Poem Honoring My Brother on His Birthday

(Chip the fisherman, father, and grandfather)

Chip

Click to Zoom all Photos that seem too small)

Born Richard J. Lavery III in Morgan Park near Chicago in 1938

On August 14th which later proved to be a very special date

 

(Chip and Val)

(Val, Lewis, and Chip Chicago 1940)

Husky, muscular, athletic, intelligent and handsome lad

Named after and followed the footsteps of his demanding Dad

 

( Dad, Paul, Aunt Jane, Val,Chip, Dan Morgan Park 1946) 

 (Dad Annapolis plebe year 1928)

 (Dad Commander Headquarters Support Activity Yokosuka Japan 1955-7)

Loved fishing anytime and lived in places near the sea

Natural leader who could always explain the world to me

 

As children we would play cards, hide and seek and hike everywhere

We played hard, competitively and no matter what we played fair

 

He would bait my hook, untangle my line and knew all the fish

Even organized a menu telling Gammie what to put on the dish

 

Playing the sax with rhythm, riffs, jazz, classical and rock

Glen Miller, Parker, Desmond, Mozart, Beethoven and Bach

Took me to Lyon & Healy music lessons in Chicago by train

Summer Michigan boys scout camps and 3 day canoe trips in rain

 

Boxing, softball, cowboys and Indians, and piano lessons in Vallejo

Folding newspapers & packing our bikes for our routes in Coronado

 

Dillon beach, Los Coronados islands or Jenner-by-the-Sea

He'd show the way and teach his little brother a better person to be

Taught me to square away my uniform, shoes and drill at MPMA

Win at monopoly, canasta, chess, pool or other games every day

 

Yes he’d tease me, call me names and dunk me in the pool

But never had a malicious thought while making me look a fool

He’d tell a joke and break me up with a belly laugh and roar

I would follow his lead whatever he wanted me to do and more

 

Once on a playground a bully threatened Chip when I was six

I screamed at him to leave Chip alone or I'd give his face a fix

 

He knew better than to mess with these Lavery boys

Despite our daily battles, as a team we could make much noise

 

Inseparable from his loving Chihuahua Tico the mascot of YoHi

Who would wander off, bark, ruffle his fur and go eye to eye

(Tico, white husky Chihuahua, YoHi Mascot)

 

With any animal ten times his size no matter how vicious or mean

A magnificent and loving pet, his coat shimmering white and clean

 

Long distance track star and halfback at fifteen for CHS

When I saw him in shoulder pads and cleats proudly I said, "Yes"

(Alex's Kamakura Birthday Party 1955, Chip, Bill, Dan top Ken, Alex  Bottom)

(YoHi Varsity Football 1956 Defense, Chip 15, Dan 13)Click to expand

Hard running YoHi fullback who could cut and run through you

Potent stiff arm, dive, rolling block or a mighty bulldoze too

(Tom running, Dan and Chip blocking for YoHi at Yokohama Japan 1956)

(YoHi Offense 1956)

 

(Chip and Pat, high school sweethearts, first to marry Annapolis class of 1960 at USNA Chapel)

Fell in love with a beautiful gal born on his birthday

Apple of his eye and by her side he would always stay

(Dan and Chip at Annapolis 1959)

 

To the Naval Academy at Annapolis at only 17 he proudly went

After much refined preparation he was appointed by our president

(Chip at Pensacola Summer Training)

 

Scientific mind with peerless mathematics and engineering skill

After a Rickover interview a nuclear submarine billet he did fill

 

First married from the proud class of 1960 he led the way

Love of family, character, and knowledge lit each day

 

Honest, hard-working family-man who traveled far and wide

Pat, Rick, Bill, Tim, Steve, Chris and their pets always by his side

 

Until one dark day when fate dealt Chip and us a bitter blow

And took her and her mother to a place some day we will know

 

She sang silver-toned with angelic voice any musical part

Wonderful mother and companion who was always in his heart

 

Five happy, healthy, handsome and hearty boys remind us every day

Of  her and her mother's beauty, commitment, and love here to stay

 

We see this in each wonderful grandchild's life and face

Rick, Bill, Tim, Steve, and Chris's support provided a special place

 

For Chip to begin a new life and find another soul-mate to share

The future with and build a business from scratch with flare

Linda came into his life at just the right time to help them both

Quell the despair from the unspeakable loss of the one they troth

Melodious voice, warm heart, love for kids, teaching, and Chip

Perfect match to ease them into the golden year's trip

 

Their boys moving forward steadily since they were born

All in their own way the family heritage they well-adorn

Now another fateful blow from a doctor's shrill report

A new battle against a foe that knows not fair sport

 

We support you with the love that characterizes your life

Knowing interceding forces will sustain you in your strife

 

We hope that the enormous resources of our medical world

Will help your life flourish like a bright flag unfurled

 

Know from your brother this poem is written from the heart

To the best brother I could have been blessed with from the start

 

(Presented at Richard J. Lavery III’s funeral in Gainesville, Florida, and to him in the hospital )

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7 thoughts on “Poem Honoring My Brother on His Birthday

  1. What we have here is a labor of love; an honest,,sincere tribute to a brother who was loved in times past and still. . . Memories of times irrecoverable save through Dan’s recollections and skill.

    • Thanks Dave I know you were just a class behind Chip and know from that experience that I had also, what trials he faced at the Academy and in submarines. You also are aware from my memoir both the good and bad in your youth, but I dealt with it here sincerely, and as you say,with love.

  2. Dan, I’m sorry to hear about the death of your big brother but what a wonderful poem you wrote in memory of him. Those couplets are set by some very deep and subtle lines, the ones perhaps only a twin like me can appreciate.All the best to you, Joan, and family,Peter

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