Charles Lewis Roderick
February 13, 1893 - November 5, 1985



May 30, 1963
 Watching a Memorial Day Parade 
with my best bud
.

 

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My Grandfather

 

Without a shadow of a doubt, my grandfather is the single most influential person in my life. He was more than just my grandfather. He was my father figure, my mentor, my bulwark, and I'm proud to say, my friend.

As a child there was no safer place than the security of his lap. I would watch horror movies on TV from behind his recliner. The Wolfman wouldn't dream of coming for me there! I could count on him to always have a roll of Butter Rum Lifesavers on hand. He taught me how to appreciate gourmet foods, such as Longhorn Cheese and peanut butter (Hey! Don't knock it until you've tried it!). I remember, at age 5, standing on a chair by the stove as he taught me how to make scrambled eggs. He would often reminisce about his mother, whom he adored, having him stand on a chair churning butter when he was no more than 3 years old.

He was warm, loving, firm and straightforward. He had a way of accepting whatever came his way with no more than a shrug. His deep faith carried him through what life had to offer. One of nine children, he pulled himself out of poverty with great drive and determination but he never forgot his roots. He drove gasoline trucks and would calculate his load in his head as he drove. He had a head for figures. It was degrading to play dominos with this walking calculator. Before you put your tile down he'd tell you your total!

He loved baseball (especially the Pittsburgh Pirates--except when they lost a game! HA!). He would often have one game on television while listening to another on his radio and he could tell you what was going on in both games. When he turned 90 his other grandson, Bill, gave him an autographed photo of Willie Stargell, his favorite Pirate player. He was so very proud of that birthday present.

He was seldom sick. He just wouldn't slow down. At the age of 80 he was doing chin-ups. Various family members often joked that he would be pushing all of us around the block in wheelchairs as he jogged. Some people have a small garden in their backyard. My grandfather, on the other hand, had a small backyard surrounding his huge garden. He would grow 4 and 5 pound beefsteak tomatoes that would just melt in your mouth. Pole beans and half runners that just danced on your tongue. He always had something to do and it was always done well. Whenever anything was broken it was taken to my grandfather. My childhood battle cry, as I clutched a broken toy in my hands, was, "Papaw fix! Papaw fix!"

At the age of 92, he had out-lived all but one of his eight siblings. His wife of over fifty years, as well as most of the family from his generation, and his friends, had passed on. It's as if he just woke up one morning and decided it was 'time'. He became ill and within a few months this amazing man, with hands and a heart larger than life itself, passed away. Father of three, grandfather of three, great-grandfather of ten, friend of countless individuals, this remarkable man touched all of our lives and we are better for the experience.

I love you, Papaw.

 

 

Read about my amazing after death communication with my grandfather
with renowned medium George Anderson by clicking
here!