My great uncle passed away this past Thursday. He was 87 years old. Yesterday was the funeral, and not surprisingly, I am not a fan of funerals, probably why I took the day off from the blog. Although he was my great uncle, I knew him as Uncle Walter.
When my brother and I were growing up they lived about 4 miles away in the next town over and after our grandparents we saw them the most often. My cousin Lori babysat for me at least once (my guess is that I was such a terror it was only once) and I know we stayed there a few times over night when we had to. I remember dinners at their house. If it was just myself, or my brother and I, Aunt Florence would serve us at the table with the chairs with yellow seat cushions that now sit in my own kitchen. We did many holidays there and they have spent many with us at my parents.
Uncle Walter was probably the nicest person I ever met. He never had a bad thing to say about anyone and was usually the quietest one in the room. Aunt Florence probably had something to do with that. She is still one of the only people that can shut my father up. It was funny listening to Lori's husband Mike talk about Walter and his father discussing the war. I remember, just barely, him telling stories when I was really little. I don't remember it very clearly but I do remember the feeling when I was with Uncle Walter and Aunt Florence, and that is something I will always cherish.
We went back to Lori's apartment after the cemetery and one of my father's cousins said it all, "Walter Weitzner was a saint on earth but he's a real saint now!"