My dad was extraordinary. Without ever spending more than a year in college, he went on in his life to accomplish things that college graduates never have.
- He ended his career at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency as an emergency management specialist, where he received the Mayor's Award for Valor from Harrisburg, PA for working witht he search & rescue team and was on the Governor's Task Force for Homeland Security. He was in charge of a team of search dogs that went to NYC during the September 11th terrorist attacks and in Shanksville, PA where another plane crashed.
- He worked with many ambulance crews as a paramedic from Indiana, State College, Bellefonte, PA as well as their fire departments. He was also a member of the Penn State HAZMAT team.
- He taught classes at Penn State for 10 years, without ever earning a college degree of his own.
- He served in the US Air Force and Air National Guard.
- He was SCUBA instructor certified, a life guard.
- He was even offered a job as a paramedic on Air Force One but turned it down to have a family.
- He was the best dad to me. In elementary school I remember always riding in the fire trucks, ambulances, or air force trucks in parades or him bringing them in for show & tell. He never failed to take me to Take Your Daughter to Work Day or on weekends. I've sat in his classes and hid in huge piles of rubble for search dogs to find me. He would plaster our arms or fingers to make casts. He'd hold me in the rocking chair till fell asleep when I was way too old for it.
- He could fix it all... He built decks, garages, fixed cars, fixed anything really, could make anything into a fun project.
- He always helped out the neighbors and liked to have a good time.
"You can shed tears that he is gone or you can smile because he has lived. You can close your eyes and pray that he'll come back, or you can open your eyes and see all he's left. Your heart can be empty because you can't see him or you can be full of the love you shared. You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday. You can remember him only that he is gone or you can cherish his memory and let it live on. You can cry and close your mind, or you can do what he'd want: smile, open your eyes, love, and go on." -Unknown