OT Tribute to my 97 yo Grandpa, WWII Veteran

Discussion in 'Portland Trail Blazers' started by ehizzy3, Oct 29, 2021.

  1. ehizzy3

    ehizzy3 RIP mgb

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    Last night my 97 year old Grandpa passed away. I just wanted to take to the time to share his story and the connection I had with him. He was a truly inspirational person to myself and my family.


    Born in October (just celebrated his 97th birthdays a few weeks ago), 1924 in Astoria. He was the son of an immigrant mother from Finland. He grew up during the depression which caused him to the most frugal person that I’ve known.


    He wanted to enlist in the Army but his family knew the recruiter and told him to wait to get drafted. Well he did get drafted at 18 to be an infantry soldier in the Army.


    He was sent to Europe and was in the Battle of the Bulge. He never liked to get into details but we always understood that he saw and went through a lot. While in Europe all four of his grandparents passed away. He also got frostbite on his feet from the war, along with various other health problems, but never complained. If it weren’t for the backloaded disability checks that he was proud of, most of us younger generation wouldn’t even know about the health complications he had.


    When he got out of the Army, he went to school at both the University of Oregon and Oregon State University. He graduated from Oregon State with a double major in Electric Engineering and Physics.


    My timeline isn’t great but shortly after graduating he got a job as an water resources engineer at Pacific Power. Around that time he also met my grandmother. They started a family in the 50s and bought a house in Hillsboro when less than 10,000 people lived there. He lived in that house until his final day.


    They had three children, and my mom was the middle child.


    By the time I was born my mom and father were divorced and my mom had three children and nowhere to go. Because of my grandpa being frugal, despite having a very nice career, he and my grandma were able to help my mom buy a house.


    My mom was working a lot, so early on in my life we started a tradition that we would go to his house every Wednesday night for dinner. This tradition is something that I value so much. The only Wednesday’s I didn’t go was when I was living in Colombia and since the pandemic started.


    We watched every blazers game that was on Wednesday, and they play a lot on Wednesday haha.


    The time spent on those Wednesdays are invaluable. The time they took me to Washington DC for one his of military reunions. And instead of going home they took me to NYC to see the old Yankee stadium before they built the new one because they knew I was such a baseball fanatic. When I didn’t know what to do with my life, he offered to pay for my schooling and saved me from student loans. I guess I was spoiled by him but none of it was possible without everything that he sacrificed before me. I can only hope to be as important to someone as he was to me.



    About ten years ago he had a stroke that severely affected his verbal skills. Slowly, he started getting worse physically and beginning to fall more often. Sadly, the last couple of years were a struggle for him. He slowly lost his ability to verbalize his wants, ability to move, control his bowels. He kept fighting until the last possible minute. He went nearly a week sleeping without drinking or eating.


    We knew this moment would come eventually but it doesn’t make it easier. He is in a better place. I am happy he is no longer suffering.


    I can only be appreciative for all the sacrifices he made for the family and the country. I can only hope to be half the family man that he was.
     
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  2. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    That is a beautiful tribute to an incredible man. Thank you for sharing that with us.
     
  3. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    I'm moving this thread to the main forum for the rest of the night.
     
  4. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    As soon as I moved this thread to the main forum Lillard and the Blazers go off!

    Thank you Grandpa Hizzy!
     
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  5. Chris Craig

    Chris Craig (Blazersland) I'm Your Huckleberry Staff Member Global Moderator Moderator

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    Sounds like an amazing guy. May he rest in peace.
     
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  6. Cugel

    Cugel Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the post. I can't even imagine how hard it was to be in a campaign like that in Bastone. 97. Sounds like a really great guy.
     
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  7. HailBlazers

    HailBlazers RIPcity

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    Thanks for your service to country and family. The world would be a better place with more grandpa hizzy's. RIP good sir.
     
  8. Phatguysrule

    Phatguysrule Well-Known Member

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    That was a fantastic tribute to an exceptional man.

    I'm so sorry for your loss.
     
  9. Shaboid

    Shaboid Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing that. It seems like grandparents are often the most important people to their grandkids. It sounds like you had a great one. May he rest in peace.
     
  10. Further

    Further Guy

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    Wonderful words for a man who was undoubtedly a blessing to you and others. Thankfully Grandpa Ehizzy3 was on our side at the Battle of the Bulge!
     
  11. MickZagger

    MickZagger Well-Known Member

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    My 95 year old grandma passed away as well on Tuesday (covid) along with my best friend who lives in Spokane’s grandpa so he came down and stayed with us.

    cool homage to your gramps. Sounds like a great guy.

    Not a good week for those of us losing our gramps and grams
     
  12. SlyPokerDog

    SlyPokerDog Woof! Staff Member Administrator

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    Sorry to hear about Grandma Zagger.

    RIP
     
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  13. Phatguysrule

    Phatguysrule Well-Known Member

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    Dang. I'm sorry man. My buddy passed away with covid on Tuesday as well. 35 years old...

    Tuesday was a rough day.
     
  14. Strenuus

    Strenuus Global Moderator Staff Member Global Moderator

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    Hell of a tribute. Thank you for sharing. Hell of a person!
     
  15. crandc

    crandc Well-Known Member

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    May his memory be a blessing.

    My mother served in the Navy during World War II.
     
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  16. Tyrant of Ants

    Tyrant of Ants Well-Known Member

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    Your grandpa sounds like an awesome man. I was very close to my grandpa and when he died (I was only 10 yo) I took it very hard. Here's hoping the legacy and memories of your grandpa live on. All the best.
     
  17. riverman

    riverman Writing Team

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    Awesome tribute!!! My dad and uncles were cut from the same cloth...grew up in the depression era...fought in WWII....RIP to your grandpa! 97 is a hell of a ride! Hope you got some of those genes going for you as well!
     
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  18. Hoopguru

    Hoopguru spent money on booze broads boats wasted rest

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    Thanks for sharing he made a a big difference & sacrifice. Sorry for your loss!
     
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  19. Wheels

    Wheels Is That A Challenge?!?!1! Staff Member Global Moderator

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    So sorry for your loss my friend. That’s so awesome the memories you have with your grandpa. And I’m sure he cherished each and every moment with family as well, as I can tell how important it was for him.

    thoughts with you and your family. I only have 1 grandparent left so I’ve been through it a few times. Mentioning it, not to make it about me, but just to say don’t feel bad for laughing and smiling while remembering the good times and reminiscing.

    I’m truly sorry that covid cost you precious time with him as well.
     
  20. BlazerBeachBum

    BlazerBeachBum Well-Known Member

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    So sorry for your loss! My prayers are with you & and your family. Try to keep a record of your memories as they fade with time.
     
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