My Grandpa passed away about two weeks ago, just shy of his 85th birthday. He was the toughest man I’ve known, but was also one of the happiest and funniest as well. His father died in an accident when he was two and his mother raised 6 children through the great depression and beyond by herself. He grew up in a small town in Southern Utah and his first job was stomping hay for a nickel a day at age six. He went on to be a coal miner, saw mill operator, heavy machine operator, road grater, and one of the best wood workers and tinkerers around. My passion for wood and tinkering started in his shop, staying warm by the potbelly stove, and watching a master in action. He was as tough as nails on the outside but had a kind and generous heart.
After he passed my grandmother had a hard time finalizing the purchase of his casket. They were all so polished and ‘fancy’, none of them seemed to be fitting for his final resting place. She had the perfect idea. She remembered a pile of pine lumber that my grandpa milled 20+ years ago that he never got around to using. He gave it to my uncle a few years ago when it became apparent that he wouldn’t be able to use it. A quick phone call and 70 hours later he delivered this. It is a great tribute and a perfect reflection of a great guy.