Monday, April 21, 2008

Well I was able to avoid it yesterday since we were busy and I have a nasty sinus cold, but there is really no getting around it.

Yesterday was the 1 year anniversary of my Grandpa's death. I can remember the day perfectly. I had slept terribly the whole night before and I woke up early and was surfing on MySpace. I saw a post from my sister Becki and my brother Michael. Michael was recounting how he'd been with my Grandfather when he'd passed, and Becki posted about going to see his body in the hospital. That's how I found out, and that was a good way. I was able to read it without getting tied up with the emotions ahead of time, like I would have if my Mom had called. I felt at peace for him but, and the same thing that still gets me today, is thinking of my Grandpa's strong body, his hands, his eyes, everything being cold and lifeless. Even now it strikes me as particularly horrid... the physical changes of his death.

I really miss him. It still seems so unfair and probably always will. I'd trade in a lot of things for him to be back here with us.

Here is the video I made for his memorial. You know, I haven't been able to watch it since his service and I can't now. Its still too painful.

My Grandpa

And his obituary...

Dean R. Likkel
Dean Ray Likkel passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones April 20, 2007, at the age of 70 after a brief battle with cancer. He was born May 1, 1936 in Grangeville, Idaho to Albert "John" Likkel and Helen Haveman Likkel. He and his twin sister were the youngest of six children, growing up in Lynden, Washington. In 1954, he married Carol Barber and had three daughters.

He began his career as a mechanic for the Ford Motor Company, then worked as a heavy equipment operator doing road construction. Eventually, his talent for working with people led him into investments and insurance sales. In 1974, he married Marlene Johnston Hollenbeck and, with her, he owned and managed a court-reporting firm doing legal video work and record retrieval.

Dean was committed to his church and community. He was a member of Smokey Point Community Church since 1973, and was a charter member of the Smokey Point Chamber Of Commerce, serving on the Board of Directors for over 18 years. He was on the Snohomish County Economic Development Board, member of the Board of Directors of Forward North County, and an organizing charter member of Marysville Toastmasters, using his public speaking skills as a motivational speaker.

He served both the youth and seniors of his community, as well, by volunteering on the Advisory Council for the Marysville Alternative High School and on the Board of Directors of the Stillaguamish Senior Center. He has been a certified instructor for the AARP Defensive Safe Driving program for six years. Dean believed strongly in being involved in the political process. His involvement included, among other projects, supporting the Pro-Life movement, and serving on Jack Metcalf's campaign for State Senate and U.S. Congress for several years. He had a love for auctioneering and used his skills and abounding charisma to conduct hundreds of auctions for churches and charitable organizations.

Dean had an unwavering faith in his Lord, Jesus Christ, and leaves behind a lasting legacy in the many lives he touched and in his loving family, including his wife, Marlene; his three daughters, Debra Miller, Deanne Guthrie, and Daralyn Hollenbeck; his two step-sons, Gregory Hollenbeck and Jeffery Hollenbeck; his thirteen grandchildren and his five great-grandchildren.

He passed on to join his parents, John and Helen Likkel, and his twin sister, Fay Griffith.

As an opportunity to celebrate his life, a memorial service will be held at Smokey Point Community Church at 2:30 pm Sunday, April 29, 2007. 17721 Smokey Point Blvd. Arlington, WA. (360) 659-2844.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests any memorial donations be made to Providence Hospice of Snohomish County or a favorite charity.

My cousin Holly wrote this poem about my Grandpa and its just so right.

I Hold On.

I hold on to dignity with playfulness
I hold on to strength
I hold on to respect for others
I hold on to pride with humility
I hold on to belly laughs
I hold on to crushing hugs
I hold on to eternal youth
I hold on to great wisdom
I hold on to mischievous grins
I hold on to happy tears unashamed
I hold on to encouragement overflowing
I hold on to big hands scarred in service to others
I hold on to crisp silver hair always in place
I hold on to love shining from blue eyes
I hold on to the last moments
I hold on to our goodbye
I hold on to our reunion
I hold on.

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