There’s no limit to grieving the loss of a loved one. It’s an ache that fades with time, but can resurface at any moment, sometimes even stronger than before. I look at this photo of Matt’s Grandpa Verl and I’m immediately drawn to tears. Even in a photo of the photo in low lighting his eyes are so alive. He looks as though he’s just won the first prize. In fact, you could say he had. This was his wedding day.
See, Grandpa Verl’s brother, Joe, married Verl’s wife’s sister, Jackie. Is that confusing? Basically two brothers married two sisters, then purchased adjoining farms and lived happily ever after. The result is a close-knit family with excellent bone structure. Grandpa Verl was laid to rest in a beautiful Catholic ceremony. He looked so peaceful, as though he was only blinking.
His obituary: (source)
Verl John Leonetti (August 19, 1927 – February 18, 2015)
Lifelong resident Verl J. Leonetti passed away Feb. 18, 2015, at Mattie’s Group Home in College Place.
Verl was born Aug. 19, 1927, in Walla Walla to Giovanni Leonetti and Assuntina Cinnanite Leonetti. He attended Prospect Point Elementary and Walla Walla High School. Verl met his wife, Mary, at church in Milton-Freewater. They were married March 12, 1949, at St. Francis Rectory in Walla Walla. Verl served in the Army in 1945 in the occupation of Japan.
Verl enjoyed spending time with his family and loved his dog, Itty Bitty. He lived on his family’s farm and liked to sit outside in the warmer weather and look at the Blue Mountains. He enjoyed doing word searches that kept his mind active. He also loved wrestling whether live or on television.
Verl worked at Rogers Cannery and retired from there after 47 years. He worked on the family truck garden at the farm where they raised vegetables, etc. Verl is survived by his three children; sons, John Leonetti (Sandi) and Mike Leonetti; daughter, Kathy Leonetti; brother, Joe Leonetti, all of Walla Walla; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Leonetti; brother, Frank Leonetti, who was killed in action during World War II; his sister, Natalie Sumerlin; and his parents.
Viewing and visitation will be held on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla. The funeral service will be held on Monday, Feb. 23, 2015, at 2 p.m., also at the funeral home with Father Brian Sattler officiating. Interment will follow at Mountain View Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Walla Walla Community Hospice through the funeral home.
It’s hard to imagine Grandpa without Itty Bitty. Pictured here with Uncle John, you can tell he needed a hug.
This is kind of strange to say, and to feel, but this particular grief is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever experienced. Seeing all the family come together in the same place Verl was born, cars lined the driveway, everyone sharing stories. My husband is manly and tough, but sensitive and caring. Even when I thought I knew that about him, seeing him confront his grief was sad and difficult, but beautiful. I felt lucky to be there. We got to go up in the attic where we found all sorts of treasures: an armadillo puzzle, a calendar up on the wall turned to February 1971 and a dead bird. The spread was fantastic, especially Dan’s Famous Salad. Yum-my and well paprika’d.
So, if you’re wondering where all the rest of February went, that’s it. Between school, work and traveling things have definitely not been dull around here. That said, I have a whole heap of posts to share with you. Stay tuned, y’all.