This man, this firefighter was a hero to some. To others he was a father, grandfather, brother or son. He was the rock in his family. He was the glue that kept his family’s traditions practiced and passed on to the next generation.
This man was loved and he truly loved his family. He lived a good life and made many friends. He served his county proudly. This man respected his elders and always played by the rules. When the junior high school softball teams needed an umpire he was the one they asked. Even though he would be umpiring his own girls’ games. Because he was fair, even when it involved his own children.
Many of his friends were firefighters. Dan Zito was one such man. A twin for Jim Croche, Dan and this man rode motorcycles across the country. many times. They looked out for each other when they were out on runs or on the bikes. The two families played together, boating, fishing and camping.
This man was not only respected by his friends, he was respected by all who knew him.
This man lived a full life. He told his daughter this two days before he died. As he hugged her and told her how much he loved her. He was too young to die but as cancer took the things he loved away from him, one by one, he felt it was his time to go.
The day this man died was the worst day of his daughter’s lives. As his daughters prepared for his funeral they clung to each other hoping to fill a minute part of the void left by this man’s death. Their hearts desperately searching for a way to show this man and the world how much he meant to them.
Cleaning out the home where this man lived was not a chore, it was a labor of love. One day this man’s younger daughter found an atlas. In the atlas a felt pen marked out a trip this man had taken from Columbus, OH to California and back. Upon finding the map the daughter took it as a sign their father was directing them to take this trip together to honor him. It would be the ultimate celebration of his life… more to come