Our Kids' Blog

Great-Grandparents: Granddaddy J

March 16th, 2012 by Mommy


Granddaddy feeding Rachelle, who was just pulling up on furniture, little tastes of Lemon Meringue Pie.

Harry was born in Missouri where he grew up learning about farming. He finished high school, a Business School, and then started working at American Electric. It was at American Electric that he met his wife Hazel. They were married and had their first daughter. After several years they moved to the family farm. There on the farm they raised a variety of livestock and crops. They also had their second daughter while they lived on the farm. When the second daughter came the older daughter spent many hours out with her father working in the fields and riding on the tractor. Working the farm was hard and it was laboring work. Being the practical man he was, Harry knew that he would need to leave the farm before he had worn his body out and was still young enough to do something else.

The young family moved from the farm to Kansas City. He got a job at Ford Bendix making airplane parts. After several years, the company closed and Harry had to find new work to support his family. There were no jobs available locally, but he heard there were jobs out west so the family packed their car and moved west looking for work as they went. They went as far as Albuquerque where he found a job with ACF. Harry was bright and intelligent and seemed to excel at any job he put his mind to. Their time in Albuquerque was good. The family traveled a lot in the west seeing the Rose Bowl parade in Pasadena, camping in Colorado, driving through the pacific Northwest, seeing Yellowstone, and many places in between. Their oldest daughter married and started her family and their younger daughter was in college when once again the company Harry worked for closed. Some of his supervisors recommended him for a job in Oak Ridge and once again Harry and his wife were moving. In Oak Ridge, Harry finished out his working career. With time their younger daughter settled close by and their older daughter within a five hour drive. Harry spent his retirement enjoying gardening, taking up hobbies, being an elder in his church, and teaching a Sunday school class. He seemed to always be busy and served his wife faithfully. He was fortunate to know all of his grandchildren and see two of them marry before his passing.

Of Mama’s grandparents Granddaddy, as he was known to Mama, was the around for many years of her life. It would have been great to have known him as an adult, but her life was very blessed to have known him through most of her childhood. Some of the amazing memories Mama has of him are the great magic tricks like making a coin appear from behind your ear, he would put funny cups on his eyes and pretend he was different characters, he learned to make fun sugar popcorn that he would treat us kids when we would come to play, we were fascinated to watch him master whatever new hobby he set his mind to, we enjoyed rides in his boat, and loved his “special” pizzas. Looking back something that was always wonderful was that Harry and his wife worked together doing most things. They assisted each other in cooking, putting up garden veggies, and other projects.

Granddaddy was such a tinkerer. Probably the best thing he ever made for Mama was her doll house and many of the dollhouse pieces. Mama spent hours playing with the house that was such a labor of love he and Grandma made together.

Mom’s favorite memory of her father is: the yearly hunt for the perfect Christmas tree in the mountains outside of Albuquerque.

His legacy was his devotion to God, church, and his wife along with the hardworking spirit that drove him. His hardworking spirit can be seen in his girls, his cleverness in his grandkids, and his green thumb in his older daughter.


Two kitchen helpers


Granddaddy entertaining Philip with the silly cones on his eyes.

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Granddaddy with all but one of his grandkids. From left: Carrie, Rachelle, Granddaddy, Philip, and Chip.


The photo was taken of his backyard in Oak Ridge. Running along the side of the yard is his beloved garden that kept him busy all summer long. Dad must have been on the roof taking the photo and in the photo are: baby Rachelle, Joyce, Granddaddy, Grandma, Philip, Dalmatian mother Prissy, and Dalmatian pup Sparky.


Granddaddy “Lincoln Logging” with Philip and Rachelle at the kitchen table.

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