Dad was a hard working father and husband supporting his family all his life in the old family tradition of the head of the household as being the sole provider -- with his wife raising and caring for the children.
Sidney was a devout Catholic, religious and stern as a father figure. He and Lucy raised five children, a daughter and four sons. They always were proud of their children and their accomplishments.
During the war years, he worked at his job in a meat packing plant until he was drafted late in the war in January of 1945.
As the story goes, he registered with the draft early in the war and wondered as to why his number never came up. He watched as his brothers, brothers-in-law all went off to war -- but he was not called up.
One day, while walking down the street, two state police officers stopped him and informed him that he was listed as "evading the draft".
He told the officers that he had regristration papers at home and offered to walk down the street with them to talk to the local recruiter.
Upon walking in, the recruiter said, "Richard, is it you AGAIN." It seemed that about every couple of weeks Dad went religiously to the recruiter's office to sign up for the draft, each time being told to wait for his name to be called, for he was a family man with 2 children at home.
The officers got to see Sidney's copy of his registration and he was drafted shortly after this event...and then that is a different story!
Dad never made it overseas, and served as an MP in the U. S. Marine Corps until he was discharged following the end of the war.
I have often wondered that if he had been allowed to join earlier in the war as he had tried to -- time and time again -- if I would be here writing this.
Dad lived his life under very stern rules and made sure that his children followed these rules. He, quite frankly, was the master of his house.
Dad always made sure that Christmas was a special time for the Richard children. Each and every Christmas, the children of Sidney and Lucy always had something to open on Christmas morning -- even during the very lean years of the early 1950's when things were very tight for him financially.
He made a point of getting gifts for his children on an installment plan and then paying for those Christmas presents over the coming year.
This was revealed to me following the funeral services this past Saturday.
Dad took ill a few times during his later years and had open heart surgery a couple of years ago. He survived the surgery and managed to obtain a couple more years of active life until cancer took it's devestating toll on him and his family.
Dad passed away this past Sunday evening at about 7:45pm. He died peacifully in his sleep, with his favorite Grandson at his side, following a three month battle with lung cancer.
Dad was laid to rest in Eunice, next to his wife of 64 years, Lucy, following a small family service in his home town where he spent most of his life working to care for his family.
Deacon Ortego, who presided over the funeral home services put it all into eloquent, yet simple words:
"Sidney died of a broken heart".
Dad, you are in our thoughts for all time. Dad -- We Will Miss You.