This is my dad, Robert Hentrich, Sr. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1951 to 1955. He was an Aviation Storekeeper 2nd Class and was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia. He was assigned to the VR-31 until November of ’53 when he was assigned to the USS Iowa. He had the National Defense Service medal and a good conduct medal. He married my Mom in 1954 and after he was discharged they went to Ames, Iowa where Daddy attended Iowa State University on the GI Bill. He got a degree in mechanical engineering and, after a series of jobs in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he went to work for John Deere in Moline, Illinois, where he worked for over 25 years. (I think – I’m not sure how long). Anyway. He and Mom raised four (fairly normal) kids, of which I am the youngest. In his retirement he became involved in the fight to save the USS Iowa from the scrap heap. He worked on their newsletter and he and Mom often traveled to their conventions. It was when Dad was having trouble with the newsletter that the family got one of our first hints that maybe all was not well with Dad, and in 2001 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. My Mom sold their farm and they moved to town in 2002, and now Dad resides in a pretty nice residential facility in Davenport. Yeah, I know, that’s really rather sad. But even though Daddy wasn’t a perfect father (not by a long shot) he was still a good man. He worked hard and was respected by his co-workers. He was a genius, and I’d go into detail but then the blog would be so long that it would never post. He was a solid Christian and passed his faith on to his kids, and I am grateful for that. What more can I say? This is my Dad; veteran, engineer, farmer, auto mechanic and carpenter, and I miss him.
Please pass the Kleenex.