Friday, December 28, 2007

A Perfect Example of The Greatest Generation

It is a sad time for our family. After 83 wonderful years, Joseph McGuinness passed away yesterday. He was loved by everyone who knew him. He had a joyous spirit and a zest for life that was evident to anyone in his presence. Known to me always as "Grandpa", he was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He grew up with virtually nothing (not even a bed to sleep on) and created a life for himself and his family that must have been far beyond his wildest dreams. Here is a picture of him from his surprise 80th birthday party as he was greeted by his adoring family.

And here he is surrounded by 11 of his 12 grandchildren.

Grandpa left a legacy of family. He had four daughters - each of their families strong and intact (although we miss Uncle Bill greatly). Family celebrations are such fun with lots of food, lots of dancing, and lots of laughs. Grandpa and Grandma (who I never had the pleasure to meet) raised their daughters to understand that happiness can be as simple as being together with the ones you love and just enjoying each other. It's as simple as that.

Here's an example of the dancing. It seems every time we all get together there is lots of music and dancing. This picture is of Matt's mother and Grandpa dancing at his 80th birthday party. She was with him yesterday when he passed away. It comforts us to know that he wasn't alone.

These are Grandpa's four daughters and I know they will miss their father very much. They have taken such good care of him over the past few years and I know his memory will always live on in the values they have instilled in each of their children.
Family comes first.
Here, in this picture, they had all traveled to be at my baby shower when I was pregnant with Drew. It was a wonderful surprise and it meant so much to me that they were all there.

These last few photos are of Grandpa at a recent family wedding. Always the center of attention - he wasn't going to let a wheelchair slow him down. He truly lived a full and happy life.

Grandpa, you will be missed more than you will ever know.
Thank you for giving us a wonderful example to follow in living the best life possible.

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