Cindy Palmer posted a condolence
Thursday, September 14, 2023
Hello Everyone. My condolences to you Mari and your family and also to you Vicky and your family. I know, all too well, the grief felt after losing a parent. I didn’t know your dad very well Mari but getting together with you, these last couple years. I did feel I got to know him through your eyes. I’m so glad you were able to be there for him and visit with him regularly. He was a character. I’m sure he felt better knowing you were there. Getting older is tough. You showed him respect and he was able to keep his dignity in tact throughout his remaining years. How’s, whys and what ifs might plague us but rest assured you were there for him and did your absolute best. Your dad will Rest in Peace. I love you guys, as your dad would say (The) Cindy Wilson
Victoria Tate uploaded photo(s)
Tuesday, August 29, 2023
On August 18th 2023, my father passed away. He was 95. I love him dearly and will miss him. I imagine him reunited with my mother who died when I was 13 years old. She was sick most of my life, but that wasn’t the case when they first met. It was so interesting trying to piece together their love affair from the bits and pieces of stories told, the letters they wrote and their pictures that were in a memory book. One story my dad told me on my last visit was about how he and his friend would drive a topless jalopy up to Berthoud Pass in the dead of winter. They would sleep under the car so they could ski the fresh powder the next day. My dad said that the ski patrol had mercy on them and offered them a job working the tow ropes and let them sleep in the ski patrol office. This story is my absolute favorite as I never knew how crazy my dad was until he told me about this. As my sister and I were going through my dad’s photo’s, we found a picture of that jalopy. My dad met my mother in a bar at Berthoud pass. He said she had a vocabulary that was sharp and she cut him down to size. She was cultured, refined, educated, beautiful and she loved to ski. I have the most incredible pictures that he took of her during their courtship. One of the things I found in dad’s desk was his Ski Pass and I claimed it for myself after his death. It has a picture of my dad and has an arrow pointing to it with the word “me”, and an arrow that points up to the words “Winter Park” and says “my happy place”. I didn’t learn how to ski in Colorado like my brother and sister. I’d see their little skis in the basement all the time but after I came along, skiing went by the wayside. My mother’s illness took its toll. When my dad got transferred to Chicago, we moved to Four Lakes Apartment complex because it had a ski hill. Oddly enough, that is where I met my husband. He was a tow rope operator. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. After my mother died, I had my dad all to myself for a short period of time. He would travel during the week while I did whatever I wanted to. Then he had a second chance at love and took it. He married Kay and had a lovely life with her. They traveled in a camper, lived in Estes Park and enjoyed their midlife. Sadly, she also became ill leaving my dad a widow for the second time. I paint this picture as rosy as I can. I was feral in my youth. I had very little guidance throughout my childhood. My dad and I had much to forgive each other for and we did just that. About 15 years ago, my dad reached out to me and invited me to go to London with him. Then we went to That trip was such a success that we went to Paris and Rome as well. We went to San Francisco, then to Toronto to see my sister while she worked there. The three of us went to New York, then we went to Paris where my sister took us on a whirlwind trip that included Normandy and Champaign. Our last big trip was to Scotland because that is where my father’s ancestors are from. I made a memory book of some of the pictures from all those trips and gave it to my dad for his birthday last year. I am so glad I did. I cherish that book now. I am so grateful that we were able to let the past go and love each other. After all, he is the only dad I will ever have and I am the only Vicky he was going to get. My dad was fiercely independent. He lived on his own in Estes Park up until less than a year ago. He had his wits about him and was charming and funny and grumpy and loveable. I went to see him just last month and it seemed to me that he was going to be around for quite some time. What a shock it was when my sister called and said he passed. How sad I was that I didn’t call him that day. I am so happy for dad that he didn’t have to go through the indignity of having to see his body fail him. He was quite independent until the very end. I said the things I needed to say to him and that is wonderful. I apologized for being such a little shit most of my youth. I forgave him for being absent but for the very first time, I actually understand that he did the best he could under the circumstances he was given. So, here’s to you dad. I can only imagine what kind of adventure you are on now. I’ll see you on the other side.
MARI ELLIS uploaded photo(s)
Tuesday, August 29, 2023