On Friday, January 14, 2011 Raymond D. Kerchief passed away quietly after a long battle with cancer. He was 81 years old. He was my father's younger brother and beloved Uncle to me. It is hard to express the sadness that I feel right now...it is too say the least, bittersweet. He left three children, seven grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
He will always be remembered as a loyal and dedicated father and husband and someone who never met a stranger. He always had a smile for you and the words How are you doing?
Funny how you can remember a certain event that sets someone above and apart from everyone else. I remember once when I was about 8 or 9 years old I was helping my dad wash and wax one of the trucks he leased out. This was a truck used for loading freight and to me a huge undertaking. While I was waxing the truck my uncle came for a visit and while he was talking with my dad I continued to wax this "beast of a truck". He walked over to me and said "Boy, you are really working hard". "Look at what a great job you are doing!" Then to my dad he said "Bud, look at what a good job she is doing". He patted me on the back and smiled. That complement has stayed with me my entire life. That was the type of man he was. Always thanking and giving someone credit for something they did.
He laughed a lot and had one of the biggest and most generous hearts of anyone I ever came to know.
He wouldn't want any of us grieve over his death. If he had any last words for us it would be "Life is for the living move on with your life". And if I had only one thing I could say to him now it would be "Thank you for your kind words. I'm sure you never knew how much those few words meant to a small girl of 9. Those words of praise are forever held in my heart.