Thursday, April 14, 2011
A Life Well Lived: John J. Maxwell 1920-2005
I read something on Huffington Post by Dr. Carla Barker recently and it was about living ones life well. The title of the piece is " Life Well Lived: What Does It Mean? "
It made me think about my Father. My Dad really lived well and he loved his life. Of all the people I have known my Father is that one person I feel made the most of his life. For my Dad every day was an adventure and his enthusiasm for life bubbled over and affected everyone that knew him. My Father taught science for 40 years. He was always so proud he was a classmate and friend of John Glenn's at Muskingum College in Ohio. My Father was allot like John Glenn. My Father grew up in Farrell, Pennsylvania and John Glenn not that far away in Cambridge, Ohio. Both John Glenn and my Father have Scottish ancestors on the paternal side. John Glenn is member of the Glenn–Macintosh clan. My Father was a member of the Maxwell Clan. Both men were ordained elders in the Presbyterian Church USA. The region these men were raised in produced allot of very fine educated people and it is rich with fantastic colleges and universities. Their generation has sometimes been called the greatest generation. Sometimes I think that is not far from the truth. My Father taught Science for 40 years. He loved teaching science so much that after he retired in 1984 he continued to substitute teach at the local school and to tutor students in biology, chemistry and physics. He began showing and breeding dogs in earnest with my Mother after he retired with much success and took up lawn bowling too. My parents traveled all over the US showing Keeshond and Cardigan Welsh Corgi dogs after Dad retired.
Dad also began umpiring for local baseball leagues after he no longer was employed full time as a teacher. He always loved sports and academics. I still hear from his old students all the time especially on Facebook. It is just so moving to hear them tell stories of how he helped them get a leg up in Science and helped them to go on to careers in math and science. I am so grateful I had so many years enjoying my parents even after I finished college and married. This was possible because Jim and I settled near my parents. We had 22 years after we moved back of wonderful holidays, dog shows, barbecues , weddings and so much more. My Mother still lives nearby and is independent and active.
Dad loved playing backgammon and talking about science with my husband and we all got together often. Our family has set up a small annual award at the local school in his name for a graduating senior from each class who plans to go on in science. Each year my husband casts and engraves a special medallion that is awarded in June along with a sum of money to a graduating senior going on in the field of science from Chautauqua Lake Central School.
My Father is still my hero and a big inspiration in my life. Not a day goes by I do not think of him and all the fun & joy he gave me and still gives me. My parents gave me the gift of an education and the love of learning. It is the most precious gift I ever received. What a fantastic team my Father and Mother were. They passed their love of learning and nature on to myself and my Brothers as well as to their three grandchildren. They were an amazing couple. My Mother still is a big part of my life and I am grateful she is well, still vibrant and active.
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