We laugh together. We cry together. We complain together. And today we mourn together. We lost the center of the family last night. Wes has gone to his heavenly home to join Genieve, Betty and Leonard, Elmer and many other family and friends. Someone said last night, God will have him tending garden when he arrives.
He took pride in his kids and his grandkids.
He took pride in his Korean War service.
He took pride in his many years of hard labor working on the farm and in his early days, delivering milk.
He was the #1 Jac-Cen-Del Eagle fan for his life. He went decades without missing a basketball game. He was proud to cheer for his son, his granddaughters, his grandson-in-law on the court and be a support for his daughter and granddaughter as they led the crowd in their JCD cheerleading uniforms.
He had a gentle touch with his great grandsons and laughed with his granddaughters. One cooked for him. One took him to McDonalds. And one squeezed his cheeks.
Whether he was bossing people around on the farm, in the garden, in the vehicle or in the house, we let him think he ruled the place.
He was a great story teller and had a mind sharp as a tack. He never wore reading glasses although those yellow safety glasses made many appearances. And we all know the hearing was gone long ago!
Dawned in his plaid shirt, jeans and a sweater, he made his way to church every Sunday that it wasn’t bad weather or he wasn’t on vacation. The back row, right corner was reserved for him.
He loved food especially Rita Gookins’s cooking and a good fish sandwich and nuggets from McDonalds. He loved butterscotch pie and never passed up a box of candy.
He tooled around on that golf cart with his oxygen tank handling the affairs of the farm (to the best of his ability).
One of his greatest memories was coaching the 40 & 8 girls basketball team with Brian Samples the year Morgan was a senior. How kind of Brian to ask him to “assist”. Brian said Wes even gave him crap while sitting on the bench – on the same team! haha
I’ve seen referees laugh at him, joke with him and throw him out of games. haha I’ve seen coaches look for him when he wasn’t sitting as the bookend on the visiting bench. I’ve heard many fond memories and laughter shared when checking on him over the last several years as his health began to fail.
But he wanted one thing and that was a 90th birthday party and we did it up right! We know he will celebrate 91 in heaven but we will be celebrating his life right here on earth.
Remembering hog shows, squeezed cheeks, shaking fists, tissues under his shirt, large-knuckled-hard-working hands, tractors, cattle, cats, gardens and grain bins. Laughter with his hand on his forehead, grandkids on his lap and Korean war hat on his head. He lived a full life and brought fullness of life to our family.
Syalvester, with an A (a mystery we never understood), you will be missed. We love you.