Thursday, August 23, 2007

See You Later Dad. William J. Parducci (August 7, 1910-August 17, 2007)

After a long battle with Alzheimer's my father passed away on Friday morning August 17,2007.
I was on my way to see him when he died. In fact I got the call just before I reached the first security check point at LAX.
My father was a great man. A true genius who always took an interest in those around him. He was a Vaudevillian, a Musician, a Bandleader, a painter (oils) a Chess Master, Boat builder, Mountain climber and a Design Engineer.(Among many accomplishments, he worked for Tucker and was on the Jet engine team during World War II) He was a devoted Husband(married to my Mom for 62 years) and father of five sons. (He had his first son at the age of 38 and his last at the age of 55.)
Over the past few years my father's amazing mind began to shut down.This happened right after the sudden loss of his first born son (My brother Bill-Four or five years ago I stood on the lawn of my boyhood home while my father tried to stave off memory-loss by reciting multiplication tables.He used his mind constantly and was acutely aware when it started to fail him.)
He always had several books going at once and a chessboard set up by his chair.
One of my favorite things to do was to make him laugh. My father had a great laugh. Inevitably what worked best was repetition. I would keep repeating some inane voice or stupid remark until he started to shake with laughter and lean forward guffaw tears streaming down his face and swat me lightly on the shoulder.
I have my father's chess board now, it rests on my coffee table in the livingroom. I have an old pair of his glasses, a mechanical pencil and his violin. I have a handful of photos too. At the end of the day though these things though symbols of a life well-lived are all simply trinkets. What's not a trinket is the love my father had for me and all of us.
I miss you Dad.
See You Later.
Your Son Paul

PS: The top photo is my father at the drafting table in the 40's, the other one is my dad on stage in 1929


Anonymous said...

Paul - enjoyed reading your heartfelt tribute to your dad. Looking up Russ Reiley's name (very sad to hear of his passing) and decided to check out your blog to see what you are doing. Glad you are still in the trenches. Love your smiling shots more. Your musings from the heart are outstanding. Best, Ren C. (formerly Karen Kennedy of Comedy Olympix)

Bald Headed Geek said...

Paul, please accept my sympathies on your loss. I lost my father a little over two years ago, but I comfort myself with the memories of the family occasions we spent together and how much he loved my sisters and I......