Seeing how Alzheimer's affected my grandpa and all those around him who love him made me angry for a long time. I don't like the word hate but when it comes to the disease of Alzheimer's that is exactly what I have for it. The way the disease can rob a person of their memories and not be able to recognize the ones they love. Taking away their personalities and dignity until they are only a shell of the person you knew and loved. My Gramps was someone I looked up to my whole life and had such a positive influence on not only me but so many others. He gave so much of himself to help others and support the community or raise awareness for others. Making a difference when ever he could whether it be serving our country in the Marine Corps during the Korean conflict or making sure kids had mentors as one of the founders and first president of the Clarksville Big Brothers/Big Sisters club. Constantly being active in local organizations that mattered to him like Urban Ministries, Habitat for Humanity, Clarksville Millenium Committee, Council of Community Service, the Clarksville Civitan Club, and Buddy Ball. He was very passionate about doing things that could help save a life particularly donating blood (he was a 10+ multi-gallon blood donor for the American Red Cross). He loved coaching youth baseball after having coached 2 different state title baseball teams in North Dakota and Tennessee. His passion was teaching math for which he did professionally for 28 years as a professor at Austin Peay State University after getting his doctorate degree at Florida State. He was awarded the APSU Distinguished Professor Award, Richard Hawkins Creative Award, and the student-chosen Apple Award. But more than anything family was what he was most proud of and I couldn't have been more proud that he was my Gramps. I only wish I could have told him that more often. Here's to you Gramps and to ending Alzheimer's disease in my lifetime.
Again thanks to all those who can help!
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