Hi there…Annie here. So, today we’re doing something a little bit different; we’re dedicating this post and this day to my Grandfather, George Curtis Tunnell. He was born on January 8, 1910 and passed away on May 27, 2011. Apart from all that, he was just a great man and today we will go to his funeral. We won’t be mourning his death as much as we will be celebrating his life. After all, death is saddest for those that get left behind to miss the dear one that is no longer with us.
My Grandpa was one of those men that you noticed when he walked in a room, he was tall; 6’ 2”, good looking with bright blue eyes and a great smile. He was sharp…and I don’t just mean smart, but witty, sarcastic in an intelligent way, and self-educated about politics, current events, finances, and business. He came from a pioneering family in Santa Maria, but also from very meager beginnings. Armed with just a high school education and a life of working the family farm, he started his own roofing company in 1949 out of his living room. He took that business, along with a set of growing investments in real estate and turned it all into an estate worth being incredibly proud of. My Dad ran the roofing company for many years, and now my older brother, John runs it.
Along with all that good business savvy, he was just a neat man. He was an incredible Grandfather. He commanded respect; we never questioned him, we looked up to him and listened to what he said. We tried our hardest to make him laugh and we listened to his stories. His laugh…I’ll miss that. It was deep and genuine and would make anybody want to join in. He took great care of his family, sure he made some mistakes and wasn’t perfect, but who really is? I could go on with stories that demonstrate all of these traits, but I don’t think all that would fit on this page.
Everybody has a Grandparent that made a mark on their life, right? Well, so did I! I learned about the importance of hard work and I learned that being honest and having integrity is just as important as taking responsibility for your actions. I learned to be respectful and use my manners (this might have been more from my Grandmother) and to act like a lady. I learned to stand up for my beliefs, not to talk back unless you really have something to say, and to be confident in what I do.
My Grandpa called me “Annie Pie” and he’d smile when he said it. So, here’s to you, Grandpa! I’ll miss you with all my heart and can’t wait to see you again someday. Thank you for all the things you did for us, your family and the wonderful legacy that you created. I’ll do my best to make you proud.
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