reunited with my mother, after being separated for 16 years.
He was born and bred in Milwaukee, where he lived his entire life. He graduated from Rufus King High and went to UW-Milwaukee for a couple of years before enlisting in the Navy. When his stint was done, he returned to Milwaukee and started working for the Milwaukee Journal, where he met my mother.
They married in 1963 and moved into a home in West Allis, where he lived for the next 53 years. We found out years later, that our home was just a couple of miles north of the land settled by the Liebenthal Brothers, our ancestors who had immigrated here from Germany a few years after the end of the Civil War.
Dad left the Journal when I was young and worked for a number of various graphic arts suppliers, as one company got bought out after another. He retired in 2001.
Dad and I didn't see eye to eye on many topics. Hell, we couldn't even agree on fish fries - he liked tartar sauce and I liked squeezed lemons. One of the major areas of disagreement was politics. My dad was a staunch conservative and I, of course, am the polar opposite. But to his credit, he did have his limits. He was the first to sign a recall petition for me and voted against Scott Walker in the last two elections.
But one thing we always agreed on was that family came first. Whether it was giving a ride, lending money or doing the yard work, we always put our differences aside and pulled together and did what had to be done.
While he might not have been a war hero or successful business tycoon, he was a hard-working man who took care of his family the best that he could. He lived his life and left this life on his own terms, which is all that anyone could really want.
Auf Wiedersehen, Vater. Gehen Sie mit Gott.