picture with Janet's son Nick.
Nick used to come here to be watched til his mom got off work. He and Jordan were friends and got into some mischief at times...like riding their bikes up to Shoreway and dialing 9-1-1 on the telephone out there all the while a cop is sitting in his car watching them. Cop brings them home to us (trying not to laugh) and Nick had tried to tell the cops he didn't know where he lived. Nick has had some very difficult times but we are hopeful that he stays sober and clean, keeps with his education and continues to counsel other addicts. For whatever reason, I have a real soft spot for Nick.
As I looked at the people who had come to bid their farewells to Frank I realized that Robert and I are now among the oldest living members of the Lorain Ward. That's a bit of a breath stealer. For now I shall enjoy being still among the living, grateful to have known Frank and for having Jerry around just a bit longer.