He was one of the most well-informed men I ever met, even though I never saw him sitting down to read anything; he read while he was shaving and performing his morning toilette. He could discuss any number of topics, be it history, politics, science, with familiarity. Whenever we traveled, he would point out all the geological and historical points of interest, so that ever after, when driving on 81, I still hear his voice discussing glaciers and rock formations. He hated to stop when traveling, except for a brief meal and bathroom break, but liked to get to where he was going. (On the way to Canada his favorite place to stop was Clark's Summit,PA.) He did let up a bit in his old age.
His great interest, after family history, was music. He was a musician and worked at it his entire life. He was an Irish tenor, and played the violin and mandolin. When we were small , on moonlit nights, he would stand on the back porch and play Irish songs on the mandolin, while my sister and I would dance. He loved directing the church choir; he loved making music with his brothers at family reunions.
He worked all his adult life as a civil engineer, and for many years worked two jobs, a day job as County engineer in Jefferson County, WV, and then ran his own business at night and weekends. It never occurred to him that he would not work twelve hours a day (at least) to provide for his family. He was the most devoted of family men, and loved corresponding with all his brothers, sister, nieces, nephews, first and second cousins. He loved the outdoors, camping, hiking, canoeing; every year he looked forward to the Family Reunion. He enjoyed maintaining ancient Celtic traditions, such as the midsummer bonfire on St. John's Eve ( June 23.) He wore his kilt with the clan tartan at our weddings, and startled the locals by playing the bagpipes. He loved being the chieftain of the Clan. He had a very quirky sense of humor, which we all got used to eventually.
I could go on and on, but must stop. Let me end by saying that he taught me to say the "Our Father" and "Hail Mary." He loved the Scriptures, and passed that love on to me. He was truly a gentle-man; one would never have guessed that his life would be cut short by such hideous suffering, but we leave that to God. His courtesy and lack of complaining during such excruciating indignities touched all hearts. He drifted peacefully into Eternity after many rosaries, his loved ones nearby.
"The souls of the just are in the hands of God...." Wisdom 3:1 Share