For his funeral, I created display boards that showed different aspects of his life (e.g., childhood; service in the army during the Korean War; professionally as a school social worker; through service as a Boy Scout leader and Big Brother through the Big Brother/Little Brother program; with family and friends; and spiritually as a Deacon through his church).
In the months that have followed his death, I have been going through his offices at home and coming across some more pictures from his life.
Top center: Dad in a co-worker's office in 1975 at the beginning of his work in the Minneapolis school system;
To the right/top: School photo taken in January 1979 when he was 47 years old;
Below that: When he was in the U.S. army in 1955 or 1956 at 23-24 years old - he was on a short break in Japan;
Lower right: Dad with Olivia - around 2005 when Olivia was 2 years old;
Lower left: Sophia, Mom, and Dad - around 2006 when Sophia was 5 years old;
Middle left: School photo taken in October 1987 when Dad was 55 years old;
Top left: Sophia and Olivia with Dad and Mom around 2007 when Olivia was 4 and Sophia was 6 years old.
Center: Portrait taken for his first business cards in the insurance business. "I wasn't a good salesman," he would say in his later years. He found his calling shortly after - working with teens as school social worker, and then later in the life with people of all ages as a deacon.
It's been difficult to remember these happier times when my dad was unaffected by Alzheimer's Disease. The last few years when Alzheimer's had a firm grasp on his mind and body, cloud these other wonderful memories. Perhaps it's because these more challenging memories are fresher in my mind, and I was more involved with caring for him.
Whatever the reason, I think it's important to find and look at pictures from the pre-Alzheimer's years. These are the ones that truly reflect who my dad was, the impact he had on my life (and literally thousands of others because of the type of work that he did professionally and personally), and the love he had for his family.