Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Lost Hereo-Grandpa Wren

Claude Theron Wren
May 27, 1916 - March 4, 2012
About I week ago, I received a sad phone call from my parents that my grandpa Wren had passed away in his sleep about 4:30 a.m. I LOVED this man! He lived 95 GREAT years and only quit driving the last 3 years. Although I know he is in a better place where he can walk, think clearly, eat normal foods again, etc., it still does NOT take away the sting of pain for those he left behind. On the other hand, It does provide comfort knowing that Families Can Be Together Forever.
I’m so thankful that I lived only a few minutes away from my grandpa for most of my life. Although he wasn’t one for attending our school events, I know he did love me! I have many memories with him:
90th birthday!
·    Grandpa always said, “The way your life starts does not have to dictate the way your life ends.”  Grandpa began his life in poverty.  His father was an alcoholic and rarely came home.  As a child, he remembers his mother pulling a wagon (with all of the children in it) into to a bar to beg for $10 for feed them.  Since he was the 2nd child of 12 children, he always felt the pressure to help provide for his family.  Thus, he left home when he was about 12 years old to go make money to send home to his mom. 
 He went on to own his own bus business, 18 in total.  He drove students back and forth to school, sporting events, and even to the ski hill.  Forty years later, he finally sold the bus company and then went to work part-time for the City of Blackfoot until he was forced to retire at the age of 89.  During this time, he also began his salvage business.  He quickly became one of Pacific’s preferred customers as he always made sure his metal was in tip top shape.  During the month of his 90th birthday, they gave him $90 a ton for his loads.  He was so happy about this price that I swear he had a load to take down to them almost every day!  So it goes to show that you can definitely change the way your life began.  And he did it well.

·    Grandpa always said, “Anybody can make money, but it takes a better man to save it.”  All of his friends and family like to joke about how Grandpa paid his help.  It didn’t matter how hard or long you helped him, you always came home with a $5 dollar bill.  We came to learn that  the $5 bill was grandpa’s way of saying, “I Love You” because those were words he seldom said.  We also knew that if we were in dire need of money that grandpa would help us.  However, he felt that we should all struggle and learn to take care of ourselves.  I did think about flying home for grandpa’s funeral.  But every time I thought about it, all I could think of was grandpa turning over in his grave over the price of my flightJ

·    Education was always important to Grandpa.  He always felt bad that he didn’t have the opportunity to finish high school.  However, he made sure that his children did.  He paid for each daughter’s tuition in full.  They only had to pay for their living expenses.  From this came three school teachers and one bus driver.  I always knew that grandpa was proud of me completing my education because he has told me over and over again.

·    Grandma and grandpa came to our house for Sunday dinner every week.  During that time, we would get to hear about his week driving bus, working for City Hall, about all the money he would make hauling junk (or precious metal as he would call it) to Pacific, etc.  Sometime during our conversation, grandpa would let out a swear word or two.  Growing up, if we swore, we would be disciplined.  So when we would hear it come out of our grandpa’s mouth, it would make us giggle.  Grandpa could never understand what was so funny!
·    When grandma was still alive, she would like to stay after dinner and play games with me and mom.  Somehow, we would convince grandpa to go take a nap for a while so we could play.  One day, this is where we found himJ

      ·    Grandpa had lots of funny phrases.  Instead of saying Idaho Falls, he always said
           Ideeoo Falls.”  Instead of saying aluminum, he’d say, “aloom-neee-um.” 

·    Another phrase that he always told my younger sister, Cindy, was, "You keep praying, and I’ll keep paying," or "Now don’t spend it all in one place and be sure to save a litte."

I’m so glad that I was able to go home for Christmas and create a few more memories with him.  He didn't feel well, but I know he appreciated the company.  He also was still very aware of what was going on because one day I came out to see him with my mom and all grandpa said was, "Where's Jared?"  

A couple of days before his death, he fell out of his chair and broke his hip.  His health was not good enough to perform surgery, so he would no longer be able to have a very good quality of life. 

Thanks to the Hawker Funeral Home, I was able to view the funeral via the internet! 
Our wedding 2008


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