On November 2, 2022 my Grandfather, John George Schaeufele III, or Pa as all the grandkids referred to him, passed away at home with my Granny and Mom by his side. 

I am the oldest grandkid in our family, by something like 5 years and we lived close enough to my grandparents to visit often.  I spent many afternoons after school and weekends there being spoiled rotten I'm sure. My great grandparents, Gunka (John George II) and Grammy lived next door until he passed in 1987. I'm realizing now, I'm the only grandkid who remembers spending time with both my great grandparents in their home. Grammy moved with my great Aunt after Gunka passed. Gunka was a scary man to my small self (he was very gruff), but Grammy was so full of love, warmth, and fun that it didn't matter that he was grumpy. 

I have several core memories of Pa when I was very small. I'm going to share a few.

  • Watching out the big picture window for him to get home from work (He sold insurance for Allstate) and then hiding behind the blue floral couch to surprise him. Granny would play along and 'pretend' I hadn't come after all and I would jump out from behind the couch and he would act just a little scared and very very happy.
  • Riding in a bumpy truck on the farm to fish in a creek. I remember nothing about fishing in that creek, but the ride I remember very well.
  • Fishing in a boat with Pa and Granny. Constantly getting my line stuck in trees and feeling like it was just an adventure and everyone was having fun. 
  • Laying in his new fishing boat in the garage to surprise him when he got home and parked beside me. This time with a good book to entertain me. 
  • Admiring his fly fishing lures and thinking they were just so pretty.
  • Him picking me up from school when I was sick (it was a lot, I've always had a nervous stomach) and taking me to his office. Where I played on the floor, laughed at his pencil joke sign, wrote tiny while his secretary showed me shorthand.

All of my childhood memories of my Pa are full of love, patience, and warmth - a lot like my memories of his mother. 

Next year we're going to travel to Germany near the Black Forest where the father of John George Schaeufele I, my great-great-great grandfather, was born. I find it deeply sad that I won't get to tell him about what I learn there.

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