Born in 1925, my father was taught survival at an early age, growing up on the Brooklyn streets during this country’s Great Depression in the 1930s.  To help support his family, His first job, at the age of TEN, going into bars and shining shoes.

Dad was self-educated, streetwise and tough, he left high school, dropped out so he could serve our country in World War II.

Aboard the troop transport New Jersey, the ship was caught in a fast-approaching Typhoon, dad volunteered to go topside to make sure no soldiers were locked out for that all hatches were secured. He found soldiers directed them below, searched again, when the deck was clear, he returned to go below only to find himself then locked out.

With thirty-foot waves hitting the ship, He tied himself to a mast and road out the storm. Weeks later waking in a hospital, not knowing who he was. His memory came back, but he had to learn to read and write all over again. He was deemed a hero. Indeed a man of Country.

He married the love of his life, my mother, and were married for SIXTY years.

Dad supported our family by working behind a Sanitation Truck, extreme work at the time, He took me with him on the truck route with him a couple of times, impossible nowadays, I watched him as he picked up steel garbage cans full to the top with coal ash from apartment building and schools. A powerful man. Indeed a man of Family.

While working the sanitation, dad held a second job delivering furniture to homes and Beer Kegs to bars. In between, studied and passed the f.9.rm. o.§ test, he became a supervisor. He told me how difficult it was in the beginning to now tell, his coworkers, friends what to do. He adjusted.

He taught me when challenged, let them know what you’re made of, fight the fight, win or lose, then”forgive• them, and or, ask to be forgiven. True friends the bond will be stronger than ever. 

He told me that GOD will not be outdone in generosity, and how important it is to live in Gods footsteps. That the Bible

Once retired, he became a volunteer at the Church for thirty years, an Usher, even doing maintenance. Indeed a man of GOD.

On January, one week shy of FIVE months ago, dad was admitted to the hospital, I was told he wasn’t going to make it through the night. St .Q) r.- sent Father Brennen, to administer Last Rights.

Six more times the doctors communicated to the family that dad had but days left, each time dad proved them wrong,

Memorial day, I visited my father, I told him what a wonderful man that he is, that he was the perfect father, and did a wonderful job raising our family. That he is my best friend, my mentor, and hero. I told him that he taught me everything I need to know and more. That everything good about me is from him. I said dad, you were challenged and you showed ALL especially the doctors what you are made of. Your terms dad, you did this on your terms and nobody else, you have nothing more to prove, you are a great man am I’m so proud to have you as my father.

I said the Drops of Blood Lords Prayer, kissed him, He left us to join my mother, and the Lord God that night in his sleep. 

Lord Bless and welcome this great man into your Kingdom.

There will never again, be a man, more dedicated to you my Lord. To God to Country To family. I say this with uninterrupted pain.

He may be gone, but who he is will never end. 

For this man is the reason for who I am.

Richard Gillings 1925 - 2019

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