There are so many great memories of Grandpa, but my most memorable was when he and Grandma came with me to the Marine Corps Ball last year. I grew up listening to his awesome stories about his 29 years spent in the Army and how proud he was to serve his country. I wanted him to see the influence he had on me, and proudly share the Marine Corps Ball with him – and of course show off my highly decorated Grandpa to all of my fellow Marines. 🙂 He was so proud to put on his uniform again and I was just as eager to stand next to him in mine. I will forever cherish the pictures and memories from that night.
I had great conversations with Grandpa over the years. And in nearly all of these exchanges, he would find a way to work in an old-time tune, recite a poem or some early American document in response to a question or comment. He never forgot a melody. He never forgot a word.
Way back in the 80’s when everyone was playing “Pong,” my cutting-edge grandpa was taking apart hard drives just to see how they worked. I remember him showing me a home computer for the first time. He’s the one who explained all those 0’s and 1’s to me when computers only spoke to humans in code.
Aneka - great-grand-daughter
HE did funny songs and danced good he was also nice to me.
I remember when we just finished a baseball game. We went to see great grandpa stein in the hospital. When we came in his room he said, ‘What is this?’ And then he started singing a song for us. It was wonderful. One of the other things that I remember was that he loved telling us stories and singing songs to us. He was a wonderful grandpa.
I remember great granpa Stein always telling me all the funny jokes and stories. He was a fun grandpa.
Some of my fondest memories of Uncle Don were at family Christmas gatherings. Whether it was Christmas at Nana’s packed house on Kewaunee or a more recent Christmas at Uncle Don and Aunt Connie’s in Waukesha, you always knew where Uncle Don was. His voice carried through the room while carrying on an animated conversation that would usually drift toward politics or sport-both of which could be dangerous depending on the day 🙂 These conversations were always, reflective, thought-provoking and heart felt. He didn’t just pontificate (though he did like that as well). He spoke from a lifetime of experience thinking and caring deeply about our country and our beloved Packers (never quite the same since the days of Lombardi or further back Cecil Isbel). Christmas will not be quite the same but we feel blessed that he was able to have a good quality of life during these recent years and we were able to share Christmas together as a family. Thank you Uncle Don.
I remember the first time I met Don. It was on the 17th of march 1968. It was the first of many dates I would have with his eldest daughter Barbara. I was greeted at the door by a lovely Italian woman who gratiously invited me into their home. As I entered the house I thought how easy it going to be picking up my date to go to a friends going away party as he was drafted into the army. I had no idea what my next encounter was to be. Directly to my left, a man sitting in a chair with the Milwaukee Journal covering all of his upper body as he read, lowered the paper and sat looking at me without a word. As I extended my hand to introduce myself, he looked at me and asked me what tree I had fallen out of. For the first time in my life I was speechless. He then proceded to dismantle me one jab at a time. He questioned the length of my hair and my 16 year old beard, he asked me if i was practicing to be a rabbi, and offered me a razor if I couldnt afford one. Off in another room I could hear the voice of my date begging her mother to make him stop. He then started to question my fashion choices, asking if I owned any pants wihtout rips and patches on them. Next he went up to the next level and asked if I was in the military, because i was wearing a army jacket which was given to me by a friend of my older sister. I tried to explain but he wasnt really looking for an answer. I found out later that I had broken the Don Stein rule #1: If you did not earn the uniform, you have no right to wear it. Who knew, I was 16. By now I am feeling very alone, while wondering when if at all the cavalry was going to help me. Finally, after the most uncomfortable 10 minutes of my 16 years of life emerged the most beautiful date a kid could ask for followed by her mother and younger sister whome I had also met in school. Hoping this was to be a quick transition to our date, again I was wrong. After Connie asked if I would like anything to drink, I knew this was not the end of my interrogation. After answering any and all details of our date to be, breaf silence fell over the room. At this point I thought I was home free, suggesting we get to the party. Wrong again! Don then started to tell me how Barb had taken many years of organ lessons which explained the organ in the living room. At this point I wondered how great of a family this must be to buy their daughter an organ and lessons. Looking over at Barb she all of a sudden had a look of fear on her face. The fear that comes to a young woman when she thinks her family will embarace her. Well she had cause for that fear because now her father wanted her to play the organ for us. If you could have seen the look on her face! Well she knew she wasnt getting out of this so she sat down and played Ally Cat. It was great and we laugh about it to this day. By now it was 8:00 and the party time being burned up, so after the tune we got ready to leave and I asked what time I was to have barb home. Don looked at me and said have her home by 11:00. Well needless to say we were home late because Barb thought it was too early. I on the other hand thought about all the places he could hide a dead body. Fearing for my life, I came to the house the next day to explain why we were home late. I was so worried about what I had in store so I cut my hair, shaved my beard, and put on the best clothes I owned. As I went into the house again there he was same spot, same paper. He looked up at me and said it was nice to meet me and he was glad the guy that picked up barb the night before wasnt back. After all is said and done I am glad to have all these years of knowing Don and being part of a man’s life that has always been an inspiration to myself and my family. I will miss him dearly.
I have a lot of great memories of Grandpa Don so it’s really hard for me to pick just one. I remember as a kid going to Grandma and Grandpa’s to go swimming and he always yelled at me for jumping off the deck. Then as I became a teenager he ALWAYS talked to me about money and how I was spending it. The older I got the more I realized that he was just looking out for me and my future. Grandpa and I had a great talk a couple of months ago in the basement about his military days and he actually got emotional with me and let me into his softer side! In 29 years, it was one side of Grandpa that I had never seen and I’ll never forget it. Thanks for the memories and stories! Love, Riley
I have many memories with my Father some which I will keep to myself and others I will share thru the years.
He was a strict stern Man most of the time and ran our house like an Army camp. Sharing a room with my two sisters we would often not want to sleep when told so he had us get out of bed and stand at the end of the hallway and hold a spoon or kniife and extend our hands which felt like a ton until we had enough and were able to go to sleep without talking. My Mom would watch for him to turn away and let us drop our hands for abit. Eventually we would give in and go to bed. I guess that would teach us disipline. He convinced me to learn an instrument and picked the slide trmbone for me which turned out to be a mistake as hard as it may be to believe I didnt have enough hot air in me to blow the darn thing so we went on to the oragn which I did better at and enjoyed up until my dating age and he would make me play Alley Cat before leaving with my date, I guess he thought I was impressing my dates but there were few jokes to be had by my organ playing. And then there was the toast he gave at my wedding called theres a boy next door and his name is Jim he wants to marry me. He had everyone in tears. He always had a way with poems and songs. And finally, watching his face on Valentines Day when we sent the barbershop quartet to his house and he saw 5 guys in white tuxs standing in his living room and thought we sent the undertaker to him until they stared singing. He enjoyed it so much that he had to sing a few songs back to them. They LOVED his songs and through in another song for free to thank him. He said that day was the best memory he had in along time and showed off his pictures to everyone. It was well worth every penny. I could go on but I wont. I think you get the picture of who my Dad was and I hope you too have a Memory you will keep of him in years to come. Thanks Dad for the Memories! Love Barb
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