My parents were such a big part of my life, as most parents are to their children, when they passed away it left quite a void that I’m quite sure will be there for the rest of my life.
My two oldest children were fortunate enough to get know them and will always benefit from that interaction. My youngest son never got a chance to meet them, so he’ll have to learn about them through our memories.
What’s really amazing, and really crappy at the same time is that you don’t even know what you don’t know about your parents until their gone. Suddenly things you wanted to find out more about at some point, but thought “No big deal, I’m too busy to get into it now, we’ll talk about it later”, becomes put on hold indefinitely.
Information about your own history, about their lives growing up, relatives, etc., get lost because you think I don’t really have to “learn” all that and internalize it myself, when I have a question I’ll just ask my parents… Until all of a sudden they’re not there anymore and you have no one to ask. You seem to grow up overnight when that happens… It happens to everyone at one point or another, and it will happen to my children too… but damn it would be nice to hit the rewind button once in a while, or have a hot-line to heaven so you could pick up the phone and get some quick advice. 🙂
My father, Chief Scott W. Rees, Jr. passed away 8 short months after my mother passed away. My parents were such a big influence on me, my friends and everyone who knew them. They were full of acceptance, integrity, honesty and grace. Everyone who knew them loved them, and once you were their friend – you were their friend for life. They were very loyal people who enjoyed life’s simple pleasures, and making others feel warm and welcome. If I can grow to be half the person they were, I will have truly accomplished something.
The funny thing is, I think most of their great qualities skipped a generation! I can see a lot of my parents qualities and values instilled in my children, and I’m so very grateful for it.
The following is a copy of my father’s obituary that appeared in the News Journal:
Chief of Police Scott W. Rees, Jr. (Ret.) passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, May 29th, after a brief illness. Chief Rees is the son of former State Representative Scott W. Rees, Sr. and Carrie Anna Shaller and life long New Castle area resident.
Chief Rees was a veteran of WWII serving in the U.S. Navy and received an associate degree in advertising from Goldey Beacom College under the G.I. bill. In 1951, he started his law enforcement career as a police officer in New Castle City. In 1952, Chief Rees started with the Delaware Memorial Bridge Police as a patrolman and was quickly placed in charge at the rank of sergeant. He rose through the ranks as the DRBA’s first sergeant, first lieutenant, first captain and only Chief of Police until he retired in 1991. The rank of Chief of Police was established by DRBA General Manager James Harkins.
During his law enforcement career, Chief Rees attended Northwestern University in Michigan for traffic accident investigation, was a life time member of the International Association Chief’s of Police, a member of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association, the Delaware Safety Council, the Southern New Jersey Chief’s Association, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Police Chief’s association and helped found the Delaware Association of Chief’s of Police, where he served as President.
The Delaware Association of Chief’s of Police became the Delaware Police Chief’s council of which he was a life member. He also helped establish the Delaware Police Chief’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to raising funds for police departments in need of resources. He was awarded the first life membership in that organization this past May. At one point Chief Rees and his son Scott were the only father and son Chief’s of Police in the nation. Chief Rees also established the DRBA Federal Credit Union and served as its president for many years. When Chief Rees retired from the Delaware River and Bay Authority in 1991 after a thirty nine year career, he had one of the longest Police service records in the country.
Chief Rees is pre-deceased by his wife of 54 years Adele who passed in October of 2003. He was a loving and kind father who is survived by his three sons, Chief Scott W. Rees III (Ret.), Frederick (Rick) Rees, and Christopher Rees. Chief Rees also is survived by eight grandchildren and three great grand children.