My Daddy died on Sunday.
While there really are no words to describe the grief and sorrow that we feel from his passing from this world, there are words, and here are some of them.
Bill March, the man, the myth, the legend, was born William Frederick March at the York Hospital on February 4, 1937. He was so tiny his mother, Marie, brought him home in a cigar box. He was the youngest of eight children and was brought up by his siblings after his dad left and his mother died early in his youth.
He actually DID walk to school several miles in the snow both ways! (he showed us once).
He was a natural athlete and, according to the many stories and the number of people who have mentioned it, he played basketball with everyone in York County.
He began weightlifting in his late teens and made quite the impression on Bob Hoffman and Dick Smith who were his trainer and manager. They trained and managed and lifted weights all over the world together. There was that one time at the Tokyo Olympics where he tied for third place and took fourth (because he weighed more). Or that one time, where on a whim he entered a bodybuilding contest and won.
How about that world record he held! Of, there was that time when he went to a club in downtown York and saw two pretty young ladies. He asked one of them to dance but his offer was declined so he turned to the other and said, "Well, I guess I'll dance with you." Fifty-five years later, Sherry (Shreve) March and her Willie were still "dancing together," at least in spirit.
Then there was the accomplishment that was most dear to him. His family. He became Dad to Philip Alan Grim II upon meeting Sherry. He then welcomed his three children with Sherry . . . Rebecca, Jason and Erin.
All of his awards and accolades were a fair second to his wife and children. He was present for boy scouts, and little league, and gymnastics, and endless swim meets. He taught back handsprings and back tucks in the back yard in his 50s!
A herd sneeze or a full belly laugh sent him backwards in his recliner, with his feet pointing to the ceiling and his side hurting from laughter.
He was predictable. He had "his way" of doing things, a man of routine. He always sneezed three times. And always said, "It must have been the pepper."
He had that one spot on his back that always itched.
While working at Consolidated Freight, he loaded a tractor trailer so full that when it reached its destination the receivers sent a message to say the shipment had arrived but they needed "the gorilla that loaded it" to come help unload it.
He spent almost 30 years as an employee of Apple Chevrolet. He golfed, he played poker, he made friends everywhere, and he was his children's biggest fan.
His antics were legendary. His sayings were infamous. In his old age, his favorite pastimes included overfeeding Malloga, Cleo and Albus (the dogs), yelling at Typsy and Cyrus (the cats), cheering on (sometimes yelling at) the Steelers, watching NCIS or The Western Channel, and annoying his wife. He did that last part on purpose and would chuckle when he got the response he wanted.
Life at the homestead on Ridge Rd. will never be quite the same without his usual greeting of, "go away" or "not you again."
It won't be the same without him sitting in his recliner, remote in hand. Which, by the way, was one of the ways we were told to deal with his body once he left this world. We could either stuff him and let him sit in his recliner or put him out in the garbage tote for the garbage men to haul away.
We chose neither of these options. Dad will be cremated by Cocklin funeral home in Dillsburg, PA. Some of the ashes will go to Erin and family in Oregon. The rest, well, we haven't decided yet . . . the Rocky statue? York Barbell? A golf course? There are many possibilities.
Dad hated funerals so we decided on not having a public service.
Dad was a partner at LCBC York. He was a Jesus lover and believer and we know he is in Heaven celebrating with HIM and living his best eternal life.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to his poorest child, Rebecca.
(Just joking . . . kinda).
Enjoy Your Lifting!