My father-in-law passed away Sunday morning. He was 95, would have been 96 in March. He and my mother-in-law celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in October.
I took this photo of them in the summer of 1980, in the front yard of their house on the farm in Indiana.
Karl was a World War II veteran, a pilot who flew bombing missions in Europe but never talked about it.
He was a quiet man who could surprise every once in a while.
I remember my mother-in-law Helen and I had gone shopping in Fort Wayne one Saturday, probably in the early or mid 1970s. On the way home, we stopped to pick up the groceries needed to fix a quick supper of sandwiches and salads: bread, cold meats, cheeses, salads, relishes. When I added a loaf of rye bread to the mix, she kind of turned up her nose.
"Do you really eat rye bread?" she asked. "That's so weird. No one I know eats rye bread!"
Well, I like rye bread (with seeds!) so I insisted, but I knew she thought there was something wrong with me.
When we arrived back at the farm and began laying out a buffet-style supper for the rest of the family, Karl wandered into the kitchen to see how things were going.
"Oh, wow, rye bread!" he exclaimed. "I haven't had rye bread in years. Helen, why don't you ever buy rye bread? I love it!"