My dear grandpa, friend, golfing buddy, teacher and life coach Grant B. Huffaker passed away to the next life this evening April 17th around 8pm MST. I’m going to miss him so very much. Thanks to my parents wisdom and foresight in taking me and the family over to visit him and grandpa and Dennis for years, I was blessed to have this amazing man teach and inspire me in so many ways. It truely phenomenal how much one person can shape your life. That’s what Grandpa did for me. He shaped my life, inspired me and taught me how to be a hard worker, a leader, how to treat people fairly and the importance of being a romantic and growing and sharing your sense of humor to just touch the tip of the ice berg. I can still see him in my mind doing the jitter bug dance in the kitchen with my Grandma smiling, having the time of his life and kissing Grandma right in front of us. I love it. He and Grandma have been married 71 years! His legacy, example, influence,zest of life, and rich memories will continue to be cherished and live on through me and my amazing family.
The day he passed away I spent some time writing down the memories of this great man. Here they are:
Readers Digest: He always read the readers digest. Each time we visiting him, he’d have some hilarious joke he found in the funny section to share with all of us. He’ share the joke and get all of us laughing our heads off almost 🙂 I especially loved laughing with Dennis, because he had a contagious laugh too. When he started laughing boy did he laugh…it was awesome!
Milk Route: When Grandpa was young he worked hard running his own milk route.
LIBMRDUCKS: This is one of the hillbilly jokes me and my Grandpa Huffaker would laugh over continually over the years… It continued to be our trade mark joke among us, and last joke I remember him laughing about a few weeks before his passing.
M R ducks
M R not
O S A R
C M wangs?
L I B! M R ducks
M R snakes
M R not
O S A R
C M B D eyes?
L I B! M R snakes
M R puppies
M R not
O S A R
C M P N
L I B! M R puppies
JaWohl & Gunther: Grandpa was always joking about the sound of the German language in a good way and would always laugh when I brought up the word Gunther and JaWhol. I’d always end many of our conversations with JoWohl which means an “emphatic YES, of course” in German.
Man of Character and Integrity: Grant was always a man of his work and followed through with his promises. He always treated you fairly, and many times would pay me even more than I really earned for the day of working with him on the acres of land in Murray.
Lived his Testimony of Jesus Christ: Grandpa Huffaker lived his testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but never bore it in publicly from what my Mom said. We have it recorded though. My Mom has it on tape. He was a prime example of a person who was always striving to live his religion. He
Tender Heart: He would tear up quite often when talking about precious moments, rich memories with family, and touching stories of faith in God.
Golfing: I learned how to golf because of my Grandpa. He taught me everything I know about the game! The first time we went golfing, we had a tee time set for 7am at McRielly’s golf course in Murray. We were the first ones up for the morning. Behind us stood 7 retired dudes waiting on us to tee off. I teed up, geared up my swing, gave a huge wack at the ball and there flew my club about 25 years down the fairway! haaa I ran after it, came back and hit the ball correctly this time with club in tact. That was the start of our golfing games year after year. We’d hop into his awesome red Ford Larrieat truck with Dennis and always have the time of our lives golfing. Dennis would be the perfect choufour, driving us around in the cart keeping score for Grandpa and I.
Romantic & Dancing the Jitter Bug with Grandma: To my knowledge, this dance continued to be Grandpa’s favorite. I always remember him dancing with Grandma in the kitchen, dancing on cloud 9 as it were, showing us his moves, kissing grandma like it was the first time. He was a romantic and romanced Grandma his whole life. It’s been 71 years of pure love between them two. What amazing examples of making a marriage not only work, but loving every minute of it. He was always quick to forgive and say sorry if he made a mistake.
Ginger Snaps: I have to give Grandma credit for this one, but I sure enjoyed eating ginger snaps with Grandpa, Dennis and the family each time we visited them. Grandma would always have a big box of ginger snap cookies in her cupboard for us grandchildren to much on. Soooo good.
Big Blue: This german Sheapard was a pretty awesome and big furry, fluffy haired dog that we would have fun playing around with. Big blue was only around until I was around 10 yrs old or so and then died. But big blue was a great pooch. I remember this awesome friend walking around with Dennis all over the place and was a great companion to us, Dennis and everyone who visited Grandpa/ma.
Hard Working: year after year I would have the great honor to learn under Grandpas tutilage. He would teach me how to correctly mow their lawns, wash window, trim bushes, edge the lawns, weed eat, chop down trees, beautify the yard, care for the garden, dig holes for various projects, sharpen lawn mowing blades in his shop using his own grinder machine, and the list goes on.
Thimble Game: One day Grandpa found this hilarious, and fun family game to play called the Thimble game. The family would sit around the table and have a blast trying to avoid the shocking splash of water in your face if you guessed the hidden word. This is the game:
Object of the Game: To keep from guessing the hidden word.
Items Needed: 1 Thimble or other small container (such as the plastic cap of a pop bottle), 1 small cup or bowl of water, 1 pad of paper, and 1 pencil
Preparation: Fill the cup or bowl with water, and set on a table with the paper and pencil.
Directions: Choose one person to be “it” and have everyone else sit down in a circle. The “it” person then picks a category, such as animals, colors, clothing, etc. and tells it to the group. Then the “it” person silently picks an item from that category, writes it on the pad of paper, and turns it face down. “It” then takes the thimble and fills it with water from the cup/bowl and goes to the first person of the group who must say an item from the category. If the item is not the hidden word written on the pad “it” goes to the next person. When someone finally says the hidden word “it” splashes that person with the thimble full of water and now that person is “it”.
Example: I’m “it” and I choose the category, colors, which I tell to the group. I then silently write “purple” on the pad of paper without telling anyone. I fill the thimble with water and ask player one to name a color, he says yellow, and I move to player two who says green. Player three says “purple” and I dump the thimble of water on her head. Now player three is “it” and chooses a new category.
Note: Only a small amount of water is needed, you don’t want to start a water fight.
Real Man: My awesome bro Dale Jessee, posted this on facebook the day Grandpa passed away. I love the memories Dale shared and how it shines light on the truth of Grandpa being a REAL MAN.
When I was visiting Arizona we went out to lunch to eat Mexican food and while at the table he asked me to pass him some Tabasco sauce. When grabbing it from me, he said with a grin, “Dale, this is how REAL MEN eat their food!”
Though I’m still working up to the point of becoming a “REAL man”, these are some of the lessons that I learned from my Grandpa over the years…
1- I got a letter from him a few months after Trey was born telling me that REAL men send pictures of their children to their grandparents..”especially when they are named after them” (Trey GRANT Jessee).
2-REAL men know how to work. He taught me the value of work and the blessing that comes from doing quality work.
3-REAL men are not afraid to show their affections whether they be physical or verbal. A simple smile, hug and saying “I love you” go a long way.
4-REAL men are not afraid to pursue the girl of their dreams- from what I remember, he told me that before he was married, he would wake up earlier than usual and make the special trip to my grandmas house just so he could get a “Good luck smooch” from her before going to work. Well played Grandpa!
5-A REAL man knows his desserts. Enough said.
6-REAL men know how to laugh and have a good time. Humor is a must in this life.
7- REAL men know how to admit when they are wrong (even when they know they are right). It’s hard for most men to admit this and say a simple “sorry.” This five letter word, if said a lot more in our day to day interactions can cure a lot of unnecessary heartache.
8-REAL men are committed to their family. 71.5 years of marriage says a lot.
The list goes on…
So grateful to have had the relationship and memories I do with this man. Make sure to build meaningful memories with those you care about.
Love you Grandpa!
~your little “chicken liver”