This morning, the world lost a good and caring man with the passing of Harlan Witt Jr.
Grandpa served his country in World War II, was a small business owner, mechanic, father, and was the kind of person who would always look out for your best interest and would always have your back. He was not a story seller or much of a talker, but was genuine being and who had a calm heart. He was not the one who always garnered attention in a room, but he left his imprint on all of us.
I was his oldest grandson and to me he was an indelible father figure. When I was young, he was larger then life; Grandpa could fix almost anything, he had the strength of an ox, and encouraged me to be more adventurous. I maybe have never truly appreciated those moments as I should have, but appreciation is a trait learned from the passage of time. Even toward the end, I could see that twinkle in his eyes that always displayed the loving affection he had for his grandchildren. I value every moment I had with Grandpa as a unique treasure. His life serves as an example to me of how one can build themselves up in life, raise a good family, and be an solid member of society and a vibrant Iowa. Although Harlan is no longer with us, our joint memories of him remain. It is those memories that help to guide us, inspire us, and remember a good and decent human being.
I love you Grandpa.