November 18, 2012
Nancy, sorry to hear about your dad, God speed and good luck...Bobby Byrum
November 13, 2012
So many years have passed since I left DeSoto. During that time there are so many faces changed, so many new cousins born, and sadly so many family and friends passed. I am grateful that these many years away from home have not been a complete loss for me. To the contrary, the years have served to intensify my memories and experiences of my time spent at home with the family.
There is no way for me to say goodbye to Uncle Dutch. I have many fine memories of him. They begin early, when I was just a few years old. Dutch married my aunt Betty Jean, and along with my mother and father we all gathered outside of my grandfather’s house on Third Street along the sidewalk and across the street from St. Rose of Lima. I was the only child around at that time as this was a few years before my brother Doug and Howard Andrew were to be born. As I think back on it I realize now that my Mom and Betty Jean were not all that much older themselves… just teenagers really.
As the years passed and I grew up, Dutch was never far away. In fact, for much of my early life at home and until I started my own family so far away from DeSoto, Dutch was there. To me, he always carried a relaxed way with a natural fascination about life. As a young man and a new Navy pilot I was drawn increasingly further away from home. When I would return home for Thanksgiving or Christmas visits, Dutch would eagerly question me. He was always full of curiosity about what I was doing, what it was like to fly a jet and land on an aircraft carrier, where had I been and what places had I visited. He wanted to hear it all and would sit for hours soaking it all in. He would say, “Boy, those jets are sure something. You’re doing OK kid.”
Uncle Dutch carried a special charm and friendly personality that easily endeared him to me and I would bet also, to those who were fortunate enough to come in contact with him. It is so gratifying to me to know that I was one who knew him before the illness that began to weaken him. I will remember him, always and fondly, as a strong, proud and good man who worked hard to always provide for his family. To my family at home and especially my cousins I know that no one could replace him for you.
You are all thousands of miles away and it seems especially far today.
Mary Holyoke Blackford
November 11, 2012
Nick and I are so sorry for your loss. We areeaving town early Tuesday morning so will be unalbe to pay our condolences to yoou, Betty and the rest of the family. Enjoyed our time together at Gulf Shores and the great food we had. Nick and Mary