Eulogy for Hal Dumm ,written and given by first born Grandson,Frank H. Pritchard
-There are but only a few times in life when you feel you must speak,........because if you don't that time in space will be lost forever,......... now is such a time.
About a year and a half ago we persuaded my grandfather to write a book about his life experiences. I would like to read a little of that book to you now.
"In the distance of the haze you can see the headlight from the locomotive of the Baltimore and Ohio freight train cutting its way through the falling snow. The forlorn sound of the whistle says I'm heading south to the warmth of God's country. Inside the boxcar behind its coal tinder are several hobos hungry and cold. It's that time in our history. The great depression,1934. It's really not the best of times. In the same boxcar is a young and gangly boy about 14. He's wrapped in newspapers trying to keep the cold out. He's cold and the pangs of hunger and loneliness are catching up to him. A tear rolls down his cheek. The clicketyclack of the wheels on the track have a hypnotic spell on the boy as his head drops forward and he falls into asleep of exhaustion."
My grandfather was a remarkable man from such humble beginnings he would go on to lead a life of adventure and discovery that most of us can only imagine.
Among his many accomplishments he was a soldier ,...a sailor,... a survivalist ,and a teacher,
Yes,..... a teacher of lifes secrets.
He was a Marathon runner all his life ......
He was still running marathons in his 70's, and perhaps a marathon is a good metaphor for his approach to life in general.
He sought to express his inner self through his art and teachings. He always fostered creativity in us. He was a dreamer but also a doer.
A warrior, ...an artist, ... a poet,.....a true renaissance man.
He never failed to bring dignity, style and grace to all of his endeavors.
He saw life as an ongoing voyage of discovery and adventure.
He was never afraid to try new things regardless of his age he would dive right into it and try it.
He never failed to inspire me.
They say the quality of a teacher is reflected in his students,.... I need to get to work . I've got big shoes to fill. The race is long. The main thing is to keep going. To stay in life's marathon. He taught me that.
One final thing. When he was diagnosed with cancer he considered chemo a couple of times. But that wasn't his approach to life. Life had always been an adventure. This would be also...
On October 13,1999 my grandfather passed on into the great unknown. He was my greatest teacher. He taught me about life and he taught me how to live. But,... perhaps in the end, his greatest lesson was in teaching me how to die.........See ya old buddy.....