Remembering Dad

 

Joseph Bayerl

Joseph John Bayerl, 1914-1989

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers today!

I’m remembering my own Dad and the many gifts he offered, only a few of which I was able to appreciate while he was alive.  But I’ve learned since to take in better his life of service to family, community and country.

As a father of ten, five boys, five girls, he retained a joy and appreciation of young children right to the end.  He encouraged all his sons in sports and academics, attending our games and rooting us on.  He was a loyal husband for the last 47 years of his life, a reliable provider who often worked multiple jobs to keep us housed, clothed, fed and more. When my brothers and I got paper routes, he even pitched in to help us deliver the heavy Sunday papers with the aid of his car.

He served his community as a professional firefighter, advancing through the municipal civil service to many promotions, culminating in a position of chief dispatcher. He was a regular church-goer and contributed his time and energy to many of our school functions as well.

He served his country by enlisting in the U.S. Army prior to Pearl Harbor, advancing to Sergeant in the artillery before shipping off to three years of combat in North Africa, Sicily and Italy.  Upon his return, he became an active member, and officer, in the local American Legion.

Thank you, Dad, for all your selfless service and devotion which, despite your human faults, make up the overriding story of your life.

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