It’s been a rough month. At the end of December we found out that Eric’s dad had stage IV cancer, and he passed away on January 10th. Eric flew out to Florida with his brother and Uncle and was able to be there for the memorial service.

Butch was one of a kind, and it’s hard to believe he’s gone. I’ve been trying to think of a story or something to illustrate who Butch was, and I keep coming back to his letters. Butch was a great letter-writer. He wrote regularly to the local paper. In fact, he kept writing letters to the editor of the Sun Post (in San Clemente) well after he moved to Florida! He always typed his letters on an electric typewriter – just couldn’t get his head around the idea of using a computer instead.

After Calvin was born he started addressing letters specifically to Calvin, and I’m so glad we saved them because they are a treasure. I’ll let Calvin read them all some day when he’s old enough to know better than to use some of the words Grandpa Butch taught him! But actually, the letters paint a pretty great picture of Butch. Yes, they were often full of the bluster and BS that he was known for, but they also capture his sweetness and love for his family.

Here’s the one he wrote to Calvin the day we went to the hospital to have Henrik (click on it to view larger):

For those who are interested, a couple of links:

  • Butch’s obituary in the Daytona Beach News Journal
  • Video that was played at the memorial (created by J.G. Pasterjak, Butch’s son-in-law)

And here’s the Butch I’ll always remember, laughing and playing with Calvin:

We’ll miss you, Butchie!