What can I say about Delmar? He was a truly good man. Delmar was an avid Christian, adored my mother, and loved his family. He worked hard as a farmer and as an entrepreneur. I remember him working in his shop with a welder to repair some of his equipment on the farm. He invested in a corn sheller back in the days when the corn was shelled out of the old cribs and did custom work for other farmers. When the newer equipment came out, he bought a self propelled combine with a corn header and did custom work harvesting corn out of the fields for others. He always was proud of the fact that he never had anyone who did not pay him when he presented a bill. I remember him running across the farm lot early in the morning getting his machinery ready for the day. This picture is of my daddy when he was just 18, graduated from high school in 1934.
In Daddy's memoir (a short version of a very full life), he stated the following:
I started school in Delavan (IL) at the old grade school. The janitor told all of us kids that there was a "paddling machine" in the basement of the school, and we were all afraid. I have memories of driving the horse and buckboard into town when I could barely see out over the sides. The horses knew the way home, so they would always get me there safely. I was about seven or eight years old when we moved to the farm (that is still in my family). From there I attended school at the old country school house, Curtis School. As I grew older, I would start the fire, and empty the ashes in the winter time for the teacher. My sister Florence used to read to me from the book "Peter Rabbit", and I had the entire book memorized.
Although work was always a part of my dad's life, he tried very hard to keep the weekend, especially Sunday as a time of fun and rest. My favorite memories include those times when he would pop up a grocery bag of popcorn using a 3-quart pan, load up some Pepsi and pile us all in a station wagon for a trip to the drive-in theater. After the movie we would stop for popcorn.
Daddy died in 2011, right after the 9/11 event on September 30th. He had spent about two weeks in a hospital, then was moved to a nursing home across the street from my home for the remaining two weeks of his life. Mother stayed with us during that last two weeks so she could visit him every day. He loved her dearly for 67 years. We were always told there was nothing we couldn't do if we put our minds to it. I treasure his memory and the example he left for my three brothers and me.