Lyle was over-protected as a boy because his parents had lost a baby boy in 1890. His parents built a house on 30th Street in San Diego and owned most of the block. He learned from the school books of his parents - the McGuffey's readers and almanacs - and attended school, graduating from San Diego High in about 1912.
Here is a picture of Lyle as a boy of 4. Check out the hair and the outfit.
After his parents died in 1945, Lyle inherited the whole set of property. They moved into his parents home and sold the second home and the vacant lots on the south end of the block (which was my ball field playground). With these proceeds, they bought a small parcel of land on Point Loma with a postcard view of San Diego Bay. They built a home on the lot and moved into it in 1951. This home became our Christmas haven - since it had a fireplace, and we spent many happy Christmas Eves snug in our makeshift beds waiting for Santa to visit us.
Gramp took us fishing down on the Bay, out to the end of Point Loma to visit the lighthouse, and explore the tidepools, or we climbed the hills and explored the canyons near their house. He had always collected stamps and had many overseas correspondents. He went monthly to the Post Office to buy sheets of new stamps, and often gave plate blocks and single stamps to my brothers and I for our collections.
Lyle finally retired in 1961 after 55 years at Marstons, and settled into his retirement. He still came over to the 30th Street property and worked on the buildings and the gardens. And to see his daughter's family and to talk to his grandsons - to hear about their education and exploits and dreams. He was so proud that his daughter and grandson had attended and graduated from college.
Here is a photo of Lyle and Emily in about 1970.
He succumbed in 1976 to colon cancer, and his dear Emily joined him soon after. Their deaths pained me, but became the catalyst that made me examine my own life and beliefs, and firmed up my life's goals.
We always called him "Gramp" and we always went over to "Gram and Gramps house." I think my mother called him Dad and my father called him Lyle.
His legacy was threefold. One was financial - the real estate holdings that he built up over his lifetime provided a decent retirement for him and for my parents, and an excellent inheritance for my brothers and I. More importantly, the legacy of kindness, love, thrift, and happiness provided a wonderful example to his grandsons. Lastly, there was the wonderful stash of family history material - papers, books, photos, movies, memories.
I miss him greatly. I wish that I could have him back for just a month or so - to ask him questions, to hear more about his family, his life and experiences, to thank him for loving me and molding me and providing the impetus to study genealogy and family history.
Who do you miss the most? Who had a wondrous life in your family? Who loved you and molded you? Tell me about them - please?