Saturday, January 28, 2012

David's Grandpa

In memory of Arthur Eugene "Gene" Whillock.  
December 31, 1933 - January 23, 2012
Husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend, and Cardinal fan.

Gene spent his childhood barefoot and wearing overalls.  He looks so cute in this picture, but he actually had a very rough childhood.  As David's grandma says, he just didn't have anybody to ever say they loved him.  He left home at age 14  and made his own way in the world.  He grew up to be the kind of dad and grandpa that he never had.

This is how he looked around the time he met David's grandma.  Peggy remembers that little curl on his forehead.  She found it pretty irresistible.
Our favorite picture of David's grandparents.  His grandpa is such a flirt.

At their wedding.  David's grandma embarrassed both of us yesterday by telling us that his grandpa was a "perfect gentleman" before their wedding.  Unlike some of her other boyfriends who "just wanted to make out"!

David, his grandpa, his aunt Lana, and his grandpa's sideburns.  Those sideburns can practically stand alone.  I love David's little overalls.  And his blonde hair!

Family photo, sometime in the early '80s.  I love David's sassy hand on the hip, and his cowboy boots.  He was so proud to be dressed just like Grandpa.  The sideburns are still rocking.

David and two people who think the sun rises and sets in him.  We love the pocket protector, too.

My miniature golf buddy.

Hanging out on the back porch after working in the yard.  Little Mac claimed her own chair (typical).
Breaking the rules at Grandma's house--no dogs EVER allowed on the furniture!  Sometimes Gramps makes his own rules.

53 years of marriage, sparks still flying.

Last year, David gave his grandpa a personalized bat from the Louisville Slugger factory.  No grandson could have been prouder of his grandpa, and no grandpa could have been prouder of his grandson.
Two Cardinal fans, heading to another game.
There's just nobody quite like Gene.  He was funny and ornery and generous and kind.  He was quite the storyteller, and even though he couldn't always express his emotions, he was a tender-hearted guy who would have done anything for anyone in his family.  We're all going to miss him, but I know that it's especially hard for David's grandma (they were married for 53 years) and for David, who had to say good-bye to his biggest fan, his fishing buddy, and one of his favorite people in the world.  Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.


  1. Keeping you guys in my thoughts and prayers. David looks a lot like his grandfather.

  2. Such a sweet post. I am so sorry for your loss. He sounds like a great man.

  3. So sorry for your family's loss. This post is a lovely tribute to a wonderful man.

  4. I'm so sorry. What a beautiful tribute your post is. Please give your hubby a squeeze from me, a stranger...

  5. I'm so sorry Brooke. May you all be comforted by these wonderful memories of this wonderful man. Lots of love to your family.

  6. So very sorry for your family's loss. Gene was so very handsome and sounds like such a wonderful man. And who could argue with the awesomeness of those sideburns?!

    All my love to your husband and his entire family xo

  7. Gene seems like an amazing man. I know David will miss him dearly. My grandmother was one of my best friends and when she died there was a huge hole in my heart and life. I hope David is comforted by all the wonderful memories he has....I only wish Gene could have met Eliza.

  8. Love those pictures. What a wonderful love story and history.

  9. Gene's a handsome man to to end. :)

    A lovely tribute. And the sun rising and setting on David? Makes me heart melt. :)

    Thinking of your family

  10. Such a precious post that truly honors his memory. I am all teary with smiles at what looks like a beautiful life that has now joined your daughter.. may they smile upon David and you together...

  11. Oh Brooke, I am so sorry for your and David's loss. I am always so impressed with people who had really tough childhoods, and grow up to be the type of parent they wished they had had. Imagine how difficult that must be when you didn't have a good role model of your own. I think that has to be the highest level of success you can reach.
    Thank you for sharing those photos, and those memories.
    Sending love and comfort at this most difficult time.