Frank's Farm Market
and Bakery
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Eulogy by Mary

The eulogy for my father - my last gift to him.

My dad was not a philosophical guy.  I can’t ever remember having a philosophical conversation with him.  He was too busy living.  He didn’t have time to talk about how to live.  He showed us, every day, how to live a good life.

I could stand and talk about my dad all day.  But, I’ve come up with three principles that he taught us through his life.

#1.  Love what you do.

My dad loved his job!  He loved his farm.  He loved the tractors.  He loved planting…  My dad built greenhouses so he could extend his growing season!  And, he loved to plant new seeds.  He would try to grow flowers that are difficult to germinate and to grow.  If you have been in our greenhouses on the farm, you know this!  There’s always an odd collection of plants and containers that are Dad’s experiments for the year.  No one else touches them!  Dad found some great flowers this way.  Much to Kyle’s sorrow, we may have to continue this tradition!

My dad loved his fields.  He loved to get on those tractors in the spring and start plowing!  He couldn’t wait for the ground to dry up enough to get out there and plow.  All summer, Dad would be in the fields after dinner each night.  That was how he relaxed. 

My dad loved picking the first of each new crop – the first few red berries, the first ears of corn, the first ripe tomatoes.  I’d try to beat him to those berries.  I would show him what I found and he would nod his head and say, “They’re coming.  I picked a few two days ago…”  He always knew what was going on in those fields!

And-  My dad loved talking with people.  He loved to talk with customers at the market.  He loved people and he loved to tell everyone about his fruits, vegetables and his flowers.  He was proud of what he grew and he was always excited to share that.  When we needed Dad’s help in the bakery, we always knew where to find him – out talking with people!

My dad loved to try new things – in the greenhouses, in the fields and even in the bakery.  I don’t know if you all know this, but my dad could bake!  Even in the bakery, he wanted to try new things – new recipes, new ingredients, and he was so excited about this oven we now have.  He knew we could make pizzas in it!

We all know my dad worked hard all his life.  Farming is hard work.  He loved it.

Love what you do!

#2.  Love your Family.

Farming is a way of life.  It’s also a way to take care of your family.  Growing up, we always had lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.  And, some of our kids enjoy this stuff, too!  My little Vince knows on raw corn.  Gabriella walks around eating green peppers.  Most of the kids love Grandpa’s veggies!

Dad loved get-togethers.  We have picnics and birthday parties every two weeks from May though October.  By August, we’re all getting burned out!  My dad would chop up onions and green peppers for the grill.  He loved to grill his sausage with it.  He wasn’t really the hamburger connoisseur, but he did get better at that… there were times, though, when your burger was a little charred or a little red inside!  You never knew what you were getting!

Dad just loved getting together.  We had picnics for all the summer holidays.  And, it wasn’t like he had the day off or that we hadn’t seen each other.  My parents, and some of us, too, worked all day.  Then, we threw together the picnic after work.  There’s never a day off on the farm, but there’s still time to get together with family.

Dad loved his grandkids.  He saw most of them pretty often, every day, even.  He loved that they all lived so close.  And, each winter, he got on a plane (a man who had never flown until three years ago) and go to visit Sara and Aaron, and Aydan.

Dad had Alyssa picking tomatoes when she was three.  She would help grade them in the barn.  He rolled pies with her on Sundays, showing her the right way to do it!  He’s taken Ryan out on the tractor.  He was working on Emily – speeding her up in the bakery.  He had no luck in the fields with her.  She doesn’t do dirt!  Dad would feed Anna her bottle when she was just a baby, in the bakery.  He’s sure she is going to be a linebacker.  Watch her run through the market!  Dad would take Gabriella on errands with him and she couldn’t wait for him to bring suckers from the bank!  He cleaned up little Vince’s dirt messes in the greenhouses all spring.  Last spring, Dad had the kids planting onion sets in the garden.  He had Emily, Ryan, Katia and Lydia all working at the same time…arguing about who planted the most!  We’ll remember that technique this year.

Anytime we needed help, my Dad was there.  He kept our driveways plowed so we could get the kids to school and get to work.  When the weather was bad, he would pick up Emily from gymnastics so we weren’t all out on the roads.  He picked up Alyssa and Emily to get them to the bakery to work.  When our dog was hit by a car, Grandpa took him to the vet…

My dad was great!  He loved his family…

Love your family.

#3.  Love God.  Have faith.

Like I said, my dad’s not philosophical.  We didn’t have long conversations about God, religion, faith…

My dad was in church every weekend, regardless of anything else going on.  Nothing kept him from mass.  Even when he was sick in December, he went to mass during the week.  It was a priority and it was important to give at least an hour to God every week. 

Jesus taught us how to live…love others and love God.  Be honest.  Be Forgiving.  Show compassion to others.  Speak kindly.  Respect your elders – and your parents, too!  Care for those less fortunate.  Respect God.  Believe in Him and put your faith in Him.  This is how my Dad lived his life.

Love God.  Have faith.

These lessons are gifts he gave to us.  Dad was a gift from God and now he has gone home.  God will continue to care for him… and he will care for us in our sorrow.

When you go home tonight, watch outside and notice, like my dad did every January, the days are getting longer.

Spring will come and the sun will shine again.
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