In Loving Memory
Milbert S. Fichter June 17, 1915 - Feb. 17, 2009
We had just left the motor home on our way to Bahama Breeze near Tampa for a late lunch to celebrate Valentines Day when we got a phone call from our daughter back in the Pittsburgh area saying Margery's father had been admitted to the hospital and was critically ill.
We immediately turned around and headed back to the campground. We dragged some of our winter clothes out of storage, packed, secured some things around the motor home, and were on our way north in less than three hours from the time we got the initial call. We took turns driving all night and arrived at our daughter's house about 7:30 AM Sunday morning.
After a few minutes to freshen up after our 16-hour drive and a quick bite to eat, we all headed to the hospital. Margery's dad was not doing well, but he was awake, alert, and in fairly good spirits all things considered.
Margery's dad was always happy and jovial. He was always content and was the embodiment of Phillipians 4:12, which says, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."
Everyone who met Margery's dad always commented on what a joy he was to be around. He had such a positive and pleasant attitude. At the assisted living facility where he resided, he participated in most of their activities and was known and loved by all the residents and staff alike.
One of the greatest gifts Margery's dad gave us was his blessing to pursue the full-time RV lifestyle. The day we left Pittsburgh, he stood at the door waving to us and wishing us "happy landings." And his encouragement had never wavered. Every time we saw him or talked to him on the phone, he said, "Go while you can. Enjoy."
The two days that Margery got to spend with her dad that Sunday and Monday were two of the best days of her life. Her dad was jovial right up to the end. In those last two days, they sang, held hands, reminisced, read scripture, prayed, and joked.
Margery's dad passed
away peacefully in his sleep on February 17 just four months shy of his
94th birthday. Ironically, it was exactly three years ago, on February
18, when he moved into the senior living facility.
In keeping with his wishes, Margery's dad was cremated with no viewing. A memorial service was held at the assisted living facility where he lived.
Over the years, Margery's mom and dad enjoyed many what they and their friends called "an afterglow." It was a time for lots of fun and laughter, good food, and wine. Margery's dad was a vintner extraordinaire. A member from this group of friends shared a poem at the memorial service that captured his life.
To be a happy one,
I'd like to leave an after glow
Of smiles when life is done.
I'd like to leave an echo
Whispering softly down the ways
Of happy times and laughing times
And bright and sunny days.
I'd like the tears of those who grieve,
To dry before the sun
Of happy memories I leave
When my life is done.
He was loved and will be missed by many.