Charles Lewis Roderick
13, 1893 - November 5, 1985
May 30, 1963
Memorial Day Parade
with my best bud.
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
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
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
medium George Anderson by clicking