Tuesday, March 8, 2016


We eat cones of ice cream on March 8 each year in tribute to my father. My brother Murray began this tradition a few years ago.

Ed Unruh loved ice cream. I was ten years old when he took me to a junior hockey game. On our walk home we stopped in at an ice cream parlour and he bought us each a cone. We had no sooner reached the corner of the block when he was finished his cone, looked at me and said, "That cone tastes like more," so we turned around and went back for a second cone. So we emphasize more. Kids can dip their own, and more than one.

He loved Ice Cream. It was an inexpensive treat in the old days. A triple scoop cost .25, yes, twenty-five cents. My mom worked the counter at Avondale Dairy one year which served the family well. Into his senior years when we visited one another and we were en route anywhere, ice cream signage caught his attention, and he would suggest that we stop. No one objected.

Edward Richard Unruh was my dad. Born to immigrant Mennonite refugees from Crimea, Ukraine in 1915 and bestowed with English given names to mark his new homeland.  Proudly Canadian, in 1942 my father enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force while living within a pacifist culture. I was an infant. He and mom raised three of us, all sons. He had acquired a grade eleven education but no skilled trade. He earned a living using his body. He was 5 feet six inches in height but in his youth and into his forties he was a strong man. After his post WWII departure from the prairies, he found employment in Ontario factories, staying with one company for well over forty years until his retirement. He worked on an assembly line at Anthes Imperial building furnaces in St. Catharines. His three sons grew up, received educations and were able to move forward. At about his forty year mark in the company, we three asked him, "Dad, why did you stay there doing that hard work for all those years?" His reply was, "I did it for my boys." He aspired to little more than being a good man, a good husband, a good father, a good worker and a good friend. He was a man with a simple faith in God. He read the Bible. He trusted preachers. He raised three boys who became preachers/missionaries. He loved us, and he loved our wives and he loved our children, and he loved his great-grandchildren.  His legacy entails far more than a love for ice cream.

No comments:

Post a Comment