In Memoriam

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In Loving Memory of the Late, Great Kenneth L. Ingham (1929-2004)

Until we meet again, Dad.

My father was the most soft-spoken and gentle man I’ve ever known. He had a great sense of humor—so much so that when something struck him as particularly funny, he’d laugh so hard he’d cry. He had fine tastes, admiring beautiful and valuable things—from shrimp and lobster to Cadillacs and precious metals. Oh, how he must love those streets of gold. . . My father loved movies. (The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.)

He could sit and watch any movie and get engrossed in it. He particularly liked actor Alan Ladd. In his golden years, my father took the time to list his favorite movies of all time. Here is his list as he wrote it.

As he confirmed to me at the time, its sequence doesn’t have any significance:
East of Eden, Casablanca, Shane, Marty, The Great Gatsby, The Inspector General, It’s a Wonderful Life, Stalag 17, Regarding Henry.
He didn’t list the movie Giant, but I know it was also one of his favorites.

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Dad loved to eat—chili, bacon & eggs, pizza—it didn’t matter, and I envied that he never gained weight. He enjoyed collecting baseball cards and watching sports on TV—especially the Phillies. Watching the Phils will never be the same for me, but at the same time, I’m full of joy because Dad, you now have the best seat in the house.

I have many fond memories; I can’t list them all, but a few will do: I cherished our times watching a ballgame, a movie, General Hospital, or Columbo; laughing together at the antics of The Three Stooges; chuckling at how many times Emeril Lagasse said, “Oh yeh, babe”; enjoying The Andy Griffith Show and noticing how a particular episode moved my dad to tears (certain movies had that effect too); opening baseball cards, always hoping for “one for the safe”; and our Friday tradition, which I’ll keep to myself, but in his honor, I still do each week.

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The separation is painful, but the following stanza from a poem says it best:

Our family chain is broken
and nothing seems the same,
but as God calls us one by one,
the chain will link again.

In my Father’s house are many mansions [John 14:2].

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