My father, Robert T (Bob) White died this day in 1985 in his sleep. Over the years the pain has dulled but never gone completely away. Probable cause of death? We believe congestive heart failure brought on by untreated sleep apenia.
He was born in his grandmother's home in Sunbeam, Moffat County, CO. That caused him some good nature teasing when he was in the Army/Army Air Corps in WWII, especially when his home of record was Skull Creek, CO.
Flat out the best horseman I've ever seen, his only competition was his elder brother.
My biggest regret, or loss, is my sons weren't able to grow up around him.
He sent me a letter when I was in Germany in the Army threatening to disown me if I volunteered for Vietnam. His point, "I fought in a damned Asian war. I didn't raise a son to fight in one". As it was, the Army only accepted USAREUR volunteers if they were fluent in French. I wasn't.
Speaking of languages he had a gift. He was completely fluent in Hindustani as spoken in the Assam area and was passable in Mexican and Dine (Navajo).
His shooting skills were outstanding. I was a good shot, won several competitions as a Junior NRA member, and came within two rounds of maxing qualification at Ft. Leonard Wood. At the range killing paper I beat him every time (which pissed him off - he was not a gracious loser). Hunting, putting meat on the table, I was wasting ammo while he didn't miss. That is when he got his back (and I'm not a gracious loser either).
We went in together on a Piper J4 which we both learned to fly. Later he owned a C-182. The man could fly but was damn careless and I called him on it. Those times weren't especially pleasant.
His death was especially hard on my sister who is much younger.
He gave me a good example of what a man should be and it has served me well. I hope my sons will say the same when I pass.