Saturday, July 29, 2017
A Farewell to George
This entry is not as well prepared, as I was not as well prepared for my father's death as I might have been. He had been steadily declining all week. I flew down on Thursday. My sister checked on him about 6:30 Friday morning and he was still breathing, I checked on him a little after 7:00 and he was gone. There is an odd quiet to the house, unlike anything since they moved in here 41 years ago.
My father, George Godfrey, was born in the near in suburbs of Detroit in November of 1927. A first child, born just 15 months into my Grandparent's marriage. He was raised in the near in northern burbs of Detroit. During World War II, he quit school to go to work, and was drafted in the Army near the end of the war. After basic training in Louisiana, he was sent to defend New Jersey from the Nazis, he joked or decades that he did a good job the German army never established a foot hold in New York or New Jersey while he was there. He was discharged after about 18 months and sent home to Detroit. He worked in machine shops, with my grandfather on market gardening and keeping bees.
My father was a very bright man, he was an skilled machinist, and a beekeeper, he built and operated a large honey-bee farm, selling it in 1982 and retiring to Florida. My parents bought a home in Titusville Florida in 1976, the year before I finished High School, he lived in that home until his last day - I need to clean it out and sell it.
He loved to fly and earned commercial and instrument flight ratings, he only flew for the love of flying - never for money. He was a Mason. He finished high school, after retiring.
He and my mother met when her date's car broke down and he gave her a ride home, they were married for 67 years.
He was a skilled investor, who took a modest about of money, and generated a comfortable retirement income and grew the nest egg. I learned a little from him on that, I wish I had learned more.
After decades of used cars, he bought his first new Buick in 1977, the year I finished high school. He owned a string of them after that, and enjoyed everyone of them. He drove into his 89th year.
I picked up my love of adventure and travel from him. He flew because he loved it, he loved the adventure and the romance of it. He was the driving force behind my family traveling. By the time I was 6 we had been to Florida, and Arizona - twice. When I was in middle school we started spending winters in Florida. Learning how to seek the adventure in new places.
After retiring my parents went back north for summers for about 30 years. They went to Hawaii twice, and Europe once. They drove from coast to coast several times.
My father had one sister, who died before the age of 60 back 1996. He is survived by four adult children, including his youngest, yours truly. He will truly be missed.