Bruce B. Fewel
16 September 1920 - 12 February 2012
My grandfather died last night.
Bruce B. Fewel was born in 1920 in Hood River, Oregon. The youngest of nine children, he joined the US Navy in World War 2 and fought for the United States in the pacific theatre as a communications officer on a PT boat. In addition to his duties, he wrote letters for those on the ship who could not read and write, and read them the letters they got in return.
He had many jobs in his life. He was a car salesman, a Greyhound bus driver, and for many years he owned and ran a Mobile Home sales and service company in Lower Lake, California.
My grandfather could put the fear into me with only a word. For a lot of my life, I was scared of him, but I loved him fiercely. He had a great laugh. Having grown up in the depression, he was generous to a fault. From him I learned to make awesome steak au poivre. I did not inherit his love of prime rib, which he never really forgave me for. And his recipe for the orange fruit salad we call Orange Death is now mine, as is the traditional bowl, so this tasty treat may still be prepared according to the ancient ways.
I knew this was coming, but that doesn't make it any easier. Before his stroke in 2009, we used to sit and talk; he told me stories of my mother, and the War, and my grandmother. When his stroke robbed him of he ability to speak, we just sat. He'd occasionally try to tell me something, then get frustrated. It was heartbreaking.
I loved him, and I will miss him. With his death my world gets dimmer.