Today is his birthday.

My Dad and Mom in 1943.


Today, January 9, is my Dad’s 91st birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad!

My Dad is pretty amazing. At 90 he decided his living arrangements were not quite working for him so he found a house for sale on the Internet. Then he spent weeks and weeks working through a myriad of sales issues and bank requirements via phone and fax. He weathered all sorts of frustrating real estate highs and lows, and last fall signed a 30 year mortgage and moved into his new house – alone!

My caring and helpful brothers, sisters, sister-in-law, nieces, nephews, and friends helped him make the move and cleaned and painted his new home. They make living alone possible for him by cooking, cleaning, taking him to doctor’s appointments and a thousand other tasks, but most of the time he is there alone – and is loving it.
My dear friend Marci, visiting my Dad. He had caught a virus, wasn’t feeling so hot and wasn’t able to cook for himself so she dropped off Shepard’s Pie – on her birthday, how sweet is that?


Being on oxygen because of heart problems (not smoking) has slowed my Dad down the past two years, but hasn’t stopped him from enjoying his favorite pursuits. Each time we talk he updates me on the progress of the new project he is working on. He is currently pulling together a viable, interesting business start-up, and has assigned himself the task of writing the related training manuals. 

My Dad is an electronics genius, and has always been an entrepreneur. He only has a high school degree, but has worked alongside multi-degreed electronic engineers.

I learned about business and how to deal with folks in business by watching him interact over the years with his clients, staff and my uncles. I have fond memories of spending a great deal of time at his business surrounded by piles of TV tubes, short-circuit TV equipment, and electronic stuff stacked on work tables, alongside the typewriters and adding machines in his offices. (I obviously did not inherit his mechanical talents or interest because I still have no idea what all that stuff was, but if I asked my Dad he would probably remember each piece and its purpose.)

My Dad at his 86th Birthday Party


My Dad, is also the person, who fostered my love of reading and music, and my curiosity about what makes people and things tick. He is seldom intimidated by how things work, he bought his first computer in his 60’s and figured out how it ran, how to program it, and how to surf the net in no time at all. He’s the kind-of guy, who always has spare computer parts lying around: I think he enjoys taking them apart and putting them together as much as he does using them.

He also loves rides in the country and after all 9 of his children were grown and out of the house, he and my Mom enjoyed day trips to Ohio’s Amish country so much that they led car caravans of family and friends there annually. My last trip home in 2010, included a short trip to a nearby Amish store with my Dad.

Another warm and wonderful recent memory is our long conversations on Skype. At 88 my Dad downloaded and learned to use Skype, so we could talk while I was in the Peace Corps in Macedonia. One night we spent about an hour using his access to Google Earth to pinpoint where I was living in Bitola; he held and manipulated his computer camera to show me his screen as I tried to direct him down the streets to my door! Using Google Earth was his idea, we had fun and came within 10 virtual meters of my house.

Happy Birthday Dad, and I wish you many more, after all, your newest project includes a five to ten-year plan!


  1. I had to re-read this. It brought tears to my eyes. He was just so wonderful and lively. I’m going to miss him so much.


  2. What a wonderful post, Patrice.
    You are so blessed to still have a parent. I lost both of mine at a very young age, and did not really know them as an adult, nor they me.
    How heartwarming to read your words and “meet” you and your Dad through your post!
    Thank you!


    • Thank you, and I am so sorry you missed spending time with your parents. I am glad you enjoyed getting to know Dad a bit, if you haven’t had a chance already, please check out my December 26, 2010 post about my Mom. She taught me the value of many, many things!


  3. What a wonderful tribute, Patrice! I love this idea, the photo of your parents, and the portrait of your dad that emerges from your writing.

    My mother will be 91 on January 13. Her story would be quite different, of course, but she shares with your parents the experience of their generation. With her birthday coming up this week, your post couldn’t have come at a better time for me.


    • Thank you, Flowers. I truly appreciate the kind words, and I am glad you enjoyed my post. Congrats on your Mom’s birthday, I look forward to reading her post on your blog! When you get a chance, check out my post about my Mom on December 26, 2010. She, like your Mom, I am sure, taught me the value of so many things!


      • Oh-oh, this might be a major problem! I have three blogs opened under the same account name. Two of those are private, so apparently the link you used led you to one of those. Thanks for letting me know about this.

        The blog I’m using for the daily posts is closed to search engines but open to “normal users.” Its URL is Please try this link and let me know if you can access it.


  4. What a great tribute and photos……can we wish him a happy (ok, belated) birthday?

    He does not stand in the birthday shadow of the king (Elvis bday on Jan 8) but towers above all! Hurray for your Dad! THank you, Patrice!


  5. Thanks for sharing Patrice and happy birthday to your dad. I think You have much of his apetit for live.Good for You 🙂
    He reminds me of mine grandpa who lived for 94 years, always having someting creative to do.
    Unfortunatly, I lost my dad when he was only 42. And I still miss him.


    • I shared your wishes with him, thank you. And, I appreciate your kind words for me! So sorry about your Dad, way too young to lose someone you love. Your Grandpa sounds great!


  6. Wow, just wow. 91 years old! Impressive! And fiercely independent. I know so many people whom seem full of fear once they hit the later years due to stories we see constantly, but, a good story.

    Impressive story, thank you for an enjoyable one.

    Happy birthday to your father! And the ten year plans.


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