My wonderful father in law …

My wonderful father in law …

stone

On July 20th our world forever changed as my wonderful  father in-law went to Heaven.  He was 93 and the last of his family to arrive there of nine children.  George Curosh was born on March 2, 1920 in Whiting, Indiana to John and Mary (Pihulic) Curosh.  

His own father had passed away when he was four in 1925.  So in my mind that day all I could see was him running as a child towards his parent’s open arms. He was reunited with his parents and siblings in such glorious happiness.   We know he is happy with them and we’ll see him again but that doesn’t stop the missing him here.  My husband and his siblings will forever be heartbroken until they see their dad again.  He was the kind of man that will be missed forever by his family!

 

honeymoon

George and Jane on their honeymoon in 1949

We know that we were VERY blessed that my MIL was able to care for him at home until his final breath.   She was such a pillar of strength that day to all of us when we know her heart was hurting too.   She had been by his side for 63 1/2 years and cared for him with such love.  She never complained that her life had become him each day.  She did what she had to do and battled on.  She has angel wings waiting just for that in my opinion!   She is the epitome of the best wife and mother!   I can’t imagine how much she misses her husband.  I can’t fathom just the daily reminders that he isn’t there with her.   Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

 

aircor piz

 He was a proud WWII, US Army Veteran attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant and had served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre in China, Burma and India.

My FIL was a rare breed of fine qualities and so handsome!  I will never forget the first time I met him.  I told Andrew, my now husband, that I would marry him if he was going to age like his dad. 🙂 He had that beautiful thick white hair and a smile that lit up a room.  He was 72 then.  He was always so kind in asking me about work, my parents, and my life.  I am a chatterbox and so it meant a lot he’d let me ramble on.   I would tease though that I was sure he didn’t have his hearing aid in to let me go on and on.   He just always made me feel like a part of his family from day one.   I will forever miss my hugs from him.  I know he knew I loved him but he didn’t know how proud I was to be his daughter in-law.

 

HS

 His 1939 yearbook picture … it said that George was as subtle as the B in subtle.  🙂

 My husband’s father wasn’t a millionaire, didn’t invent the wheel, or do anything famous but he was one of the most loved and respected men. (especially by his family!)  He served our country in WWII.  He came home to be a contributing member of his community.   He worked hard to support his family.   He taught his children morals of always being there for each other, being fair, doing your part, helping those in need,  going to church, exercising, to get an education, and respecting your country and flag.   ( Soon after he died my husband went and hung his dad’s flag on the porch.  He came home and hung ours too as did siblings.  It was only fitting to do so!)

 

flight school

This was a picture from him in flight school before WWII … he still had the yearbook.   So handsome!

 I have always been proud to be a member of this family.  However that week I was even more proud as his family came together to celebrate his dad’s life.  Eight siblings, their mom, and their families truly went through this together.  At the wake it was incredible seeing all the children, mom, and some of the grandchildren form this line to greet all the many people who came to pay their respects to the family.   A co-worker of my husband put it perfectly … if Norman Rockwell was going to do a painting of a celebration of life it would have been the wake of his dad.   It was such a honor as a DIL to see his dad get the send off he so richly deserved by the community, the Knights of Columbus, the military,  and the church.  I have never witnessed a true celebration of life that was lived well as I did with my FIL.

 

wedding

 Just a few of us at our son’s wedding 🙂

My father in law and mother in law have a legacy to leave behind of their 63 1/2 years together …. eight kids (my hubby is the baby).  There are also two son in laws and four daughter in-laws.  There are 20 grand-children (plus 6 spouses), 11 great grand-children, with two more great grand-children on the way.  That is 51 to continue on their legacy with two more on the way.   It was amazing watching all of us grieving and celebrating his life together.   It’s truly a testament of their love and marriage too that all their family was there for each other.

We found out something we didn’t know about his dad.  He was an Abraham Lincoln fourth degree member of Knights of Columbus.  My upcoming post will talk about our love for Abe so this amused us.  He was a 73 year member of the Knights.

AL

I’m just so thankful for the memories that we have to comfort us now.  He was such an amazing gramps to all his grandkids.  He attended as many sporting events and school events as he could for each one.  He was proud of everyone of them!

 He loved the Whiting Oilers and was such a devoted fan.  One of my family’s favorite moments is when our daughter’s softball team won Indiana STATE and undefeated at that!  He was as excited as she was to have won state for the Whiting Oilers.   He had traveled the almost three hour drive and sat in the rain to see this momentous occasion.  He was 86 then and still attending as many Oilers games as possible.  (His beloved Chicago White Sox had won the World Series the year before too.)

 

liz

Andrew, Liz, and Dad at Indiana State Championship (she won a scholarship for Whiting HS that day too)

Another favorite memory is being there when he rode in a plane like those when he was a radio controller in the war!  It was phenomenal to see some of his sons, a nephew, and some grandsons share that experience with him.  He was 89 then!

2009

 

I am so glad he got to be at our son’s wedding in October at the age of 92.  I know that is a memory he’ll cherish forever.   When we meet our grand-daughter next month we know Gramps will have met her first and blessed her.  He was so happy for Eric and Amanda on the upcoming arrival of Ellie.  I hurt for our daughter on Gramps not being here when she has those experiences.  However when she walks down the aisle she’ll know she comes from stock that lasted 63 1/2 years for better or worse, sickness and health, and death do us part.  Plus she has a memory like no other of making Gramps so happy with that state championship for the Oilers.  She and her brother will always know they are loved by their family because of  how he raised his family to be with each other.  I look forward to seeing my husband become a gramps and strive to be like his dad.

 

family This family picture is worth gold now!  (look how handsome at 92 he was too!!)

Gramps had a saying that will live on forever in our family … “Give ’em hell”.  It meant to give it your all!   In his memory we will carry on and give life hell.   Anytime we smell a cigar we will smile and think of the many happy moments he had on the front porch smoking one.  Every spring when we see tulips bloom we will think of the many tulips he grew in the front flower bed.  As we see wonderment in Ellie’s eyes we will think of him with his parents and siblings enjoying Heaven.  My husband and his siblings will never get over losing him but they know he lives on in each of their children, (future) grand-children and themselves.

George Curosh the world was truly a better place because you had been here!!  Thank you for my wonderful husband & kids and the legacy you have left behind in them!  Thank you for being YOU!

From his obituary:
George Curosh was born on March 2, 1920 in Whiting, Indiana to John and Mary (Pihulic) Curosh. He was a lifelong resident and a graduate of Whiting High School, Class of 1939. He was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Whiting where he had served as an usher for many years. George was a proud WWII, US Army Veteran attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant and had served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre in China, Burma and India. He was a member of the American Legion, Whiting Post 80 (memorial service Tuesday at 6:00pm). He was a 73 year member of the Knights of Columbus, Pope John XXIII Council 1696 (prayers Tuesday at 7:00pm) and was a member of the Fourth Degree Abraham Lincoln General Assembly. George was a past president of the Whiting Little League and was a member of the Fire Merit Board. He was a retiree of the Standard Oil (BP Amoco) Whiting Refinery with a service of 40 years.  George was an avid Whiting High School and Chicago White Sox Fan. He was proud to have lived long enough to watch his granddaughter’s WHS softball team win the State Championship and the White Sox win the World Series!  We are blessed to have had the best husband, dad and gramps in the world! In lieu of flowers, memorials to the St. John School Endowment Fund would be appreciated.  Gramps, like you always told us, “Give ‘em hell!”

a and dad

Dad wearing his favorite Oilers hat 🙂

 

A Facebook friend posted this song last week and just so fitting ….beautiful song called Dancing in the Sky!  I know he is dancing in the sky and playing like a kid with his siblings! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNoLJy68ZcE

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1 Comment

  1. Linda
    Aug 6, 2013

    What a wonderful tribute to Dad! Julie, I have tears streaming down my face as I read it. You captured him so beautifully and I am sure he is smiling down on all of us. We are all so blessed to have had him in our lives.

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