Eulogy: Grandpa Freddy

The last time I saw him it was really tough. That was about 9 months ago. He wasn’t the man I remembered and I was worried about how long he would go on like that.

Thankfully, my Nana was there to comfort him. She went and saw him every day she could. I know it wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t a choice for her. She had to be there.

But now, Grandpa Freddy has left his declining body and mind. And, we can remember him as he truly was.

He was a man who left a country he dearly loved to come to America. To create a better life for himself and to start a family. Something I and others here will always be grateful for.

He was an entrepreneur. He started his own business to support his family through manual labor and serving his customers. I remember clients coming by during the holidays to bring him gifts in appreciation for his work.

His business was simple, like his life. He never owned a fleet of trucks and he rarely worked with more than one person. I actually worked a job with him during his later years. I even got paid. I think that’s more than I can say for my Dad.

He was married to the same woman for almost 60 years. A true commitment that I will always admire.

He liked to eat. We all know that before he ate lunch, he was already thinking about dinner… “You gotta eat”… famous words that I’ve caught myself saying.

We played cards together. Scopa. Playing Italians cards was special to me because it’s a piece of our heritage that I will be able to pass on. I remember if he had the sette bello, he would wink at me. Sometimes he would wink even if he didn’t have it, trying to find out if I had it. If Nana caught him winking, well, she would yell at him… me and my brother would just laugh.

For years he made his own wine. I was never old enough to drink it but I hear there is a bottle resting somewhere waiting to be opened.

Grandpa Freddy was a man of few words. He didn’t have many hobbies, or interests. And I never had a long conversation with him.

On the phone he would ask “how’s school?”, “How’s work?”, “How’s the weather?” … but that’s about it. He just wanted to know you were ok.

I remember him being very calm. Most of the time. Certain people had a way of getting him riled up. But for the most part, I always knew him as a relaxed guy.

He lived in a time that saw unprecedented progress. Coming from a small farm in Italy… the age of computers, the internet, and cell phones passed him by. And I don’t think he blinked.

He was content with his life. He didn’t complain about what he had. And he provided an opportunity for a whole new generation to succeed.

So what should we remember about Grandpa Freddy?

I remember a man, like others here, who took an extraordinary chance to come to America.

I remember a man who took pleasure in the simple things.

I remember a man who valued family.

I remember a man who didn’t need to say much.

One thing he never said, was, I love you. But we know he loved all of us.

We love you too Grandpa Freddy. And we’ll always miss you.

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