That first grandchild is such a unique event in the life of a grandparent. For years their family has had grown children in it, but no babies. Then comes that day that will take the family into a new era. The kids become aunts, uncles, and parents; and the parents become grandparents. The funny thing is that no one seems to mind this drastic change that one would think feels like aging. The reason is quite simple…a precious new life has arrived, and that is what really matters. It is a new and exciting time, and there is a new little life to love. That is how my grandparents and their family, my Uncle Bill, my dad, Allen, and my Aunt Ruth felt, when my cousin Gene made his debut. Any of us who have been aunts, uncles, parents, or grandparents can fully understand what a special day this was.
The day was November 5, 1939, when Eugene Herman Fredrick was born. He was a gentle child, with a quiet disposition. He would grow to be a man who loved to learn about the inner working of machinery, and also a love of woodworking. He built furniture that his son, Tim would later call a legacy. Tim would inherit that love of woodworking from his dad, and I suspect that Tim’s som Daniel might too.
Gene was instrumental, along with his sons, Tim and Shawn, in helping his Uncle Bill get as far as he did on the family history. Gene was much more computer savvy than his Uncle Bill, so he was able to scan things for him and even save pictures that might otherwise have been lost forever. Uncle Bill mentions Gene fondly in several places in the family history, and was clearly devastated at his death, saying that his “grief and heartache at Gene’s loss would be very difficult to out live”. I don’t think he was alone in his intense feelings of loss, as Gene was a sweet, gentle man, who loved everyone, and was kind to all.
Gene’s greatest love on this earth was for his family. He was totally gone on his wife, Paula, and his boys, Tim and Shawn, and grandson, Daniel. His boys were his friends in so many things, sharing in his love for making things, especially wood furniture, and so many other things that would turn his sons into the wonderful men we all know today. There are many of us out there that will always miss him. Today Gene would have been 74 years old. Happy birthday in Heaven, Gene!! You are loved and missed very much by all who knew you.