Sunday, March 15, 2009

Remembering... Grandpa Cecil

Cecil Earl Wadsworth

WADSWORTH - Cecil Earl Wadsworth passed away peacefully on March 14th, 2009, at age 92, in Grand Rapids, MI. He was born June 6, 1916 to Reuben and Mabel Johnson Wadsworth in Sturgis, MI. Preceding him in death was his beloved wife, Nellie, son-in-law, Sylvan Babcock, and grandson, Cory Wadsworth. He is survived by his children, David (Pam Streeter), Charlene (George Miller), Dianna (Sylvan Babcock), Linda (Andre Robinson), Trent (Judy Genson), and G. Richard (Kim Biel); his sister, Marietta Stevens of Sturgis; half sisters, Maxine Taylor of Arizona, Shirley Davidson of Fairborn, OH, two half brothers, Randy (Shirley) Wadsworth of Sturgis, MI, and John (JoAnn) Jensen of Ft. Gratiot, MI; 20 grandchildren, and 25 great grandchildren. Cecil was a World War II veteran, serving in the Seabees, worked many years as a new car salesman, and later at Roger's Department Store. He was known for his artistic talents, painting murals and many country landscapes. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, March 18, 3 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 2780 Leonard St. NE, Grand Rapids attended by Memorial Alternatives. The family will greet friends at 2 p.m. Interment will be at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens.

from the Grand Rapids Press, March 15, 2009

I will remember how much my Grandpa loved Grandma Nellie. Whenever he couldn't be with her, he would build something for her. They were engaged for 7 years (while she was trying to decided whether or not to leave the Catholic Church and be baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.) During that 7 year engagement he built her an armoire that she used the rest of her life- and told stories about how her sister damaged the tops of the doors by hanging hangers on it! When she went on trips without him, he would surprise her with some new thing he created. I think my grandpa could build or fix anything- and he could paint anything too. Once he and Grandma stayed with us while my folks were out of town. I had a rock collection project due. He painted the background of it with an erupting volcano. ( I didn't do very well at the rock identification, but it looked pretty cool.)

I will remember the farm where he seemed to be endlessly working in the barn- fixing cars, or in the woodshed, sawing away on some new project, or in the house painting another mural. He moved much more slowly than Grandma did,( we all moved more slowly than Grandma!) but he was a hard worker. He also loved to dance with Grandma. Always sweet memories thinking of the two of them dancing together... it made her so happy. He and Grandma served 3 missions together for our church-

New York City Visitors Center (now the Manhattan, NY Temple) where we visited them and experienced New York City for the first time,

Washington DC Temple where we visited them and I was able to do baptisms for the first time,

and Nauvoo, IL where the whole Grand Rapids Stake Girls Camp went that summer and Grandpa made Nauvoo bricks for each of us girls.

Most of all I think I will remember how after Grandma passed away unexpectedly 9 years ago, how Grandpa appeared to be totally immersed in the scriptures. Any time we would visit, I would find his scriptures and other church books laid open with note books of his notes. It seems to me he was at it again,creating something for Grandma. He seemed to be doing the best he knew how to make himself a better person...in hopes of being reunited with her again some day. I think she was just "tickled" to see him again the other night. And I hope they got to dance.

(Grandpa Cecil, Grandma Nellie, and Sunny at Holly's wedding)

10 comments:

Heidi said...

Oh, Nikki. I am sorry and happy for your grandpa all at once. I am sure he and your grandma were really excited to be together again.

I remember the bricks from Girls Camp and I still have mine! He was so patient with us. I know I was a really giggly girl there. :)

Greg Garrick said...

I'm certain he and Nellie are still dancing

Shan said...

I enjoyed seeing the pictures of your grandparents again. They are so sweet and I can only imagine their happy reunion. Didn't we have a nickname for her cause she had sooo much energy??
Sorry for your loss Nik..love you much!

The Stone Family said...

What a sweet reunion they must be enjoying! What a life they have led! What legacy they have left behind. May you be comforted by all of the wonderful memories you have with them during this bittersweet time

Sunny said...

Beautiful Nik! Really...so so beautiful. Maybe he'll make a rainbow for us. Remember that song? So glad he's back with Grandma.

Jill said...

92 years is a long time to live, good for him!

Jenn said...

Thank you for sharing this nice tribute with us.

Dad said...

Yes, thank you dear daughter. That was very special! It reflected some of the kinds of things that your Aunt Char mentioned in her Eulogy. I will try to get her to share it all with you. It was very good. And thank you for the beautiful flowers & prayerful support.

Leanne said...

What a beautiful post Nikki. I learned some new things about your grandparents.

I wasn't able to go to the funeral since my car was being fixed, but I was certainly thinking about your family.

Robyn said...

What a sweet post about your Grandpa. He sounds like a sweet guy. I am impressed by the 7 yr engagement. He must have really loved her to be so patient! This was a nice tribute to him.