Kale had an awesome assignment for the last “project” of the year. He had to make a family tree three generations back from him. Now this tree only needed to be 8×10 inches in finalized form. However, Kale takes after me and it either needed to go big or go home. So together we made a large tree on tag board and found some great red apple post-it notes to hang from the tree. On each post-it note was the name of the individual with birth and death dates along with where they were born. The goal at the end of the project was to compare all the kids’ family trees to see if anyone was related in the class. Now since we just moved to Medford eight years ago I convinced Kale that he wasn’t going to be related to anyone.
It was great to get all the information together with Kale. We went back five generations just because we could. I even learned a few things about my family that I never knew before. For instance, my paternal great grandmother Meta died very young and my great grandfather Irvin was remarried to Grandma Clara. My maternal great grandmother was bohemian. Who would have thought? We found out that my paternal great grandfather Irvin was born on March 17, 1900; this was the first St. Patrick’s day baby of the family. The second was Kale who was born on March 17, 2004. It was a lot of fun putting this all together with Kale. He of course got an A on the project and came home to say his was the biggest tree.
I recently had to update the family tree project just about two weeks after it was due. It was not a birth date since I am done having children, but a death date. It is one of the hardest things for people to understand when someone is taken away. On June 8, 2014, my 32 birthday, I got a present that no one expected when my grandfather David Timm joined the crowd in heaven, after a long battle with cancer. My grandfather was all about holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. He sent cards for every special occasion. He would never tell you how “young” he was; he would just say well it is the 44 anniversary of my 39 birthday. Grandpa taught me more than anyone on how to not yell at my children but to be one step ahead of them, keeping them busy so they couldn’t get into trouble. Like when he would pay my siblings and I a penny for each pine cone we could pick up under the trees at his house. We would easily pick three or four brown paper grocery bags full of pinecones. We would each get a dollar. Now this happened every time we went over to visit our grandparents. It wasn’t until years later when I was in college that he let it slip that he would dump the pinecones back under the tree when we left so they would be ready to be picked again. I wonder if this would work with rocks except I wouldn’t have to put them back they seem to just show up everywhere.
It seems only fitting that my grandpa, a true American farmer and a marine, was laid to rest on Flag Day. The family all rode on antique tractors in the funeral procession. All the men in the family sprinkled ground from each of their farms over the vault; his three great grandsons (my boys) added corn, wheat and hay to the ground where he lay. This was followed by the bugle playing taps and a marine reciting revelry. What a fitting tribute to a great man. Some people ask, especially my mom, where I learned to write like I do. I never knew until I read the obituary that my grandfather wrote himself just a few days before he died. Luckily, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Grandpa’s Handwritten Obituary
David Richard Timm, A Marine Who Fought To The End, passed away on June 8, 2014. He had celebrated the 44th anniversary of his 39th birthday. “Never forget your birthday, you need to know it if you get sick,” mine’s Jan. 28th 1931. I was the son of Irvin and Meta Timm (stepmother Clara).
I have gone home to heaven to join my first wife, Frances Marie Griesbach. We were married on June 20th, 1956. She preceded me in death on Feb. 2nd, 1995. As Frances took her last breaths, I whispered “see you in heaven.”
Some years later, while pursuing my hobby of collecting antiques, on Jan. 24th, I met an antique I really like, Virginia Becher. We were married on May 28, 2001. As hard as it is to leave Ginger behind, I know her children will watch over her for me.
I was born on a cold winter day in the midst of the Great Depression. I grew up in the Town of Freedom with my brother Bob (or did we grow up? We still enjoyed toy trains), exploring the shores of Duck Creek. I attended Maple Grove School and the Moravian Church. Then high school and next the Marine Corps. Frances and I raised our four children on the family farm in the Town of Osborn.
After losing Frances, I found a second love, Ginger. I have been blessed with so many. Including my four children, Allen (Jean), Sally (special friend Art), Ken (Joanne), and Kathy. My six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, Becky (Eric) Stephani and their daughters, Bella and Audri; Cheri (Ryan) Klussendorf and their sons, Kale, Owen and Max; Eric (Erica) Timm; Amanda, Mark and Kelly Timm. My one and only sibling (and fellow Packer fan) Robert (Carol) Timm and their children, Patty, Jeff, Kevin and Amy, and their families. Virginia’s eight children: Sharon, Conrad, Jesse, Randall (deceased), Bonnie, Julie, Dorothy, Lance, and their families. And many very special in-laws from both marriages.
When you stopped in for a visit during my antique years, you likely saw me wearing a tattered flannel shirt and patched blue jeans. I’d be on my computer looking for tractors or trains, but more than happy to sit on the porch and talk about the good ol’ days.
Being a gentle man who lived a quiet life, it is my wish not to have a funeral. If you find yourself reflecting about me, take a walk in the country. Feel the breeze, the sun, and the gentle rains. Soak in the smells and enjoy the sounds. On a hot humid day you really can hear the corn grow. Walk in the field, you’ll hear it crackle. At night if you look to the sky, you’ll see the lights of heaven shining through the stars. Enjoy what God has given us.
We have angels among us. The family, friends, and neighbors, who show up when it snows or the grass gets too long, or your just not up to getting the mail or paper. Somehow they notice. They do your pills and bills, so all that stays straight. They even take the garbage out. The dished get caught up and the house a little cleaner. You’ll find them in the healthcare workers that when you are sick, a daughter who is at your side, just because you asked her to be. They do all this without ‘stepping on a man’s toes’. I want to thank all of my angels.
Every farmer puts his land to rest for the winter. On springs horizon it is brought back to life. God has put this farmer to rest, and with a spring in his step, Iris in hand, he walks the horizon to a new life.
On the way home from treatments, Dad would say “Let me known when we are on the final stretch to home-sweet-home.” You’re on that final stretch Dad.
David will be laid to rest with a graveside service at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at St. John Parish Cemetery, Seymour, with Fr. Bob Kabat officiating. A celebration of Dave’s life and dinner will follow at Doxbee’s. Muehl-Boettcher Funeral Home, Seymour, is assisting the family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established in Dave’s memory. See more here.
Sara wachtendonk says
This is awesome Cheri! I loved reading every word. Your grandpas obituary was so cool, sad and special. The family tree was so neat that you went back 5 generations. Keep the stories coming 🙂