Thursday, February 25, 2016

Peace, Bill

My beloved father, Bill Trabue, passed away, gently and peacefully in his sleep yesterday. He is loved and celebrated and greatly missed already.

My dad was an incredibly hard-working, generous, peaceful, practical, creative man. A boy scout leader, Sunday School teacher, a father to six boys, a grandfather to eleven grandchildren by blood and to thousands of grandchildren by his own giving nature. He and my dear Mom, Mary, have been married for 66 incredible years and they had a simple and beautiful life together, never leaving each others' side right up to the end.

If you ever have ten hours, ask me about my Dad. I could tell you how great he was for days. Anyone who knew Dad could do the same. I mean that.

I love you, Dad.


Dan Trabue said...

One of my favorite stories about Dad has to do with how at-peace he was with life and the world - life is what it is, and what you make of it... this was a philosophy that he lived with and taught by how he lived. I don't know that I ever saw Dad cry - not because he was a "hard man"... far from it! He was the sweetest, most giving man you could hope to know. He just was even-keeled and at peace with life and the world. His calm, reassuring presence was a rock to those around him.

Having said that, there was ONE thing that could make Dad cry. "Old Shep."

It's a incredibly sad song I think from the 1930s, by Red Foley (and probably by others). It begins...

When I was a lad and Old Shep was a pup
O'er hills and meadows we'd stray
Just a boy and his dog, we both full of fun
We grew up together that way

From there, it builds up this story of love between the boy and the dog and how things go tragically wrong (think "Ol' Yeller").

The ONE thing that could make Dad cry was to recall this song. It became something of a family joke around dinner tables at times with a big gather, like Christmas or Thanksgiving. Someone would say, "Granddad, what was that song about a dog... 'Old Shep,' I think...?"

From there, Dad would - every time! - describe his way through the song, how the boy loved the dog, how the dog loved the boy, how [snif.] the dog saved his life once, how they were the best of friends, [sniff! snif...] how, how, one day, Shep started getting sick, how, how, sniffsniff, how the boy had to go get his gun...

And on Dad would go, telling this sad, tragic story, getting sadder and sadder, sniffling and finally crying as he told verse after verse, until everyone in the room is laughing from how absurdly sad the song was, and how it was affecting Dad so much.

Finally, we'd beg him "Dad! Stop, you don't have to tell the whole story!" but he'd soldier on, sadly grieving his way through the story until everyone was crying and laughing together with him. And he did it every time! If you asked him to tell that story again the very next day, he would, and he'd cry his way through it.

Bill Trabue was a strong, beautiful, sweet, sweet man.

Craig said...

I went through this a few years ago and I certainly can relate to what you are going through. My prayers are with you and your family.

Anonymous said...

My parents are getting close to the 66-year mark as well.

Marshall Art said...

My sincerest condolences. May rest in God's eternal peace.