My Favorite Uncle

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Jan 15, 2007
The Sticks---N.W. Orygun
I sat staring at the blurry monitor yesterday while writing this. I guess sharing this is part of my grieving process. He guided me into my love of shooting, reloading, and Rugers at an early age. I had to have a Redhawk to compete with his Blackhawk when I was just 18, and it just snowballed from there. Of course reloading quickly followed, because at 18 the only way to afford shooting a 44 was to load your own. He only owned one black plastic bottom feeder, that lived among a pile of mostly single action Rugers.

My favorite Uncle

At one time I had 8 uncles. A couple I never really knew, some which I know but not really well other than at the occasional family reunion, and a couple that I have had the opportunity to spent plenty of quality time with. Since this one lived the closest, and was into the same things I have grown into, I guess I would have to call him my favorite uncle. He taught me to ride a dirt bike at a very young age (probably before I was ready). May years ago he built me and my brothers a really cool go cart---the push type with a tuck and roll upholstered seat, rope steering and specialty engineered 2x4 braking. While my brothers and I were taught shooting and safe gun handling by our father, this uncle was the one that really was responsible for getting me deep into shooting and later reloading. He had only a single daughter, so he got his "boy time" with me and my brothers spread over many years.

This was a man that could invent, build, repair, modify, and improve anything he put his mind to. He grew up working with his father/my grandfather, as a tile setter then a home builder/contractor. He went to trade school to become a mechanic and worked on and rode motorcycles back in the 60's. He worked as a mill right, framer, mechanic, builder, welder, electrician, plumber, concrete finisher, semi truck owner/operator, jack of all trades, and a true master carpenter. He finished his working life as a job site superintendent on commercial remodels, additions, and new buildings ranging from schools, apartments, and banks. He was a part of a dying breed in this country. This being a true skilled and talented craftsman with more experience in numerous trades than you will find on most job sites anywhere in the world.

Over the years he built more than one "retirement home", with each having the latest, greatest, and neatest updates that would make life easier as he thought about growing older and about settling down to retirement. The only major roadblock was that he just could not seem to settle into retirement. There always seemed to be another job to come up, and more money to be made. Since his reputation was well known, he never seemed to be lacking in work or even something to build or fix at home. He was known to finish a job, whether small or multi million dollar, and come in under budget and ahead of schedule. Over the years he also passed along much of his skills and knowledge in the trades to numerous apprentices.

A bit over a year ago, he left a job site mid day, which was totally out of character for him. He was always first on the site and the last to leave at the end of a long day. He needed to try to get some rest and gain the upper hand on what he thought was a cold or the flu. The next day he ended up in the emergency room where he ended up spending around 3 months in critical care. It turned out to be a major infection in his head caused by having a bout with shingles several years prior. After considerable time it became apparent that this infection had ruining his brain. Most never recover from this, but he was always a true fighter. While his body was able to recover, unfortunately his brain never did. He never regained much outside a few brief past memories, and knowing his wife was the one by his side.

My favorite uncle passed peacefully in his sleep on Friday December 22, 2017. For all that knew him, he will be greatly missed. While we all hate to lose a friend or relative, and even more so at this time of year, we can all rest easier now knowing that he is in better hands and not spending any more time in a bed dependent on 24 hour care.

I am grateful for the time we spent together and the knowledge and numerous skills he taught me over the years. I am also happy that my own son was able to also spend quality time with his great uncle. I know he also learned a few life lessons and gained knowledge from this man as I did.

At his own request there will be no service, but I know that it would have drawn a huge crowd in attendance.

May you now rest in peace as you move on to greater adventures in your retirement (RRR) 1945 to 2017.

First of many.

Always something to shoot at.

Nice trout in this river.

Always something to build. He kept up with the times and discovered blue tooth headphones. Notice a well used Dillon on the bench.

17 years ago.

One of our last outings together---Uncle Richard, me, and my son.

If anyone from Oregon happens to recognize him, please feel free to connect with me with shared memories.

tom black

Mar 4, 2010
Sounds like this old world was a better place for him being here. My condolences sir.
Tom Black

Robb Barnes

Sep 16, 2007
Dallas, OR US
Sounds like our Heavenly Father needed someone to run lead on some projects He wants done in heaven! I am thankful you got to spend quality time with your uncle here on earth. May his time in heaven be just as fruitful and exciting as it sounds like his life here on earth was.


Nov 29, 2017
Speaking of loved uncles, my favorite was my great-uncle Bob.

A professional musician and pro-boxer.

He played a trumpet until his 21st fight in which his lips were permanently wrecked.

He couldn't play the trumpet anymore as the mouthpiece wouldn't accommodate his new lip architecture, but the French Horn did. So, that's what he played from then on and quit pro-fighting.


Mar 17, 2008
Southern Illinois
His taste in motorcycles matched mine. That is a Jawa Californian. Somewhere around the year of 1961. Mine was a 175 cc. I had a favorite uncle that could have been his brother. Still miss him.

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