Monday, March 22, 2010

A Tribute to Uncle George

George Preston Browning

He lived a long, happy life.  It sounds like a cliche, but he did.  My Uncle George passed away this morning after a long battle with cancer. 

I was blessed to be able to spend a few days with him earlier this month.  He was thin and gaunt, but alert and "holding court". He always loved to talk and tell stories, especially funny ones.  George was a World War II Navy veteran, seeing both Europe and the Pacific.  Very few things rattled him and he was the source of strength and the voice of reason during hard times.  When my mom, his sister, was widowed at the age of 22 with three tiny kids, George encouraged her to reach into her source of strength to go on.  They have been very close and Mom was with him went he passed.

As kids we loved being around George for his sense of humor and contagious laugh.  Not to mention getting to ride in his Buick convertible!  He was so cool! 

After serving in the Navy he settled down, married and raised a daughter and a son.  George was a career Maytag product engineer.  He modestly grinned when I told him I was finally able to buy the Maytag Neptune washer and dryer a few years ago.  That was one of the last projects he worked on before retiring.  For him retirement meant more time for wordworking, going dancing with his wife, and driving to Branson, MO for the shows and good restaurants.

When visiting with George a few weeks ago I was recounting how many of us in the family, other than his children, carry some of his traits.  I call them "traces of George".  My brother Rick has so many of the same facial features he could be George's son.  I have long fingers and stone hard nails, just like his.  My brother Bob has his love of wood and exquisite woodworking skills.  Even my son has the tall lanky build of George's.  And we see more traits as the generations expand.  George was outgoing but humble and I could see he was touched by those comparisons. 

We all live on, even after God takes us home to Heaven.  George lives on and even though we will miss him, he had a great ride.

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