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Remembering my father

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Remembering my father

Last week I wrote about how my good friend, Ardy Germann, was losing her battle with myeloma:

Sometimes it can be difficult to focus on positive things…


I learned last evening that Ardy had died over the weekend.  Such a special, caring person.  Ardy, you will be missed.

Obituaries only provide a sketchy outline of a person’s past life.  Most everyone feels that their parent(s) are special.  But Ted Killingsworth really was an exceptional man.  Before I gush and reminisce, allow me share my father’s outline; his obituary from the local Rockford, Illinois newspaper:

Ted E Killingsworth

 June 28, 1922 – July 26, 2013

Dad obitTed E. Killingsworth, 91 of Rockford died Friday, July 26, 2013 in his home. Born June 28, 1922 in Ellenton, South Carolina, the son of Ted and Bertha Killingsworth the eldest of their three sons which include Leo and Alan. He was an engineering graduate at Clemson University where he was student council president and sang in the school musicals. Ted was a captain in the Air Force during World War II serving in the Philippines.

Upon discharge he attended law school at the University of Utah. After working in the patent department in Washington, DC he joined an Intellectual Property law firm in Chicago, later moving to Rockford to work for Sundstrand Corporation in 1974 as their patent council.  He loved his family and playing golf at Forest Hills Country Club. He served on committees at Court Street United Methodist Church and Wesley Willows Retirement Home.

Survivors include his wife, Jean of Rockford; children, Patrick (Pattie) Killingsworth, John (Leslie) Munger, Margaret Killingsworth and Joan (Tim) Camper all of whom loved and respected him. He also leaves behind his six fabulous grandsons, Matt, Tom, Andy, Tim, Ted and Grant who adored him in return. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Leo and Alan.

His Memorial service will be Friday, August 2, 2013 at Wesley Willows in the chapel, 4141 N. Rockton Ave. at 2 p.m. Inurnment will be held at a later date at the Winnetka Congregational Church. In lieu of flowers memorials to Wesley Willows Good Samaritan Fund.

Well over 150 people attended Dad’s memorial service last Friday afternoon.  It was standing room only inside and out of a chapel that seated 80.  Several ministers spoke, as well as a half dozen friends and family members.  As his oldest son I led the way, recounting how he had worn the same jacket around the house since I was a kid.  I brought his favorite jacket up to the podium with me–a brown thread-worn quilted coat he wore as recently as last month.

To me it represented his conservative, unwavering nature.  A voracious reader, my father worked well into his 70’s.  Never pretentious, Dad was steadfast and reliable.  Bigger than life to a small boy like me, he stood 6’3” tall and weighed close to 200 pounds.  As large as he was, Dad  was always gentle–but you didn’t want to cross him!

Tomorrow I would like to provide a few more details about why I revered my father.  I was also able to dig-up a few digital pictures I can share with you, too.

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat