|1944 Ensign Ehlers receives his commission|
Yesterday the Giants were playing against the Cardinals for the National League championship. Dad was a life long baseball fan and, like my grandfather, had a pretty much encyclopedic knowledge of the stats for just about any player and team. As I was driving home I called Joan and asked her to turn the radio on for my dad so he could listen to the game. The Giants won in a complete shut out and are now going to the World Series. I hope my dad had this in his dreams as he slept.
Some time in the middle of the night he passed away. He was 88 and had a long a productive life.
|Dad and his dog Micky, whom he always |
said was the smartest dog in the world
World War II saw my dad entering the Navy and he went to midshipman's school as UC Berkeley. He received his commission at the age of 20 as an Ensign. He served on LST (landing ship tank) 857 and was in charge of the Quartermasters, meaning that he was responsible for navigation. He used to tell me stories about being in storms in the Pacific and having to plot courses that he was not exactly confident of, yet they would arrive at their destination exactly as planned. He said he was always surprised that they made it anywhere thanks to his poor navigation skills. I think he was just being modest. He was a math wiz.
The first house my parents built was in Corte Madera. I think they said that the house cost them $16,000 at the time. It was about one block from my aunt Ann and uncle Al Lubamersky's house. Ann was my mom's sister. They helped each other landscape their yards and get their homes set up. Our families would remain close throughout our lives.
My parents moved to their second house in Greenbrae and made the decision to start their family. They could not have children themselves, so they adopted me and later my sister Peggy. The house became too small when they decided to adopt their third child, my sister Chris. So they moved one more time to their home in Larkspur. It was here that the family stayed for the next 20 years. My sisters and I went to grammar school and high school in Larkspur, and eventually went off to college.
|Some of Walts Kids and Grandkids|
In 1984 my mom contracted lung cancer and passed away. My dad was devastated. He really had never had to take care of himself. My sister Chris did her best to help him maintain the house and his life, as Peggy and I were away at school, but he needed a new partner.
|Dad and Joan on their bulletin board|
My dad and Joan started dating, and before long, they were married. I can only say that it was a relief to us all to have Dad in the hands of someone who loved him and could care for him so well, right up to the end. They were very well matched and, despite some occasional bickering, they were steadfast friends and life partners.
For 27 years they lived and loved together. They first bought a house in Mill Valley, then moved to "I" street in Petaluma, and finally to "the farm" on McSween Road.
Our extended family grew through marriages, the addition of grand children, step grand children and numerous dogs, cats and other animals. I feel particularly lucky to have had the love of two wonderful mothers and four wonderful sisters. I will add photos and names later.