SADNESS: The week began with a passing of a dear friend who almost made it to 90 years old. The fine-looking gentleman with the square jaw is Leo Erik. Leo is in the top three of the most interesting people I have ever known. Here is a brief summary of his life (I am missing some details to be sure):
- married with one daughter
- born in Estonia
- fought in the defense of Estonia against the Germans and Russians during WWII-wounded in battle where he lost his knee, later a POW in a German and Russian camp
- did not return to live in Estonia due to Soviet takeover (I rarely ever heard Leo say “Russians” without motherf-er in front as a result)
- Moved to England where he lived for over 20 years
- Moved to the United States in the mid-1960’s to fulfill his dream of owning his own farm despite his handicap
- Mechanical genius, the man could fix about anything!
- Worked at Miami University in a variety of maintenance roles for over 30 years
- Was widowed for over 10 years
- Sold his farm at a bargain price to the local school district for construction of a new high school
That’s a whole lot of living here…..
Leo is an inspiration to me for the way he conducted his life and treated everyone. He was a valuable mentor who I spent a great deal of time with as a young, single professional trying to make my way.
Leo always thought of himself as a young person, even in his final years. He loved working with high school and college students. In his last few years, he was in assisted living care. When I would ask him if he had made any friends, he would say “No, they are all old”.
The last thrills I got to share with Leo were in the last couple of years when I would take my sons to visit Leo. Verbal communication was getting difficult, but seeing his face light up with joy are memories I will not forget (especially when Ryan said his name for the first time).
We will miss you old friend. Hopefully we see each other again one day. Please say hi to my grandfather Peter Siliko, I think you will have a lot in common.
On the other end of the life spectrum, we are getting together with my brother Kevin and his girlfriend Trish to celebrate their pregnancy (boy due in July). We are so excited to see them.
So proud of the Rand Paul stand regarding drone strikes in America!