On Saturday morning, we got a call that my Uncle Steve, Granddaddy’s last living sibling, had died. He had gone to the hospital with pneumonia last week and was transferred from the hospital to hospice on Thursday. His son, Grady, was driving from St. Louis to see him when Steve died. He was 91.1
Growing up, any time there was some weird or funny thing that happened, my mom would say that we needed to tell Uncle Steve. She told me his personality and jokes had shaped hers. Since my sense of humor became a lot like hers, I can say that it’s a lot like his as well. Anytime you laugh or smile at something funny or weird that I’ve said, you’ve been appreciating the world as my uncle would have seen it. Sort of.2 And now that he’s gone, any entertainment that my words or actions provide will honor his memory.
When people die, we can’t always say specifically how they touched our lives. Steve probably touched my life in ways that I don’t even know, but I do know how he changed me in this one way. And I will be forever grateful for that. And I take great comfort knowing that his unique spark of joy and humor will never die.
The obituary mentions 4 brothers and 4 sisters, but it is wrong. There were 8 kids in all: 3 girls, 5 boys. The first two girls and two boys were half-siblings. My great-grandmother remarried after her first husband died. She then had her last daughter, my grandfather, Uncle Grady—he died in WWII, and Steve. Her younger daughter from the first marriage died right before Granddaddy was born. If you’re worried about all of the personal details that I have shared, don’t be. Most of this information can be found on genealogy websites & Facebook, as well as military archives. You could probably even find some with Google by searching using an image of him. ↩
We did differ on a lot of personal beliefs. ↩