Leonard Frederick Finke was born November 29, 1925 and died March 21, 1990. I was in 4th grade, ten years old, when he passed away.
I do have more memories of Grandpa Finke. I remember being in the house by the post office with him, going to the post office and him talking with the lady working. I remember moving him out of that house and going through things in the house. I (think I) remember him sitting me on the kitchen table or the counter with ice on the side of my leg when I was scraped by the screen door at their house- and I have the scar from the stiches to prove it. I remember how he walked, not really with a limp, but sort of. I remember him coming to grandparents day at school. I remember his harmonica.
I remember playing on a pogo stick in the garage at Anne’s house and the auction there. I remember his wedding to my step-grandma Anne and singing Pass It On. I remember going in the motor home with him in the shed. I don’t ever remember being in the motor home when it was moving, but I remember being somewhere with Grandpa and Anne when they had gone on a trip in it, maybe visiting them when they were on vacation somewhere.
Another favorite memory is going up to the cabin in Perham, Minnesota, and going fishing with him. It was always an adventure to get the boat into the lift. Fishing, campfires, trips to the turtle races- so much fun! Grandpa would put the worm on my hook for me and if I had a fish on the hook he would make me take it off myself after he got tired of it. I have a very distinct memory of being at Anne’s house in Hamburg with the two of them and watching the Twins play in the 1987 World Series on TV. They moved to the Hamburg apartments across the street from the pond, and I remember that apartment, too. I think Anne’s mom, Great-Grandma Hoberg, had an apartment in that same complex.
I remember various visits to the hospital and playing a trick on him that we were bringing him McDonalds, but the burger box was filled with ketchup packets. Now that I think back to that, that really wasn’t nice, especially to someone who was having heart issues. I remember bringing him diabetic cookies at the apartment in Hamburg. I remember he and Anne bringing me a package of sliced cheese for my birthday because I loved eating it at their house and we never had it at mine.
I must say that my all-time favorite memory of grandpa was falling asleep on his stomach and his tummy moving up and down when he was breathing.
When Jeff and I got married, my mom said, “I’m going to say the same thing to you that my dad said to me when your dad and I got married. We’ll never come and live with you if you never come back and live with us.” Grandpa lived in the house of his father-in-law until his father-in-law passed away. I have another whole entry with memories about that house.
Grandpa and Grandma Finke
So what should the world know about Leonard Finke? What are your favorite memories or characteristics?