June 14, 2008

As many of you know, my father Bud has terminal bone cancer. As he continues along on his journey "into the West" I will post updates on his and my mother Betty's condition. As of this date, they are both at a nursing home sharing the same room. Bud has considerable pain and is under Hospice care. He has lucid periods, but also spends a lot of time asleep. He often sees things that the rest of us don't. Betty is showing a lot of courage during this ordeal, and has medical problems of her own. I have temporarily re-located to their house to be close, and my sister Sandra and her husband Bob make frequent trips.

July 6, 2008

I received a call this morning from my sister Sandra telling me that Bud's condition has worsened. He was unresponsive this morning and is now on oxygen. I had returned to Florida to take care of some things and I'm scheduled to return to Pennsylvania on Tuesday the 8th, unless I need to get up there sooner. I just talked to a care giver from Hospice, who was there evaluating him. She said he did wake up enough to answer some questions and said he wasn't in pain. His heart beat is still strong, but his blood pressure is down and decreasing. She couldn't tell me if it was a matter of hours or days, or even weeks, but so far his skin is not mottled which is usually one of the signs that the end is very near. As of this writing, he last took in nourishment yesterday morning. I talked to my mother, who is taking it pretty hard, but still showing a lot of courage. She was even concerned that I not try to come to the nursing home on the day I fly to PA because I would be too tired! I don't think that I will be too tired for that.

July 26, 2008

This morning I had the privilege of being with my father when he left this life. My mother and I were both present, holding his hand, and telling him we loved him. He was able to mouth that he loved us too. I thanked him for all he had been for us. Mother said a prayer and released him to go in peace. At around 11:10 am his gallant heart stopped beating. Here is his obituary:

Berwyn T. "Bud" Lieb July 26, 2008

Berwyn T. "Bud" Lieb, 85 years, of Uniontown went to be with his Lord and Savior on Saturday, July 26, 2008 with his loving wife and son by his side, in the Henry Clay Villa, Markleysburg. He was born November 22, 1922 in Uniontown, the son of the late Troy Phillip Lieb and Mytle Ravenscroft Lieb. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his sister Genevieve King.

Bud served with in the US Navy during World War II, graduating from the Bainbridge, MD Naval Training Base as a Seaman 1ST Class. He served as a Signalman aboard LST 1083 (D. B. Jefferies commanding). He saw combat duty in the South Pacific under Admiral Halsey from Jan. 1945 to Feb. 1946. LST 1083 left Pittsburgh and passed through Panama Canal to Pearl Harbor, HI. It then saw action at Midway, Wake Island, the Marshall Islands, Guam, Saipan, the Mariana Islands, Leyte in the Philippines, and Okinawa. It was the first LST to land in Japan after the atom bomb was dropped, and returned to the USA after the war ended in 1945. He founded Tri-County Tire Service in Uniontown and operated it for 40 years. He was a member of Third Presbyterian Church in Uniontown.

Bud is survived by his wife Betty Jane Dinsmore Lieb; his daughter Sandra Kay Blocher and husband Bob of Charlotte, NC; his son Richard "Rick" Lieb of Margate, FL; three grandchildren; six great grandchildren, and one brother Frederick Lieb and wife Jennifer of Columbia, SC.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Andrew D. Ferguson Funeral Home, Inc., 80 Morgantown Street, Uniontown, where friends will be received on Monday from 2 until 4 and 7 until 9 PM. Visitation will continue on Tuesday, July 29, 2008 from 10 until 11 AM followed by a service celebrating his life with the Rev. William D. Rodahaver officiating. Interment will follow in Oak Lawn Cemetery.

Memorial emails may be sent to the family at memorials@adferguson.com.

July 29, 2008

Today Bud was laid to rest with full military honors. Yesterday and today, I was humbled and honored by all the people who came to pay their respects, people from all walks of life, from the distant past through the present, whose lives were touched by Bud in large ways and small. Old high-school chums came, early employees from Tri-County Tire as well as the current owner, even people like their mail man (in uniform and making his rounds), the handy man who did repairs around the house, the fellow who delivered their meals-on-wheels, and the wonderful neighbors who treated them like family and gave so much to help. People came from near and far, and distant cousins who had never met did so for the first time. I was honored to be one of Bud's poll-bearers, and to receive the flag which draped his casket. There was a touching service from both a minister of their church and a military Chaplin, a 21-gun salute, and the playing of taps. I will never completely get over the loss of my father, but I hope to follow in his footsteps. He was a shining example of how to live well, and also of how to die well, with dignity, courage, and grace. May he ever rest in peace.

Bud in a better moment, surrounded by family..

Into The West

Into The West

  ------Annie Lennox

 

Into The West

=============

Lay down,

your sweet and weary head.

Night is falling.

You have come to journey's end.

 

Sleep now, and dream

of the ones who came before.

They are calling,

from across a distant shore.

 

Why do you weep?

What are these tears upon your face?

Soon you will see.

All of your fears will pass away.

Safe in my arms,

you're only sleeping.

 

What can you see,

on the horizon?

Why do the white gulls call?

Across the sea,

a pale moon rises.

The ships have come,

to carry you home.

 

And all will turn,

to silver glass.

A light on the water.

All souls pass.

 

Hope fades,

Into the world of night.

Through shadows falling,

Out of memory and time.

 

Don't say,

We have come now to the end.

White shores are calling.

You and I will meet again.

And you'll be here in my arms,

Just sleeping.

 

What can you see,

on the horizon?

Why do the white gulls call?

Across the sea,

a pale moon rises.

The ships have come,

to carry you home.

 

And all will turn,

to silver glass.

A light on the water.

Grey ships pass

Into the West

 

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