At about 1:30 yesterday afternoon, my mom called to let me know that her brother HJ had passed away. This was the brother we went to visit between Christmas and New Year’s. He had a number of health problems and had been failing slowly but surely to the point that he had become bedridden and had been in a skilled nursing facility for the past two years. He had been having problems with repeated infections for the past several months, which had become increasingly difficulty for his body to cope with. As mom said, his passing was a mercy. We were both so glad that we were able to go see him when we did. She remarked at the time that our visit was probably the last time she would see him alive. Given his state of health, it was a reasonable assumption. Time has proven it an accurate one, as it happened. The services will be on Tuesday. Mom will fly down and I presume she will stay with her niece, EYJ, as we did when we drove down. She will probably go down on Monday, and will probably return either Tuesday afternoon, or Wednesday morning, depending on what flights she can get.
Once there were twelve. HJ (third from left) has gone to join his mother (far right) his three older sisters, and six of his seven brothers. Only two remain: AJ (aged 96), fourth from the left, and my mom (aged 90) far left. HJ served in what was then the Army Air Corps during World War II. After the war, he started working for Humble Oil and Refining Company in 1947, was still working for them after it was acquired by Standard Oil Company of New Jersey in 1959, and was still working for them in 1972,when it became Exxon Corporation. He retired from Exxon in 1984. In addition, he raised cattle, maintained a vegetable garden, and raised the best satsuma oranges, until his physical health prevented it. He is survived by a brother, a sister, a son, a daughter, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. He will be missed.