Leo Daniel equals Unconditional Love

I’m in a temporary home with all my pictures lurking somewhere in my garage so thank you for the pictures I just gleaned from Facebook.Leo and his only real daughter, Melissa 🙂 His favorite girls are below.

When I was a little girl there were constants in my crazy life. Mom always loved me. Nanny was always down the hill in case we needed anything, Grandpa always fixed things and you would find him in the kitchen. Leo would always show up and there was an instant party. 

Leo loved all of us, all eight of us kids, our spouses, our children, our friends, the more the merrier.

My mom and Leo became friends at age 14. Through their marriages and Mom’s divorce and through the many years they have remained friends. Let’s not forget to give credit to Joan, who through Leo put up with all of the chaos for low these many years. Haha, now I really think Joan secretly enjoyed every minute of it.

Leo spent his time entertaining. He was a school teacher by profession but an entertainer by heart. As long as I have memory I remember Leo playing the piano and all of us singing along. The songs go on and on. We all have our favorites, the Irish sing alongs, Sound of music, I’ve been working on the railroad. He could belt out The Impossible Dream and Climb Every Mountain like no other. Then there was Polonaise, he would play to remind himself and us of the classics. Polonaise is on my running playlist.

He unselfishly opened his cabin in the woods for us. If it had not been for That cabin we would have never vacationed away from home. We would pack up on weekends, or for a week in July and pile in their home. The fun we had playing outside, swinging on the swing, playing capture the flag and oh dear, piling in the back of the pick up and going on some wild rides in the woods where Leo had been wandering all his life.

Holidays; Christmas, New Years Eve, Thanksgiving, St. Patrick’s Day all came to life when Leo was there or we were at his house.

He loved us. It was never conditional, He just LOVES. Leo and my mom treated everyone who walked through the door the same. They were welcome and loved. Leo taught us in a tumultuous time of racial unrest that everyone, yes everyone was the same. 

My pa is in the hospital not sure of where he is but with Joan, Melissa and Michael constantly at his side. My heart hurts. Leo taught us, albeit unconventionally (giggling) and a bit groovily (is that a word?) this one thing; John 15:13 (NLT) There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

I’ll end with Elelweiss; we tuck ourselves in bed and he plays our lullaby….

Edelweiss, Edelweiss
Every morning you greet me
Small and white clean and bright
You look happy to meet me
Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever
Bless my homeland forever.

Love you Pa ~Susie





  • Joan

    July 6, 2012

    Oh Susie, this is so beautiful. I’ve got to print it to keep. He loves all of you so much. Indeed we all have such great memories. Thank you for your love & this list of all the fun we’ve had. God bless you for your love and prayers. Granny Joan

  • Melissa

    July 6, 2012

    Oh sister! You made me cry! He loves you guys as if you were his own! And I know you guys love him as your dad! It has always meant so much to have you guys in our lives! Thank you for this! I will keep it forever!

    I love you sister!
    Love always, miss

  • Jim Schmitt

    July 6, 2012

    Thanks Susie. Lovely and well said.

  • Mary

    July 6, 2012

    Big mistake reading this at work. I just needed a break, now I need a tissue and a moment. Well done my good and faithful sister!

  • JULS

    July 6, 2012

    Suz, amazing…..and yes…well said. He was totally our “guardian angel”…many many times. Laugh? He taught our NANNY…”there is LIFE outside of being ashamed of working at a factory….he “lifted” her up”. OUR MOTHER? unspeakable…the LIFE he put into her…when her “fire” was ALMOST distinguished.

    I love this man.

    Love you sis
    LOVE you Melissa

  • Amy Beebe

    July 6, 2012

    Thank you for this. Made me cry too. He has a wonderful way of being there for all of us. Whenever he would talk to me he made me feel special and important telling stories and imparting wisdom as if there weren’t 50 other people running around (and there always was :). It’s been so long since I’ve seen you Uncle Leo. Love you!

  • Mom

    July 6, 2012

    He will always be in our Hearts. My life never would have been tolerable without him. Thanks Dearheart for the memories.

  • Erin

    July 8, 2012

    I need a tissue. With tears down my face and a huge smile. Words can’t describe the memories, love and laughter :O) Even for the next generation, that he too, helped raise :O)


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