My Uncle, R W Moffett, died last Thursday. To most of you this won't mean a thing, until I tell you that he was one of the wittiest men I've ever known and as tough as any Scotsman who's ever walked this earth. Though he was American through and through, Scotland was his heritage way back when.

The Moffetts were among the first Scots-Irish to settle the Shenandoah Valley where RW lived until the day he died. As do I with that same intention. He was a WWII vet who fought in some of the fiercest battles in the South Pacific and was honored with medals, but rarely spoke of the war. Never to me. To the women he was all civility.

A man's man, he was a farmer who loved to hunt, fish, and tell bawdy tales. He knew every ridge of his beloved Blue Ridge Mountains. A crack shot, he's quoted as saying, 'your aims improves when your target fires back. ' A sobering thought only a soldier can truly understand. Odd, that RW died not long after Memorial Day.

No one who knew RW had anything but respect for him. One sharp look from him and even small children came to attention. But they--we--loved him. He could be gruff but he was kind. A person's rank in life didn't impress him, only their character.

At his funeral, I realized we were burying a legend. The irony of it is that he detested lengthy services and his went on and on with fond remembrances. Then the lights dimmed as if to clue the speaker it was time to wind things up. Only, no one dimmed those lights. RW, maybe?

Most of all, he was married to my dear aunt for 60 yrs and had a deeply loving relationship. That's an achievement in itself. His passing has sent me into a pensive frame of mind as I think of all the grand folks who have gone before me and how blessed I am to have known them. I believe they are still with me, somehow, in spirit. And that I will see them again someday on the other side.

12 comments

  1. C.J. Redwine // June 4, 2008 at 5:05 PM  

    What a beautiful tribute to a man who left a lasting legacy. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Beth Trissel // June 4, 2008 at 5:25 PM  

    Thanks C.J. I appreciate your reading it. I think it's the ultimate irony to post a piece about this man on The Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers Blog. Such femininity. :)

  3. Nightingale // June 4, 2008 at 8:24 PM  

    I'm sure he's delighted with such a lovely tribute, Beth. You are so rooted in family in VA soil.

    My dad was such a man--a legend who took my friends and me swimming when we were young and when I decided I must have an XKE, he was the man who helped me get it.

    He was a WWII vet too. So sad men like that aren't around anymore. It is sad to see the passing of a singular generation.

  4. Beth Trissel // June 4, 2008 at 8:27 PM  

    Truly. Thanks for sharing about your father, Linda.

  5. Mary Marvella // June 4, 2008 at 10:37 PM  

    Lovely! I wrote about my dad but couldn't write about my mom, though.

  6. Beth Trissel // June 5, 2008 at 7:29 AM  

    Maybe someday you will, Mary.

  7. Joanne // June 5, 2008 at 9:45 AM  

    Beautiful tribute to a very great man, Beth. It was a pleasure readng about your uncle.

  8. Pamela Winger // June 5, 2008 at 11:08 AM  

    Sounds like a wonderful guy.

    Hmmm. My computer monitor just dimmed. Maybe he's shaking his head in amusement at all this attention. :)

  9. Beth Trissel // June 5, 2008 at 3:37 PM  

    :) Thanks Pam and Joanne. I'm sure he would consider this all too much.
    And tell me to get on with it.

  10. Helen Scott Taylor // June 5, 2008 at 5:41 PM  

    Beth, so sorry to hear about your Uncle. It does sound as though he was a man who lived life to the full and had the love and respect of those around him. Your blog is a lovely tribute.

  11. Beth Trissel // June 6, 2008 at 11:41 AM  

    Thanks Helen. He was, and this tribute seemed a fitting thing to do.

  12. Misc. Muse // June 12, 2008 at 8:15 PM  

    Great Tribute.