We went to my wife's Grandad's funeral yesterday. Earl Sistrunk, known to our generation as 'Papa,' was born in Mississippi in 1917 and died in Salt Lake City just last Friday.
He was quite a man, his ilk grows rarer by the day now. He served in Coast Guard previous to WWII and served in the Merchant Marine during the War, the Korean War and Vietnam. Earl specialized in ocean-going steam ships of every power as first and second engineer. Rough work, hot and noisy, with long hours. During the War he saw many sister ships sunk as his steamed on, sure that his was next.
His favorite work, though, was being a father to a couple of very good children, one of whom is mother to my beloved Diedre.
Not a bad run, if you ask me.
Vaya con Dios, suene con los angeles, Papa.