My Father-in-law always made me laugh. I'm pretty sure the reason for that was his ability to remind me so much of my husband. Likewise, my husband might say something or do something and I just look and him and say, Jack.
I remember one of my first family dinners at the Strasser house. Their three youngest children, including Matt were rousing it up with loud chatter and fun stories. Though i can't remember the stories, I do remember Jack using two hands--one at his mouth and one at his ear--to gesture talking on the phone. Matt, Jane, John, and I all laughed, and Jack harumphed then took it all in stride as a parent will do when his children are laughing
at with him.
On visits to our home, Jack would wrestle with the younger kids on the floor of the living room. The usually stoic German had come out of his shell, surprising me while showing the kids some of that rough, grandfather love.
I'll never forget his concern for our kids. He'd follow them around, just to make sure they didn't hurt themselves. He'd double check that they could do the stairs when we didn't have a gate, then he'd trail them anyway, talking to them the entire time. With his hands clasped behind his back, he'd murmur the usual responses a person makes when being interrogated by a two-year-old. And he didn't let any detail pass him by. When our son Sean was born blind, he made sure to stay on top of whatever research was going on with Blind kids. He joined one of the national associations for the blind, and when he called, he'd always ask how Sean's schooling was going. He wasn't going to be left out.
I danced with my father-in-law at my wedding. He was smooth on his feet and a wonderful leader.
I'll miss him.