Executive Vice President
” My grandpa, Adam Leintz, would have had 102 candles on his birthday cake on Oct. 24. Sadly, there won’t be any cake and ice cream for him this year, as we laid this incredible man to rest late last month.
I know it sounds silly to say that his death came as a surprise when he had already passed the century mark, but, in many ways, it did. He had been active and healthy most of his life, overcoming many obstacles and outliving many of his family and friends, so I guess I never imagined that he wouldn’t always be here with us.
Grandpa lived a full life, not just because of the number of years in it, but because of the amount of life in those years. Born and raised in Brisbane, Grandpa worked a short stint for the Works Projects Administration building bridges and working on the railroad before he and my grandma moved south of Raleigh to the St. Gertrude’s area. There, they raised kids, commercial Hereford and Angus cattle, hay, corn and cereal grains; milked cows; volunteered at church; fished for “cats” on the Cannonball River; square danced; played cards; and led the local 4-H club. They also led the rosary every night, rain or shine, for the family before going to bed.
Grandpa and Grandma got married in 1938. Coming out of the Great Depression, times were still lean for their farming and ranching families, so, in order to save money, the couple teamed up with two other couples — my grandpa’s sister and grandma’s brother and my grandma’s brother and his bride — and were part of a triple wedding held on the family farm. Friends from far and near came to celebrate the nuptials the whole weekend and, because the rooms in the houses were needed to accommodate the out-of-town guests, my grandparents spent their wedding night sleeping in the grainery, watching the mice scurry around their makeshift bed, nibbling at the loose grain. Amazingly, 50 years later, those three couples were all still living, all still together and all still well enough to celebrate their anniversary in triplicate, just as they had celebrated their wedding a half-century before.
I think this is a perfect illustration of my grandpa’s value system. He lived simply and conservatively; never complained; fixed things that were broken instead of throwing them away; and always, always, always took care of and was grateful for what he had. I am grateful to have had him and his example in my life all these years. Happy birthday in heaven, Grandpa!