My father really wanted to send out an update on what he’s been up to these last few years. We were talking about it, but hadn’t gotten it to “published” format yet, but here is our version of his update.
Most of you know that dad and Jeannie travelled the Olympics for years, but more recently, when he decided to settle down a little bit, dad and Jeannie spent time in Breckenridge and on Galveston Island. What you may not know, is that the two of them were exceptional home flippers. I think they would have given Chip and Joanne a run for their money, if someone had made a TV show about their adventures! They bought a chalet in Breckenridge, as well as two cute little places on Galveston Island, one on the canals and one on the beach. They still lived mostly in the motorhome, but fixed up, rented and managed the houses in both places.
Then, in early 2019, Jeannie’s brother had a stroke, and dad and Jeannie decided to move to Hemet, CA to help care for him. They bought yet another house to fix up and flip, and this was probably the biggest make-over of all! They had just finished their amazing home makeover, when dad got sick.
On Father’s Day, dad and Jeannie came up to Craig’s and we had a wonderful weekend playing cards and socially distant yard games. It was just a couple months later that dad got sick and ended up in the hospital. He was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma that had spread to his bones, and fought it valiantly. Less than a week ago, dad was playing Yahtzee with Jeannie and I, and he was happy to play – until I was winning! He loved cards, particularly Canasta and Joker.
We will miss him greatly, but he lived a full life, and touched a lot of lives. We hope you will share a favorite memory here with us.
Favorite Memories shared with Papa Merritt recently:
“Thank you for teaching me so many card games that have created so many fond memories with friends and on many a Canfield family vacation. Whenever I play games you’ve taught me, I think of you + family rules and ways of scoring (like picking up just enough cards to deal). Thank you for teaching me how to adventure and live life fully and with curiosity always.” Kaytee
“I am currently teaching second grade and my students are learning about schools around the world. I was able to share with them about my travels halfway across the globe to China and show pictures and they thought it was so cool! I was so blessed to be able to go on that trip with you and it will always be one of my most dear memories.” Becca
“It would be very difficult for me to pick one memory of all the times my sister and I spent at your house growing up because our visits there were simply the highlights of our vacation time off school (summer and winter), but here are just two:”
“I remember distinctly the first time Sharon and I got to fly down and visit you by ourselves – I was only 5! (I spilled punch all down my dress on the airplane…) When we arrived, you gave us big hugs, and carried me most of the way through the airport. We were thirsty and you let me order a 7 up – I was so pleased.”
“When I was older, I loved the way your family dinners were so vibrant and fun. You were always such a fantastic storyteller – and there was usually a humorous or thought-provoking ending to the story. I think a lot of my love of dinner gatherings and parties was begun at your table.” Karen Hays
“Giving you the invitation to my wedding and seeing your excitement for Hailey and I meant the world to me. You are the best grandfather I could have asked for. I always look forward to seeing you at big events, moments, and holidays, and every time, you brighten the room with your witty jokes and your big smile (as well as your finesse at beating us at cards). And of course, whenever you visit, we always both get a BIG bowl of ice cream every night.” Tyler
“Thank you for your generosity to me and to Kaytee, Bob and Becca. You opened up all of our eyes to new experiences – Greece, China, Hawaii, Lake Tahoe – the list goes on. I am so grateful to have been a part of your family.” Rosemary
“See you next week! Ps. I’ll bring tools!” Craig
Dad’s list of home improvements was long, and even when he was sick, he knew he could count on Craig and Gary to finish it up! – Craig and Gary have spent many a weekend recently working on fixing electrical issues, improving a handicap ramp and other projects around the house.
I remember when Gary and I were engaged, you sent me postcards counting down the days until our wedding. Every day. For 60 days. A postcard about love. Most of them your own quotes, but some from the bible or other famous people. It was so fun getting the mail every day to see the next card. Here is one of your quotes (44 days to go):
“Chris, I think you already know this:
…too slow for those who wait;
…too swift for those who fear;
…too long for those who grieve;
…too short for those who rejoice,
But for those who love,
Time is Eternity! Love Dad” Shared by Chris
”I will always cherish my memories spent with you and Merritt. He always had a smile on his face and that is unforgettable.” Megan
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Merritt Clinton Canfield, please visit our floral store.