Memories of Dad on Father’s Day

Memories of Dad on Father’s Day

Posted on April 29, 2013 by Daniel C. Lavery (Click on photos to read and expand)  

 

He was born in Morgan Park Illinois April 28 of 1910

Athletic, scholarly, and musical who became a man of men

Loving animals and horses, especially his own called "Pep"

He was handsome and polished and seldom out of step

Possessed of musical talent he played the piano and the trumpet

Strumming the ukulele he sang about a honky-tonk strumpet

An outstanding Morgan Park Military Academy Grad

His achievements, skills, and talents made his family most glad

Appointed to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis

Richard J. Lavery Jr, Midshipman, USNA, 1928-32

(Dad as a midshipman at Annapolis)

Brought his father, Poppy, and mother, Gammie, exceptional bliss

Basketball, soccer, baseball, football, lacrosse, sailing, and even polo

At formal recitals he played many a magnificent trumpet solo

While a midshipman he fell for a beautiful debutant: Hilda Crim

Her grace and beauty, love of tennis and raccoons, made his head swim

Soon they were married after he graduated in nineteen thirty two

During the Great Depression, an insurance career he wisely did pursue

He raised a family with a lovely girl and two athletic boys

And gave unselfishly to provide for them a multitude of joys

Music, stories, travel, camping, sports, fishing to name only a few

He filled their lives with these and always found more for them to do

Dad naval officer photo story Our Picture of the Month USS George F. Elliot

(Dad leaves for World War II after eight years as an insurance agent 1932-40)

Uncle Sam came a-calling him to return to face the brutal enemy

In ruthless World War II with fascist dictators and gross barbarity

A gunnery officer on the George F. Elliott, a transport ship

At Guadalcanal what seemed in the smoke-filled sky only a blip

Grew into a descending Japanese warplane known as a Kamikaze

That his blazing guns tore into but instead of falling into the sea

Struck the Elliot broadside in a deadly gasoline fed fireball

Down to a sea grave slowly went the transport as nothing could stop its fall

 A friendly destroyer rescued the crew that fearful and fateful day

 Because of brave me like "Bull" Halsey and a man known as "R.J."

 Yamamoto and his fleet were left limping and slinked back to Tokyo

 Our proud protectors of liberty forced the foolish fascists where to go

 On to Korea when duty called him again in nineteen fifty three

 Commanding officer of an amphibious ship called an "LSD"

The USS Whetstone with Lavery at the helm was a beauty at sea

    CHAPTER 7 USS Whetstone (LSD-27)                                   

(USS Whetstone(LSD-27))

 

It was Dad's first command and he did her splendidly

Even rescued capsized Japanese fishermen he noticed adrift

Opened the dry-dock saving men and boat in a manner swift

Earned honors from Japan and our Navy for this humanitarian deed

He was never one to by-pass helpless persons at sea in need

Rescued hundreds of fleeing Vietnamese from Saigon

By navigating the Whetstone in shallow river Mekong

His crew enjoyed the way he played his ukulele and sang a song

He was a model naval captain who knew and taught right from wrong

Gained respect and honor for his naval skill and industrious toil

Commanded the USS Chemung carrying to the fleet precious oil

USS Chemung (AO 30) head on

USS Chemung (AO 30) head on

              (Dad when a Navy Captain and the USS Chemung he captained)  

Retired from Naval Service after a dedicated thirty years

And became one of those McDonnell Douglas Quality Control Engineer

He always provided for his family as he was a frugal man

Invested for his and their future and prepared a well-organized plan

He cared for his loving mother when she became ill and very old

Took her to her many doctors because his heart was made of gold

 When his sister Jane's diabetes became the brutal brittle type

 He gave up his Long Beach ocean view and moved close without a gripe

 As he grew older he fractured his left hip and was forced to use a cane

Then a wheelchair, had another fracture that caused excruciating pain

He found peace when he played his ukulele and launched into singing

To our family and his dog Pablo when on life he was barely clinging

Dad, we will always remember you for the memories you left us all

And hold high the course you navigated while you always stood tall

Duty, honor, country, family and pets, to these you were always true

We are proud this Father's Day to always respect and honor you.

Dad, Paul, Jane back Val, Chip, and Dan Morgan Park  1945,Hilda and Val and Jane and Val 1939

(Dad, Uncle Paul, Aunt Jane top, Val, Chip, and Dan

Mom and Val

Val and Aunt Jane)

Valerie and Chip 1939 (Val and Chip 1939) CHAPTER 11Chip Plebe year Annapolis 1956

(Chip an Annapolis midshipman-plebe 1956)

CHAPTER 21 Dan by wall third class year Annapolis 1961

(Dan a midshipman at Annapolis near a wall some people scaled on a boring weekend night)

Dad, Nicky, Paige, Tico, Dan, and Valerie Lee June 1956

(Valerie Lee, Dan, Paige and Tico, Dad, and Nicky at Yokosuka 1956)

Dad at Yokosuka Naval base Japan 1955 (Dad as commanding officer Headquarters Support Activity Yokosuka, Japan 1955-57)   Captain Richard J. Lavery, Jr. USN

Dad's Memorial 4 28 09(Richard John Lavery Jr.,  Apr 28, 1910-Mar 8, 1998)

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