The Harnisch Family

The Harnisch Family

Jun 22, 2011

My Grandpa Salisbury

Our Heavenly Father has decided that today (June 21, 2011) would be the day he would open his pearly gates and invite my Grandfather "home". I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to spend a lot of quality time with him these last few years. Especially this past week as he was on Hospice, being able to see him and hold his hand every day. I could not have asked for a better way to spend my Birthday (which was yesterday btw).
It also warms my heart to know that his final waking moments were peaceful. He had his wife Peg, my mom Chris, my dad Garry, his son Kenny and wife Mary by his side, looking into his beautiful blue eyes, as he took his last breath at 8:30 this morning.

He will be missed by so many. A devoted husband, Brother, Uncle. Cousin, friend, Dad, Grandpa & Great-Grandpa, Richard "Dick" Salisbury was a wonderful man who enriched the lives of so many for the last 85 years. He had several hobbies, passions and values that he so willingly shared with us all.

My Grandpa is a True American Hero and fought for our country's freedoms:
He joined the Navy in June 1944, enlisting right out of high school when he was 18 years young. Attended boot camp in Idaho. Once he completed his basic training he went was sent to ship service school in Washington DC. It was here, at ship service school, where he learned how to do laundry for all of the navy personnel. After his specialized training, he was sent to the Philippines for two years to help with World War II. Grandpa was a 2nd Class petty officer. He also served during the Korean war from Sept. 1950 until Feb. 1952. He was stationed in Guam and my Grandma, Peg, (who he also so dearly referred to as Pidgey) was able to join him. He has been a member of the Millard American Legion #374 and was a life-time member of the VFW.
For this, I and the rest of America, will be eternally grateful and indebted!

He set an example as a loyal and dedicated employee:
My Grandpa was a HARD worker. It went against every fiber of his being to leave a job undone. He (along with my Grandma) was loyal to Union Pacific Railroad his entire adult life, until he retired in the late 1980's. This is a not so common trait amongst today's generation of workers. Thank you for setting such a fine example for all of us!
Some of my most fond child-hood memories was visiting the Train Station during U.P. Family days!
For this, I respect him.

Avid and respectful Sports Fan:
He & my Grandma have been loyal Nebraska Cornhusker Football fans for about as long as the Husker's existed I'm sure, rarely missing a game (home or away), for at least as long as he was still physically able.
him and much of his crew cheering on the Huskers.
He has also been a die-hard fan of the College World Series. He is the EXACT reason people from all over the country keep coming back to Omaha and commenting about how hospitable, warm and friendly the Omaha locals are. From their tailgates and assigned seats behind home plate, he and Grandma represented out city well. They exemplified the true "good" sports fan. Not cheering or booing any particular team, rather, showing their CWS support by simply showing up. Being a FAN. A fan of the teams. The coaches. The players, The sport.
I chose to attend a College World Series game today. Yes, the very day he passed away. I had an internal battle with myself about it all morning. Should I go? Do I need to go today of all day's? I mean, really, my Grandpa's final day? The CWS will be around for 20+ more years, surely there will be hundred more opportunities. But, after much deliberation, we decided yes. We should go. We said our goodbyes all week. Every day for the last week and for several final hours this morning. I believe deep down in my heart of hearts that Grandpa wanted us to go to the game. It was, of course, a game he personally devoted so much of his own life to. I think he was watching down on us inside the new stadium that day, glad to know we were thinking about him while cheering on Texas A&M as well as Cal.
here he is having a little bit of Husker influence on McKenzie!

For this, I emulate him.

My Grandpa was creative and gifted his talents to others:
He had passion, determination and a creative soul. That's a special combination. And it was vital to his productivity and happiness to create things, take photographs (he always had a camera in his hand), cook (he was king of the grill, has even won state competition trophy's and always sliced the turkey dinner) and be all-together organized.
He, much like me (or should I say, I like him), needed an outlet to express himself.
One area he was able to do this was through the fine-art of Counter-Cross Stitch (AKA needlepoint). He was self-taught! This is a type of embroidery consisting of all-over embroidery canvas resembling tapestry. He started off with kits and followed specific patterns, but eventually created works of art from scratch. He has made MANY very detailed/nostalgic wall hangings and Christmas stockings for each member of his family. New grand-babies and spouses who married into our family could expect to receive an exquisite personalized, cross-stitch stocking. Sort of a "right-of-passage"...A Grandpa Salisbury original! At least until a few years ago when his eye-sight and hands were no longer allowing him to continue this craft.
I mentioned earlier that he has won trophies at state cooking competitions! This, unfortunately, is a skill that was not passed down to me (at least not yet anyway). ha!

Another outlet for him was photography. He, like me (or again, I like him), never left home without his trusty camera.
here he is taking, what I'm SURE is a precious photograph of his great grandson Colton.
Whether a family event, serving his time over seas for the Military or vacation, my Grandparents were world travelers, I do not think there is a country they have not visited, there are amazing photographic images to tell the story. He captured every moment, big & small (it is the little things in life that are the MOST important afterall) with his camera. He diligently developed his film and documented the images into slideshow format and scrapbook form. Always in a timely manner. I had the pleasure of going through all of his Navy and family albums with him five years ago when putting together his 80th Birthday Day video. This was a delight! Every photo album was organized, arranged and captioned (this is an art I can honestly say is lost on today's digital society). Each Slide/Negative box was perfectly labeled, sorted and stored to last centuries. It was so fun going through this with him and hearing all of his wonderful stories! It was right around that time he began loosing much of his memory. I was super impressed by his journalistic style to say the least.

For this I admire him.
And strive to develop and share my own talents with those special to me.

My Grandpa, the Blogger?:
Certainly, computers, let alone, the internet, did not exist several years ago, back when Grandpa was heavily documenting his family's adventures. Nor did blogs for that matter. But if they did, my Grandpa would have been ALL OVER IT! I journal and share my experiences, videos and photographs via my family blog, as you know, this is my therapeutic outlet of attempt to capture and share family memories, while keeping my creative juices flowing (or else I'd go crazy).
His "blog", if you will, was his slide projector. It is my understanding that way back when, they would have family and friends over for dinner parties, at which Grandpa would pull out the good old projector and re-live & narrate recent events and trips with guests.
"The blogging of yesterday", if you will. This MUST be where I get's his fault, I definitely have my Grandpa Salisbury's genes running deep in my blood.
Ha, love this! look familiar?? :-)

For this, my family and I will will forever continue to cherish, capture, preserve, savor and re-live the memories. Find the beauty in every day things, big or small, home or away. In true Great-Grandpa Salisbury fashion :-)

A few other things that stick with me (as I type and finish editing his memorial video on Final Cut Pro at 3:45 in the morning) about my Grandpa are (and I hope my family members include there own in the comments section of this post):

- First & foremost, both my grandparents were "PRESENT". They were at the hospital for every grandchild & great-grandchild birth. Present at every wedding, baptism, every ballgame, every graduation, and special event. They SHOWED UP and were our biggest fans! (alongside our parents of course).
H.S. graduation
college graduation
our wedding Day. 9/21/2002

- He took great pride in his home. It was always clean (spotless in fact) and in perfect order.

- He was maticulous about his yard. The grass was always green and perfectly manicured. His sandy Woodcliff beach was always raked and free of weeds. "Hey kids, get off the beach, the 4-wheeler just came through and drug it!", was a memorable phrase when I was younger. He'd always have that "hoolie-hoe" handy god-forbid weeds starting forming. :-)
whoops...her Erika just got caught messing up the perfect beach while chasing the duck :-) it happens!

- Trips. They took each of grandkids on special trips just us and them (no parents). My Sister's Heather & Keri, being the oldest, went on the most and to the most fun places. For all of our high school graduations they paid for trips to Walt Disney World. WOW! :-)
Disney World
Heather & Keri in Myrtle Beach (I believe).

- getting dressed in our Sunday's Best to celebrate the Salisbury family Christmas (every Christmas Eve) at Grandma & Grandpa's clubhouse. Santa (the REAL one with real long white hair, beard and the most piercing blue eyes who ALWAYS knew our names) would make an appearance and deliver early gifts for us good boys & girls.

- He loved the ocean. Of course, he was in the Navy. But my Grandma and Grandpa also lived in Texas, near the Gulf, during the winters for nearly 20 years. Snow-Birds as people would call them.
that's what it's all about, right there!

- WOODCLIFF!! Pontoon boat rides at the lake, and everything that went along with it. Back then, and still today, we look forward to time spent out there. All thanks to YOU! It was your dream to see your family enjoy the lake house and we do so very much!
As the saying goes..."Grandparents house: where cousins go to become friends".
I know you knew this to be true.

- He loved watching Golf on TV. Rarely would their TV be on at the old Woodcliff and not have Golf on it.

- My last final word is to simply recognize and acknowledge the fact that my Grandpa worked HARD for everything he had. He Earned, Saved and Invested the honest way. With the all-american goal of providing for his family. Very respectful and full of dignity!

And finally, I want to share a few photos from our last visit with Grandpa in the home from a few weeks back. A big thanks to Lisa for bringing her camera along to snap some pics.
he (and the kids) were in the BEST mood that day!
we went for a nice long walk outside...he enjoyed getting some fresh air.
blowing dandelions, oh my!
Grandpa & Lisa
playing, what happened to be our last, heated game of Checkers!

My Gramps and the love of his life, his soul-mate :-)

God Bless you Grandpa!!


  1. Dawn Whalley FaulknerJun 23, 2011, 11:56:00 AM

    Sherri, I cried all the way through this and it sparked so many of my own memories of Uncle Dick! They also use to take us cousins on camping trips as well(Jill and I went together)and I think that is why I like camping so much because my parents weren't campers. He and Aunt Peg were also the first ones to visit me after Jensen's birth. They drove to KC on their way back from Texas. I have so many wonderful memories of him and he has always had a special place in my heart and my childrens' hearts. We visited him in the home on one of our last trips back. We are all so sad and I would give anything to come home and be there with all of you! This is an amazing tribute to him and he would be so proud of you(as always)! Big hugs to you and much love!

  2. WOW!!! What a beautiful tribute to your Grandpa. You are such an amazing writer and a true gift from the Lord. Of course I cried reading this as always but it was worth it. I know he will be looking down on you and all his family each and every day. God Bless his memory!!! Thanks so much for sharing. Love ya! Marie