Obituary Details

Charles E. Uhrig

(10/26/1907 - 03/08/2004)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 04/21/2004

Charles E. Uhrig

Charles E. Uhrig, age 96, of Largo, Fla., died March 8, 2004 at his son's residence in Florida. Lillian, his wife of over 68 years, had passed away December 15, 2002.

Charles and Lillian had spent six months with their son Eddie and wife Joanna (Jo) at their Lusk Home on South Elm Street where they experienced some first time ever events together. They both often talked about how they wanted the "local folks" to know they appreciated everyone's efforts in helping them have several new experiences while spending half of one year here. They fondly remembered getting dressed "Western style" and riding in their first covered wagon with "Shortie" being chased by Indians down Main street and mother throwing candy to the children lining the parade route. They enjoyed coffee with friends at the truck stop, curly fries at Three sisters, visiting Sperry Drug to catch their sales, stopping at the First National Bank and munching on some of their goodies, and visiting all the other stores because everyone was so friendly. Dad even managed to attend some of his son's American Legion meetings, which he enjoyed immensely.

The folks loved their Lusk neighbors, Gordon and Leslie Kee, Winnie and Burr Bryant, Noal Larson and Rod and Donna Hoyt.

They developed a deep appreciation for what they labeled "the true people of Wyoming", who they thought were the hardest workers and the most honest folks on the face of this earth.

Charles and Lillian, in all of those 69 years of married life, had never gone into a bar for a drink, so that summer in Lusk we took them to the Friday night special at the Silver Dollar Bar and the folks had their first drink at the bar along with a great dinner.

Charles and Lillian are survived by one son, Edward Uhrig of Largo, Fla. and Lusk, two daughters Ann Stone of Knoxville, Tenn. and Sally Bailey of North Reading, Mass.; Lillian's two sisters, Carolyn Heaton and Esther Burrell, both of Foxboro, Mass.; eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

I know if Dad had been with us in Lusk this year he would say "our Main Street Project sure came out great," compared to the summer he and mother spent with us here in Lusk. My father was always talking about their six months spent with us here in Lusk. He was looking forward to flying with us to Lusk again sometime this summer, but the Lord called him to come take care of mother like he had done for over 68 years. My father used to say Wyoming is the only place where one can see where the sky really does meet the earth.

One evening great-grandson Jeremy was talking to his great-grandfather about current events. Jeremy asked what his great-grandfather he thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age and just things in general.

Great-grandpa Uhrig replied "Well, grandson, let me think a minute. I was born before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, contact lens, Frisbees and the pill. There were not things like radar, credit cards, laser beams, or ball point pens. Man had not invented pantyhose, dishwashers, clothes dryers, electric blankets, air conditioners and he hadn't walked on the moon. Your grandma and I got married first, then lived together.

Every family had a father and a mother and every boy over 14 had a rifle that his dad taught him how to use and respect. Until I was 25, I called every man older than I, "Sir", and after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, "Sir".

In our time, closets were for clothes-not for "coming out of". Sundays were set aside for going to church as a family, helping those in need, and just visiting with family or neighbors. We were before 'gay rights', computer dating, dual careers, day care centers and group therapy. Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment and common sense. We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.

Serving your country was a privilege; living here was a bigger privilege. We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent. Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins. Draft Dodgers were people who close their front doors when the evening breeze started. Time sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and week-ends, not condominiums.

We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CD's, electric typewriters, yogurt or guys wearing earrings. We listened to the Big Bands, Jack Benny and the President's speeches on the radio. I don't ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey.

If you saw anything with "made in Japan" on it, it was junk. The term "making out" referred to how you did on your school exam. Pizza Hut, McDonald's and instant coffee were unheard of. We had five and 10 cent stores where you could actually buy things for five and 10 cents. Ice cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel. And if you didn't want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail one letter and two postcards.

You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600, but who could afford one? Too bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon. In my day, "grass" was mowed, "coke" was a cold drink; "pot" was something your mother cooked in; and "rock music" was grandma's lullaby. "Aids" were helpers in the Principal's office "chip" meant a piece of wood, "hardware" was found in a hardware store; and "software" wasn't even a word.

And we were the last generation that was too dumb to think a lady needed a husband to have a baby. No wonder people call us old and confused and say there is such a generation gap. And I'm only 96 years old.

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