John Matthew Schmalfeldt (1928-1983)

To us, he was the Giant.  To Granny, he was her oldest son and greatest pride.  To my Mom, he was the love of her life.

He was father to seven living children.  He worked his ass to the bone to provide for us.  And he died much too young.

Dad always had this rough, tough exterior.  But it was a facade.  (Mostly.)  It was Dad who came up with the great ideas for Christmas presents and the ways to surprise us with them.  It was Dad who came back into the house the day after Bob and I graduated high school, leaving the rest of the family waiting in the car before a trip to Iowa, so he could cry and hug us and tell us how proud of us he was.

Even as he lay in his hospital bed with the pancreatic cancer that killed him, he told us he would be coming home soon and if we messed up “our mother’s house”, he would kick… our… little… asses!

There’s so much to be said about my Dad.  To those of you who never met him, you have no idea what you missed.  To those of us who knew him, he always WILL be missed.

We love you, Dad.

Back in 1981, Dad liked it when I had a martini waiting for him when he got home. I was freshly back in the Navy and I know he was proud of that.

Turkey slice, anyone?

Dad and Peter in 1978

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