Thursday, May 02, 2019

Remembering Uncle Ernie

Sadly, another memorial post...

With a heavy heart, I am writing in remembrance of our dear Uncle Ernie Spadafore who left this realm yesterday, May 1st at the age of 92. 

Ernie & his late wife June
Uncle Ernie with my mom on her 3rd or 4th birthday

He was a great-granduncle to our kids and one of the namesakes for Calvin's middle name (the other being Ken's late father). Having no children or grandchildren of his own, we were tickled that we could honor him when we named our boy, Calvin Ernest. It meant a lot to me too that Cal has his own memories of one of the wonderful men he is (middle) named for.

Calvin's 1st Birthday, 2013
Photo by Grandma Cindy

Ernie was a younger brother of my Italian grandmother, Irene, and he was a dependable companion/caregiver to many people throughout his life, especially to his mother, Agnes; his wife, June (who suffered an
aneurysm and convalesced in a facility until her death decades later) and to other friends who needed help in their elder years.

Ernie with members of our family. Sitting next to his sister, my great aunt Rose.
Top row: my mom, and great aunts from the other side of the family, Bev & Mary. Date: Early 2000's

Celebrating his 89th birthday at Mom & Cindy's place with the Italian side of the family, 2016

He was a World War II veteran, decorated with the Purple Heart for injuries sustained during fighting at the Battle of the Bulge in Germany. He was an accountant by profession but loved to play poker & black jack down in Reno and Vegas--he also seemed to do well at it. 

In fact, he loved going to the casino so much, that less than a week ago, the hospice team made special arrangements to get him to the Ilani Casino in Ridgefield. They had to sort out oxygen tanks, drip morphine and transport him via Uber but he got to enjoy his favorite activity one last time. 

It was easy to see he adored the children and loved their energy because he lit up around them--you can see it in all the photos. 

Christmas Eve 2017

Elmer's Breakfast with Cousin Marge & Uncle Ernie,
November 2018

Sidney, Annabelle & Calvin with Uncle at Thanksgiving, 2018

The kids even got to see him recently a few weeks ago when they were staying down in Portland with my Mom & Cindy. I am so glad for that!

Last visit with Uncle, April 2019

We will miss him and his sweet smile. With a calm presence, he was a quiet, dependable fixture at family gatherings. I am grateful that he and Ken shared a connection too. I remember often finding the two of them huddled after holiday dinners, heads bent together, thoroughly engrossed in war stories or life adventures that we never even knew he'd had. May we all have so many stories to tell.
Our love is with you always. RIP. 


ruby said...

What a beautiful tribute for a beautiful man. The pictures and text brought tears. Such a special man, and a special daughter to take the time to honor him. Thank you, Sweetie.

Dr. Questad said...

Great writing, Kali. I send my condolences to your family. -Bev