This is my Dad, Clarence Lloyd Engelking, Jr. He passed in his sleep on October 3, 1997, joining my mom in heaven on what would have been their 50th wedding anniversary. He was funny and smart and goofy and I loved him so much. He worked hard to instill a love of nature and science in me and it worked! He spent hours and days and weeks drilling me on the multiplication tables and that did NOT work. He taught me to hike and camp and fish and read science fiction and listen to Wagnerian opera. He loved to tease his obnoxious teenage daughter by pretending not to understand hippie slang of the ’60s. (Why don’t you like my shitslinger music, honey? ShitKICKER, Dad, they’re called shitkickers, not shitslingers!)
When I started dating a scary motorcycle dude, Daddy didn’t get mad or forbid me to see him. Instead, he found a dismantled old Honda in boxes of parts and asked Danny to help him put it back together. Instead of running around town getting into trouble, I sat on the floor in the garage while they worked. By the time they were finished they were great friends and I was getting pretty tired of Danny. I’m sure that was the plan, and it worked splendidly!
On a spring Saturday in 1981 Daddy asked me yet again when I was going to settle down and make him some grandbabies. I warned him it would likely never happen. Two weeks later I waltzed in with Rick and announced we were getting married. He didn’t blink, he didn’t flinch. He shook Rick’s hand and welcomed him into the family. Never once did he ask what happened to change my mind so suddenly. I always loved him for that. He accepted Rick completely with no reservations. They had great admiration for each other and I’m so glad Rick had the chance to know him before he was gone. I love you, Daddy! You and Mom have a great day today!