Friday, April 20, 2012

Daddy and the Deutzia Bush

Each year when the Deutzia bush flowers I think of Daddy. Not because it was a favorite of his. No, mother is the plant expert in our family. The reason the Deutzia shrub makes me think of him is because he called all plants Deutzia. Because he could never remember the names of all the plants mother grew,  he just called all of them Deutzia.

You had to know my dad to find this funny. He had a quirky sense of humor, a dry and wry wit, a sense of fun that always made us laugh. A turn of a word, the misuse of a word or phrase – he always looked for the humor in situations.
He didn’t always intend to be funny, but oftentimes he was anyway. For instance, when we were having our house built in 1993 he was around the construction site almost every day. One day I received a call from him at my office – unusual because he never called me at work. It was a day the interior painting was being done and he was calling to say the painters had made a big mistake on the dining room. “I know you’d never want a room in your house painted that awful color.” I asked him if it was green. “Yes, green, but the most awful green you would ever see; a dark green that looks black.” Well, I was sure the painters had not made a mistake and I tried to explain that to him. “Well, if that’s what you want but it’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen!”

The green dining room walls

He could do good imitations of people – both famous and people round about us. He could always make us laugh and I miss him so much. He died in 2006 at the age of 89, at home, which was his wish. He had been diagnosed with Parkinsons disease several years previous.  

Daddy, left, born in 1917, with his brother Roy.

Daddy, at right, with brother James, left, and sister Millinea

High school photo, about 1937

Late 1930s or early 1940s

1950s, with mother. Check that tie!

Daddy making me laugh by trying out my fashion wig! Mother is too engrossed in her needlework to take notice! Sometime in the late '60s.
On his 80th birthday in 1997.

65th wedding anniversary, 2005

He passed away May 20, 2006, on their 66th wedding anniversary.

He enjoyed life, was totally devoted to his wife and daughters and is missed very much.


  1. I especially enjoyed the photo roll of your father, seeing him " grow " from a small child to a grown-up man.
    Aren´t those long marriages amazing. Especially nowadays!
    This makes me think about the matter. Why do so many marriages end, before they really even started?
    Your father´s humor about the plants - having lately seen so many flowers myself - I´d also call all of them Deutzias ; ).

  2. Your father sounds like he was adorable - using the same name for all the plants, wearing wild ties, laughing in the picture with his older brother, and trying on your wig for the picture. Thanks for those great pictures.

    1. He was such a sweet man. And so devoted to my mother. They were like "two peas in a pod." Reminded me of the Nancy/Ronald Reagan marriage in their devotion to each other.

  3. How sweet, touching and funny. Daddy was quite a character. He probably had no idea how to spell deutzia and probably didn't pronounce it exactly right. He was funny and I miss him so much. Thanks for these wonderful memories you bring back just like they were yesterday.


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