Saturday, June 20, 2015

A Blog About My Daddy For Father's Day

This is me with my Daddy and Mother.
My father, Hartwell Russell George Hillier (better known as Rus) was born on 16 February 1906 in Fallbook, San Diego Co., California.  I've already written a blog about all the places he lived as a child.  As an adult, he lived in Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, and Long Beach in Los Angeles Co., California.  He also lived in Fallbrook, San Diego Co., California and Independence, Inyo Co., California and Seal Beach, Orange Co., California and in Westerville, Franklin Co., Ohio and in Toccoa, Stephens Co., Georgia.

When I was born, during WWII, my Daddy was working at Douglas Aircraft Co. in Long Beach.  He was Personnel Manager for the Engineering Department.  In spite of being too old for the draft and having a defense job, he wanted to do his part, so he joined the Coast Guard Reserves and patrolled off of the coast one night a week for a year.

My Daddy loved to fish and hunt.  He especially liked to do these things in the Owens Valley, Eastern Sierra area.  I was only four years old (so heard this story from my parents) when he came home from one of his trips and announced that we were moving to Independence.  My mother asked, "Missouri?"  She had never been to Independence, California!  There was a hardware/sporting goods store for sale in Independence.  His plan was to buy the store and live where he could fish and hunt right in his own neighborhood.  So off we went! 
This is my dad on one of his hunting trips.

I loved living in Independence as a child!  However, eventually, my parents realized that they just couldn't make a living there so we moved back to the city.  My father, once again, took up his career as a mechanical engineer.  He even invented some things that were patented by companies that he worked for in the aerospace industry.  

Besides his engineering career and his love of fishing and hunting, he also loved to build things (especially woodworking), was a gunsmith, and a great cook.  He built a garage on one of our houses, built a boat for fishing, and there wasn't anything he couldn't fix.  

I learned many things from my Dad...
-- He taught me to fish.  I caught my first fish at about age 7.
-- He taught me how to paint and wallpaper a room.  Something that has served me in good stead over the years.
-- He taught me how to properly set a table.  He was a real stickler for this!
-- I sort of inherited his love of fixing things.
-- And much more!
My dad and I on his 95th birthday.

For his 100th birthday, Daddy took a sky dive!  He died just a few weeks before his 101st birthday, while staying with my brother in Toccoa, Georgia, on 7 January 2007.  He is buried in a family plot in Fallbrook, California.  
PS -- One thing I forgot to say about my dad...  He was a great story teller!  I wouldn't know nearly so much about my extended family if it weren't for his stories.