Tuesday, January 15, 2008


My father died this morning.

Pop (left) with John Wayne

"Gunny" was born in 1929 in San Antonio, Texas... the fourth and final son of Paula Döhnert and "Boppi," a Belgian immigrant. Pop joined the US Marine Corps in 1947, serving 23 years including two tours in Korea and Viet Nam, a career that would forever define his identity.

His final years were not without struggle. In 2000 he suffered a massive stroke. After nine months in rehab, though remaining paralyzed on his right side, he won back a certain measure of independence and celebrated 50 years of marriage "at home" in Yuma. In 2003, the folks moved back to Oregon before Mom passed from cancer.

Pop was gregarious and loved my partner and myself unconditionally.

Semper Fi, Pop.


Carla said...

My condolences for your loss.

I haven't lost a parent yet--but I saw how difficult it was for my parents as my grandparents passed.

Take good care of yourself during this difficult time.

maloney said...

It was a year in October since I lost my biological father, and it's still hard. It was a pretty nasty battle with cancer.

Hope you're taking the time you need for yourself.

Thom said...

I couldn't sleep... I've been staring at this blank comment box looking for the right words in the empty space.

"Thank you" is obvious... almost automatic... but heartfelt.