Today, June 18, Father’s Day, is a very sad day for me. You see, my beloved father, Harry Dahl, passed away on April 23 and, of course, this is my first Father’s Day without him. Although my father was 94 years old, his death was very sudden. His health up to the time of his death was quite good. His doctor said he had the heart of a young man.
Dad married my mom when I was 5 years old. A few years later, my wonderful brother Bobby was born. We were living in Brockton, Mont., where Dad was teaching school.
We later moved to Miles City, Mont., where Dad taught classes as well as attending school to learn railroad telegraphy. When I was in the fourth grade, we moved to Lemon, S.D., where Dad worked as a railroad telegrapher. A short time later, Dad bid on a position in McIntosh, S.D. While we lived there (we were there for about eight years), Dad taught school from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then worked as a railroad telegrapher until 11 p.m. It was while living in McIntosh that my younger brother Duane was born.
We lived in McIntosh until 1951, when we moved to Rhame, N.D., where Dad continued his position as railroad telegrapher.
My folks had a special kind of love. They were always so happy together. In later years, Mom had Alzheimer’s and Dad took care of her, which was quite a job. My beautiful mother passed in 1985.
Mom and Dad were members of the Snoqualmie United Methodist Church. Dad has a younger sister, Aunt Gladys, who is living in a nursing home in North Dakota. They were always so close. They talked to each other a lot on the phone. She misses him so much.
Dad was very musical. While living in McIntosh one year, he was the instructor for the band, as well as the regular classes he taught. He was able to play every instrument, which was no little thing. In later years, the folks bought an organ and Dad taught himself to play that. He was very good. I can still see him playing the organ and Mom singing and dancing.
Mom and Dad were close friends with Marge and Harvey Serfass. They liked to get together and have dinner followed by some pinochle, the men versus the women, naturally.
Mom and Dad had lived in North Bend since the late ’70s. After Mom passed, Dad moved to an apartment complex, and from there to assisted living. Dad was active at the senior center. He enjoyed meeting with all of his friends there. Sometimes they would play pool and at special times, Dad would let himself be coaxed into playing the organ for them, which everyone enjoyed.
It was at this time that he was forced to get around in a wheelchair. Later he moved to a private home in Bellevue, where they cared for him and four others. He was there but a short while when he moved to California, where he lived with family.
I used to call Dad every other day and sometimes more often. I miss those calls so much. Before each Mariners baseball game I would call him so we could watch the game “together.”
Happy Father’s Day Poppa – I miss you so much. Your loving daughter.