What can I say about our father? Born on a farm in North Callas, Vermont to a large family of 6 boys and 3 girls he was no stranger to hard work and it stuck with him throughout his life.

On V-J day 1945 he joined the Navy to serve our country were he served until becoming disabled and getting an honorable discharge in early 1947.

After returning home in his dashing uniform, he attracted his wonderful wife to be, Roberta. These were all the clothes he had, he latter told Mom. After a short courtship the two were wed in a small ceremony in South Ryegate Vermont in 1948.

Mom and Dad joined the Catholic Church in 1950 in Barre, Vermont. A religion they were not born into but chose together as husband and wife. He then attended Burdette college in Boston Massachusetts for 2 years for accounting.

In 1952 the first of their 8 children was born In Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Soon upon being accepted to a small subsidiary of the company he worked for most of his life they moved back to their home state of Vermont to the town of Bennington

After acknowledging his brilliance and drive he was offered a position away from his home state that would require a move to Findlay, Ohio, some 800 miles from Vermont. Together he and his wife chose to leave their home state and move onwards to what they were sure would be a better life for their now growing family.

Then in 1967 he was again recognized for his professionalism and was offered the position of chief accountant in Indianapolis were he was employed for 28 years until his retirement in 1987.

In 1998 He and Mom celebrated their 50 wedding anniversary.

A very devoted catholic he was a 4th degree Knight of Columbus and a Eucharistic minister for many years. He never held back in his generosity or time to the church and its agenda. and it carried with him throughout his life.

His life was always filled with music, laughter and family. He always told us when we were children that family was the strength in life and without that you have nothing. Friends will come and go he explained but family will always be there. He was right and it is something I try and teach my children to this day.

He always did what he felt right for his children without the concerns of other onlookers. Things that he did for us as children will never be forgotten, such as bringing us comic books and ginger ale when ever we were sick no matter how small the illness.

Putter – does this word have a meaning to anyone? This was his self proclaimed word for building and enhancing things that we already had and also a way to utilize his spare time. We all have stories of things that he made better or just built for comfort, and I think we all have inherited his puttering ability. I know I still putter everyday even at my job.

He filled our hearts with so many memories were can I begin. For instance we all remember the little Feduge. He would tell us this story on many occasions each time different from the last. At Times when he couldn’t think of what to add to the story he would delay it by saying that the Feduge walked and walked and walked until he could add lib some more, a trait he latter confessed he had gotten from his mother. I once asked him what a Feduge was, He replied “it is a character my mother used in her stories she told us as kids, possibly of French origin as she was of this decent and that it may have been passed down for generations”. Since we never did really know how to spell Feduge we never were able to Google it!!!

We all remember the stories of the Jabberwocky, Elf mans cave, and the Letter “B” bugs of his drawings just to name a few. This is just to remind us what a vivid imagination he had and how he loved to see his children smile.

That leaves us to our best child hood memory that I am sure all of you will agree with, Christmas. Being from a large family Christmas was always an exciting time of the year that didn’t just last one day but a whole season. We will never forget the traditions he bestowed upon us about Christmas, from his deep feelings on the nativity scene, decorations and lights, to us waiting to get our gifts until after church and till out of town relatives got there. This was most likely one of our less desirable traditions when we were growing up as young children but I now believe after having my own family and carrying on the same traditions that I know why this was done. Our father wanted us to know the real meaning of Christmas. That it isn’t about material things but a celebration of one of the most meaningful days of the year, the birth of Jesus Christ our savior.

Over the last 20 years or so I had the privilege of getting to know my father in a very different way, a way I am sure all of you would have liked to have known him, We considered each other best friends. It may have all started around 20 years ago when he and mom invited Annette and I to the His Company New Year's Eve Ball. We dressed up in gala attire and danced the night away to big band songs from his era. We then went and did up the town in 1940’s style. A treat my wife and I especially loved and talk about to this day. We went to dinner shows such as Beef and Boards and Starlight Musicals. We even took a cruise together.

I’ll never forget our trips to the Smoky Mountains and on one occasion we hiked to the top of Mount LeConte. A 7 mile hike to a 6000 foot summit where we spent the night in a rustic cabin and enjoyed a bottle or two of wine and dinner – a feat he and mom did at the age of 70. He wanted so much to do it again when he was 75, but it wasn’t his physical condition that stopped us but mine!! Believe it or not I just wasn’t in shape that year for the climb – hard to believe huh?

We traveled across the entire USA in a motor home together and visited many of the national parks and landmarks that make America great. I am glad he had a chance to see all of those places and I am proud to have had him go with us as I am sure my wife is.

In closing we all had many journeys together with him. I have only named a few but I know now that this was one journey we wouldn’t be taking together, but I hope that the destination will be the same for all of us.

by Randy Ibey


 

Walking With Poppy

I like to walk with Poppy,
His steps are short like mine.
He doesn’t say, “Now hurry up,”
He always takes his time.
I like to walk with Poppy.
His eyes see things like mine do
Wee pebbles bright, a funny cloud,
Half hidden drops of dew.
Most people have to hurry,
They do not stop and see
I’m glad that God Made Poppy.
Unrushed and young like me

I know one day my time will come
To walk with my Poppy again.

I love you Poppy!
Love, your granddaughter Heather

 

 

My first real memory of Dad was one day when we were at Lake Champlain in New York.  Mom was there and Dan, Randy, and I were the only kids then.  I remember Dad taking me in his arms out into the middle of the lake and telling me to hold my breath while we went under water.  I can still remember how afraid I was at the thought of actually going down in the water.  But somehow I knew that if Dad was there with me, holding me, I would be OK…..and I was.

I was lucky enough to work with Dad some 20 years ago at Dow.  Everyone there thought the world of Dad and when they found out I was his daughter, they would always tell me what a great man he was.  I can’t begin to tell you how proud I was of him and how very proud I was to be his daughter.  I have always felt that way and will always to continue to feel proud. 

Dad has left a great legacy behind in all of us and in all of our children.  We owe it to him to be the best person we can possibly be and to live our lives to the fullest – it’s all he ever wanted for all of us.

He was a wonderful father, a wonderful man, and a wonderful friend.  I will miss him so much, but I know I will see him again.  And when it’s my time to leave this world, I know he’ll be there to guide me along the way as he always has.

I love you Dad.

Your Darling Daughter Deb

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I know each of us had a special relationship with Dad, but I think mine was the best. First off, I was born on Dad’s 33rd birthday. So when I was 11 and he was 44, it sure was a lot of fun. We both had double-digit ages and I figured out I was exactly 1/4th his age then. When I was 33 and he was 66, I joked “I’m only half your age now - Look out Dad, I’m gaining on you”.

But our relationship was much more than that. We all know about the sacrifices Dad and Mom made for us over the years. I had a malformed hip as a child and it required experimental surgery and 9 months in a full body cast, and many weeks spent in the hospital. Everyday Mom would sit with me in the hospital during the day, and every day like clock work Dad would show up right after work with a comic book or other present to brighten my day. He would stay with me telling me stories or just watching TV with me until I went to sleep. When I finally got to go home, Dad painted my cast up like a super hero costume so I wouldn’t feel quite so powerless in it. That summer we went to the Expo ’67 and Niagara Falls. It was far from handicap friendly and I was in a body cast, with only a rickety, wooden flat-bed gurney to get me around. Many times Dad had to resort to carrying me – cast and all – on his shoulders while my brothers hauled the gurney behind, sometimes through thick mud. And since my gurney couldn’t fit into most of the exhibits, Dad would sit outside with me while the rest of the kids went in. I was totally helpless without Dad … but it didn’t feel that bad at all.

At an early age he bought me my first bicycle and tried to teach me to ride it, but I was petrified. He didn’t push or get impatient with me. It wasn’t until I was 12 that I actually started riding a Schwinn Stingray bicycle that Dad bought me for $20. As I got older, Dad taught me about woodworking and would let me help him on countless projects. He would make toys for us out of scrap pieces of wood in a matter of seconds. And Dad could fix anything, and I mean anything. I think he instilled that in all of us. And I think we all inherited his love of photography and gadgets too.

In 2003 I had to have my hip replaced, and once again Dad was there at my rescue. He flew down and stayed with us for a month to help out during my recovery. I was required to sleep on my back, and every morning I would wake up at 4am with my back killing me. And every morning, once Dad heard me up and about, he would get up and sit with me and chase away my blues with words of encouragement … and a few corny jokes. Every day he helped out by driving Sean to school in my Camaro, or helped Carolyn with the grocery shopping and other errands. He would watch my home therapy sessions, trying not to be seen. Then later he would encourage me with things like “You’re doing so much better today than yesterday” and “Keep trying, you’ll get it”. We even went to the outdoor Renaissance Fair, and he helped push my wheelchair through the mud. Once again, I was helpless without Dad … but it didn’t feel that bad at all.

I think in some ways we’ll all feel helpless without Dad around. We miss you Dad and you’ll be in our hearts every day.

I love you Dad.

By Tom Ibey

All pages, images, and content Copyright 1999-2015 Tom Ibey and Quality First Antique Toy Restoration Inc.
Randy@RandysToyShop.com

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Last modified: September 14, 2015