Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Opinion

June 20, 2013

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Dad had good hands, strong enough to free any frozen bolt and sensitive enough to tell the grade of the flour. He was intuitive enough to wrap up grandma Pankow when she broke her ribs, sensitive enough to take a sliver out his granddaughter’s finger. Heather still remembers there was no pain.

Dad got up for work at 6 a.m. and didn’t get home until after 6 p.m. He worked Saturdays and Sundays for overtime and on his vacation to support us. He enjoyed cheese sandwiches for lunch every day — every day — and liked it. I never heard him complain or ever say he was tired.

Once I asked him if we were poor. He answered “no,” so I asked him for a nickel. He reached in his pocket and gave me a nickel. I was rich.

A mechanic, plumber, electrician, painter, paper hanger, carpenter — the farm boy did many things very well. However, he wasn’t much of a teacher. He would plan a job in his head as I waited for the action to start. I had no idea what he was thinking, but soon the job was done. It was done right and lasted.

I wish he would have talked more, but he measured this words. Nothing would come out that shouldn’t have. Once the words are out there, they’re out there. You can’t bring them back.

I wish dad would have taken me to more Bisons games and taken us to more family picnics, but he had a full life. He was president of the Winchester Fire Co. for several years. He never campaigned, but brother volunteers just liked and trusted him. A convert and member of the Holy Name Society, he knelt down to say his prayers at night.

He woke up my big brother and I for nocturnal adoration of First Fridays. Most of the time our shifts were in the middle of the night and sometimes our teenage friends would join us. They made my father their acting father and I was proud of that, proud of my father.

Dad died near Father’s Day in 1990 and there was a death notice, not an obituary. There was no need for an obit or the Internet. Robert B. Wolcott filled his life, and his family remembers.

Bill Wolcott is a Union-Sun & Journal reporter.

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