Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Rough Week

     On Tuesday afternoon, we lost another great veteran of WWII.   Fred Ellis, my father-in-law, passed away after his battle with cancer at age 92.  Full of life and spit-and-vinegar to the very end, he was a fine gentleman that found fun, love, and excitement every where he went.
          In his younger years, he joined the Navy at age 17 when WWII broke out, and went on one of the greatest adventures of his life, being assigned ship duty on a destroyer battle ship.  He served until the end of the conflict in 1945, being discharged with an honorable discharge.  His funeral service will be with the military color guard, and the presentation of the flag covering his coffin to his daughters.
     Early in his life he earned the nickname of "Smokey" because he had started smoking big cigars, and almost always had one stuck in his mouth.  Years later in his life, he gave up the smoking part of them, turning even more towards his healthy lifestyle that he enjoyed.   But he did continue to "chew" on the stem from time to time.
     Smokey was a good husband, marrying Minnie Lee Richey back in 1963 (who was a widow already), and taking on the responsibility of helping raise her six children.  He was a good dad to all of them, and would do anything for them when they needed something.  They made it to adulthood, and began their own families.  To all of his grandchildren he was "Paw-paw." And he was a great one.  Personally, I think that will go down as his greatest legacy---being such a great, loving, and caring grandpa. 
      Smokey will be missed.  By everyone who ever met him.  Especially by those that got to KNOW him.   But especially by me.