Pepa, 95 years of life and 71 years of wedded bliss under his belt, died on January 10, 2014 surrounded by his wife and children. We buried him days later and while Mommy and Daddy were so sad to say goodbye, we were so glad he was at rest with the Lord he loved. Most of these pictures are from our time after the funeral with Tim's family celebrating Pepa's life.
Children, here are a few things about Pepa for you to remember. You'll remember them through Mommy's eyes; her eulogy of his goodness.
Pepa was always kind. He did not complain or speak badly about people. He called everyone a "sweetie." Mema called him Freddie sometimes as an endearment. And when he saw you three little girls he said, every time, "Aren't they cute, Mildred? Aren't they cute! Oh and then they grow up." Pepa was never afraid or hesitant to say, "I love you."
He was active. Pepa and Mema walked the track at the Y on Main Street every morning for years together; when Mommy and Daddy were engaged they were still walking. Before that he ran. And he loved the pool. He put on his trunks and sat in the pool until he was at least ninety, maybe older. He worked hard all his life and demanded that everyone else do the same.
He loved Mema. Loved his wife all the time. He would lean over to her during meals, when he'd forgotten who everyone else at the table was, and say, "You're my sweetie forever. Forever." When he died, Mema thanked him. Out loud. Repeatedly. What a compliment to their marriage.
Pepa had a hard life at times. During the Great Depression, his family lost everything. During World War II, he was separated from his young wife and new baby. When he got out of the service, he had no job waiting for him to support his family. He started at the bottom rung of his company and worked his way to a VP position with no college degree. He had cancer and heart surgery. In short, he suffered, like every human ever. The great difference is that he didn't let the suffering make him angry. At the end of it all, he was peaceful and gracious and grateful. He taught his loved ones how to love.
He loved God and prayer. So pray that our family would learn from his example and love each other no matter how difficult some moments are; pray that we might see our Pepa again in heaven.