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RedsBaron
08-17-2008, 08:18 PM
More than five years ago, back while political debates still raged on RedsZone, I started a thread, long vanished after the board crashed, about how all of us were ignorant, just on different subjects. I used as an example a man I called "Howard" to illustrate that while I had more formal education than Howard, he was the wiser and better man. I still have part of that post:
"Howard is a carpenter, a farmer, a mechanic, a builder. He knows so much more about those subjects than me, subjects in which I am ignorant. He is much better read in the Bible than me and has been a superb Sunday School teacher and mentor of younger people for a half century. He has infinitely more knowledge about hunting and fishing and nature than I will ever have. He is an excellent father, successfully raising four childen, while I am a work in progress who needs more work. He is a man of compassion and dedication and I admire him greatly."
"Howard" was a real person--Howard "Arbuckle" Thompson. Yesterday he died at age 87. I have just returned from visitation at the local funeral home. I met with his four children, saw his grandkids, and looked at photographs of his life. I knew he had been a paratrooper, but for the first time I saw photos of him in uniform during WWII. His daughter said he never talked about the war much, but he had once mentioned a jump in which numerous paratroopers landed in water and drowned, which made me wonder if he participated in the jumps during D-Day, because that very thing occurred.
Howard was a member of what Tom Brokaw termed "The Greatest Generation." I don't know if that title is accurate, but Howard himself, with probably little more than an elementary school education, was as great man as I have known.
Excuse me this indulgence. While we do post obits here of the famous, I fully realize that no one else here knew of Howard---but he meant more to me, and was a better person, than many of the rich and famous whose passings we note here.

Yachtzee
08-17-2008, 08:22 PM
My condolences, RedsBaron. Howard sounds like he was truly a special person.

GoReds33
08-17-2008, 08:31 PM
That was very sad. My heart is with you RB.

Joseph
08-17-2008, 08:55 PM
I am very sorry to hear that RB.

RFS62
08-17-2008, 09:01 PM
"Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love." ~ Martin Luther King


My condolences, RedsBaron.

RedFanAlways1966
08-17-2008, 09:14 PM
Howard seemed to be a great person. I am sure his family (and obviously his friends like RB) are blessed to have known Howard. May he rest in peace.

durl
08-18-2008, 10:28 AM
I'd like to share my condolences, as well. Howard sounds like a great man.

I wish more people could meet men like Howard and learn from them as you have. Your words have "refreshed" what our pastor spoke about yesterday. We have a responsibility to the younger generation. Times may change and young people may do things differently but there are some truths to which they need to adhere and it's our role to teach them.

RANDY IN INDY
08-18-2008, 11:53 AM
RedsBaron,

I have known a few people like Howard Thompson, having grown up in the same area as you. They are a vanishing breed. People who had little formal education, but so well versed in how to live life, and practically geniuses in certain areas or endeavors. Knowing a few of those very special people has given me a great lesson on not "judging a book by its cover." There are so many people in this world that have so much too offer, regardless of their lack of education or degrees. To dismiss these people, based only on their lack of possessing "a piece of paper," is one of the greatest sins that can be committed. I value having known a few of these very special people and the lessons learned from them, maybe, more than any education that I ever received.