Time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you
Paul Simon
Thanks to Gary Cliser for creating this video for me.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Ernest Oliver Rhea - My dad

It's Father's Day so today I will share a little about my dad. 

Ernest Oliver Rhea was born on October 17, 1921 in Billings, Montana, to William Ogden Rhea and Mellie Farris. He was the youngest of three boys. 

My dad in the front on the left, his brother Howard to the right. Ralph in the back. The look like sweet little boys but looks can be deceiving.
He met my mom, Ruby Ellen Yeakley, during World War II at the USO Center in Wichita Falls, Texas, and they married on July 4, 1947 in Los Angeles, California.

Taken at the La Brea Tar Pits in 1947

It's hard to decide what to share about him. He loved to play tricks on people. He worked for the IRS and then opened his own accounting business. He never really retired and was doing the same work into his 80's. His first love was music and played all the instruments. Unfortunately, World War II interfered with his music education at Michigan State and when he returned home, went to USC to study accounting. 

He was a fun dad and very seldom angry. He was not one to swear so if he said "hell's bells" we scattered. 

We spent a lot of time with family. My grandparents lived in Montana but we made the trek there once a year. My grandmother would also spend time with us in Southern California and then head north to the San Francisco area to visit my uncle Howard and his family. Fellowship with family and friends was important to my dad. 

A 1982 family picture taken in Billings, Montana at Christmas. In the back, my uncle Ralph and his wife Bernice, Uncle Howard and his wife Anne, my dad and my mom. In the front, Gary and Patty, children of Howard, me, my grandpa, William, my brother Marlin, Stuart, son of Howard, my grandma, Mellie, and Billy, son of Howard. 

My dad passed away on February 10, 2006. I know that he is with my mom and that makes me happy. 

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