Tag Archives: Grandparents

91 Years of Greatness and 70 Years of Devotion…

Today my favorite farmer and I are in Florida celebrating the life of a wonderful man.  I like to laugh that when God created Hank McCall, he threw away the mold.  My grandfather lived for 91 years of greatness, and spent 70 of those years being married to his soul mate.

A lifetime of memories--sharing love and facing challenges as a team...

A lifetime of memories–sharing love and facing challenges as a team…

I was blessed to grow up down the street from my beloved Grannie and Dedaw, and spent countless hours with them during my formative years.  Their single minded devotion to each other serves as a constant inspiration to me as Matt and I travel our own life journey together.

One of my greatest adult pleasures has been sharing my children with my grandparents.  They made yearly spring trips to Nebraska to visit us and see the Sandhill Crane migration...

One of my greatest adult pleasures has been sharing my children with my grandparents. They made yearly spring trips to Nebraska in addition to our visits to Florida…

The following is the beautiful obituary that my Uncle Wally wrote in my grandfather’s honor. 
Hank McCall, 91, of West Palm Beach, FL died peacefully at home on October 3, 2013. He and Irma celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on June 23, 2013. Hank graduated from Penn State University in 1942 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He soon entered the United States Naval Academy as a “90 Day Wonder”, receiving his commission in May 1943. After submarine training, he was assigned to the USS Greenling in the Pacific where he participated in five war patrols and two special missions including the reconnaissance and photographing of Saipan, Tinian, and Guam in preparation for the US invasion of those islands. He retired from the Naval Reserves with a rank of Lt. Commander. Hank and Irma moved to West Palm Beach in 1952 with their three small children. After a brief stint with Crane Company, he became partners with Clarence Coston, a plumbing, heating, and air conditioning contractor. Their projects included the Palm Beach Towers, Pratt-Whitney Aircraft, and the Kennedy Space Center. He also obtained his private pilot’s license to expand the business to the Bahamas, and for convenient bone fishing trips. After twenty years, Hank made a major career change, becoming an agent with National Life of Vermont and later, Sun Life of America. He was a Certified Life Underwriter and a member of the Million Dollar Round Table. Hank and Irma were active members of the Royal Poinciana Chapel in Palm Beach where he served as the head usher and Chairman of the Board of Directors. He was a charter member of Mayacoo Lakes Country Club and enjoyed the camaraderie of the Old Guard Society and the stimulating programs at the Society of the Four Arts. Besides his family, Hank’s passions were reading, birding, and walking. Hank and Irma traveled extensively, setting foot on all seven continents. After warm-up hikes across the state of Florida and around Lake Okeechobee, Hank and Irma walked across England in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary. He was preceded in death by his son, Willie. Hank is survived by his beloved wife, Irma; a daughter, Sally Gibson (Herbert) of West Palm Beach; son, Wally McCall (Michelle) of Jupiter, FL; grandchildren, Terry Gibson (fiancee Theresa Sepko) of Jensen Beach, FL, Anne G. Burkholder (Matt) of Cozad, NE, Travis McCall (Laura) of Lynchburg, TN, Kelly Hough (Jeremy) of Old Town, VA, Abigail McCall of Hobe Sound, FL, Hunter McCall (Sean) of Charlotte, NC, and Margaret McCall of Seattle, WA; and seven great grandchildren. A Memorial Service will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at the Royal Poinciana Chapel, 60 Cocoanut Row, Palm Beach, FL 33480 with Dr. Robert S. Norris, Pastor officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the Samuel M. Lindsey Fund at the Royal Poinciana Chapel.

Last Christmas---my girls learning to caring on the tradition of devotion...

Last Christmas—my girls learning to carry on the tradition of devotion…

My grandfather demonstrated with his life that “With faith, discipline, and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve”.  Muhammad Ali


Filed under Family, General

Ninety Years and Counting…

The Blondes and I were able to take a quick trip to visit my family in Florida last weekend.  Although we (as a family) rarely employ the divide and conquer philosophy, this time a busy schedule necessitated it so Ashley Grace and Matt stayed in Nebraska to hold down the fort.  It had been more than a year since I had been back to visit, and at age 90 and 91 my grandparents no longer travel out to see us. So, we traded the Beef State for the Sunshine State for a few days.

My favorite blondes taking in some sunshine with my beloved Grannie and Dedaw...

I was blessed as a child to grow up within walking distance of my grandparents, and my Grannie and I have always been especially close.  When Matt and I made the decision to get married, one of the biggest reasons why we chose to move back to the farm in Nebraska was so that our children could grow up rural America and be near a set of grandparents. I know that my girls will cherish the relationships that they have (and will continue to develop) with all four of the grandparents that they are blessed with!

It is no easy task to attain the age of 90 and 91—so what is the secret to living such a long and full life?

Here are a few tips from two of the pros!

  1. Love—After more than 60 years of marriage, the strong partnership that they have attained has kept them moving forward and emotionally energetic. They, quite literally, live for each other and provide an example of dedication to one another that both fascinates and inspires me.
  2. Activity—As avid walkers and bird watchers, Grannie and Dedaw give new meaning to staying healthy and in shape.  They walked 109 miles around Lake Okeechobee to celebrate their 70th birthdays more than twenty years ago.  Quite befitting to their devotion, they ended the eight day trek with a celebration kiss… Up until the last two years, they have continued to stay incredibly physically active walking upwards of several miles a day.  As young children, my girls always looked forward to visiting with Grannie and Dedaw so that we could go for long walks looking for birds and alligators.
  3. A Balanced and Healthy Diet—I have no memories of my grandparents ever being on a diet, but I do remember always being served well balanced, healthy, and home cooked meals at their house…Simple, good food was always what Grannie put on the table.  As children of The Great Depression, Grannie and Dedaw were always thankful to be able to put meat on the table at dinner time and would tell us tales of eating macaroni and cheese for several days a week when no meat was available during their childhood.  As a beef farmer, it is hard for me to imagine not having access to meat, but I live in a very different world than they did upward of 80 years ago.

    My mom with my girls in front of the house that Grannie and Dedaw lived in for 60 years...

Being around Grannie and Dedaw always reminds me to be thankful that I have never been hungry and have many choices available to me as I cook dinner for my family.  I chose to cook beef most nights because I like the way that it tastes, and I know that it is a great basis for a healthy meal.  I love the fact that it is as nutrient rich as it is delicious…

While in Florida, my dad cooked us some great tasting steaks on the grill with the help of his girls and his dogs!

Did you know that one three ounce serving of beef provides the following…?

 48% of your daily Protein needs

 41% of your daily Selenium needs

 37% of your daily Vitamin B12 needs

 33% of your daily Zinc needs

 25% of your daily Niacin needs

 20% of your daily Vitamin B6 needs

 19% of your daily Phosphorus needs

 17% of your daily Choline needs

 12% of your daily Iron needs

 10% of your daily Riboflavin needs…

All of these great nutrients packed in one piece of great tasting and satisfying beef!  Beef provides a meal that I feel good about serving to my family…Hopefully, 50+ years from now, my girls will be reminiscing about my long life that was filled with love, good health, and great food!

Until then, I will continue to fuel the next generation of athletes with beef knowing that I am giving them the nutrients that they need to grow strong and be healthy!





Filed under Family, General, Nutrition (cattle and human)