|Birth: ||Mar. 16, 1910|
|Death: ||Dec. 14, 2002|
My grandpa was a hard working man. He and my grandma had to start over several times. They lost their home and everything in it to a tornado, my grandpa had polio, my uncle had polio, then several years later, their daughter, Sharon Kay, was diagnosed with leukemia and died at the age of 15.
In spite of everything, my Grandpa was a man of great faith and nothing could shake him from what he believed and lived. His manner was kind of gruff, but he was very loving and wanted only the best for all of us.
Grandpa wore Old Spice aftershave. He loved America and the flag and taught me everything I know about how to treat it with respect and love. Grandpa loved trees, roses, vegetable gardening and shared his vast wisdom. He made a wonderful garden, even into his 90s.
Grandpa was active in the Church of God. He loved his church family and acted as an usher and greeter. I have so many memories of spending time with him and my grandma, going shopping on Saturday then eating with them at KFC. It was something we did every week for years.
I gave the eulogy at his funeral. I was terrified and was shaking the entire time, but I knew it would have made him so proud.
Grandpa was loved in our small town and everyone knew him. (Charlie, as most people called him, whistled softly as he went about his tasks, something I also find myself doing!)
He did many types of work in his life, always hard physical labor. During my life, he was a janitor at the courthouse, and later at the bank.
I loved being at the courthouse in his little "office" that smelled of all kinds of cleaning supplies. Grandpa took great pride in his work and kept that big building spotless: no dust in the corners, no yellowed wax, nothing was less than perfect. On top of it all, he planted flowers and maintained the shrubs and parking lot in spotless condition. He did what he loved, and loved what he did. He took great pride in his work, albeit "menial" work in some people's eyes.
I held his hand as he lay dying. It was one of the strangest experiences of my life, nothing at all like on TV. It's still a mystery to me as there was no "final" moment or revelation that he was gone...there was no sudden beep or flat line on the monitor. He was gone and I didn't "feel" anything.
I miss him most at Christmas time. It had become a tradition for him to read the Christmas story from the Bible before we opened our gifts. It's funny how it's the small things you miss about a person...but now I know he's happy being with my grandma and Sharon. He missed them and was so lonely after my grandma died. Now he's in his rightful place with his special girls, in Heaven with God and all the angels.
Here's a poem that I think is rather fitting:
"God saw you were getting tired
and a cure was not to be.
So He put his arms around you,
and whispered "Come with me".
With tearful eyes we held your hand,
and saw you pass away.
Although we loved you dearly,
we could not make you stay.
A golden heart stopped beating,
hard working hands at rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us,
He only takes the best."
Gladys Louise Yarnell Ritz (1916 - 1988)
East Hill Cemetery
Created by: Gayla
Record added: May 27, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14421263
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