"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

Amazing Dad

By on May 30, 2018 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments



Jerry Smits gets ready to ride in the Veteran’s Day Parade, with daughter Barb Thornton and sons John and Paul Smits.

By Barb Thornton

My Dad’s name is Jerry Smits. I grew up in Wenatchee, raised by two loving parents.

My Dad is now 93, lives in an assisted living place here and he still amazes me. He was in the Navy for three years and was employed by the U.S. Postal Service. He still is a very good-looking man, dresses nicely and likes things run on time.

Dad has very good documentation of his Navy days and loves to talk to people about those times in his life. His ship was torpedoed and if it weren’t for a shift change in what he was doing as a water tender, he would not be here.

I am grateful for his sacrifice that has kept this country free. He got to ride in the last Veteran’s Day Parade. You can tell by the attached picture what a highlight it was for him.

He also learned how to fly a Cessna plane and we took many rides around Wenatchee. He has always been active, even waterskiing in his 70s. He presented classes for The 55 Alive Driving Class for many years.

I saw him (and my Mom) work hard for what they got and I believe that ethic was passed on to his kids: To show up on time, do a good work for the company that employs you, don’t abuse sick leave and be proud of your work, whatever it is.

In the years he and my Mom were raising kids, he got off work early from the Post Office, so he was the one I saw putting dinner together, ironing, laundry or any other task that needed done.

Plus he was there when we got home from school. Almost a Mr. Mom to us back then, a tough, but fair disciplinarian, even using a “Heat for the Seat” paddling stick, when needed.

Even now as he lives alone, I call him almost every day and my two brothers and I run any errands he needs done. He is thankful for any visitors and calls.

He is the rock in our family and his sense of humor is unsurpassed. Jerry Smits, my Amazing Dad.

Barb Thornton has lived in Wenatchee most of her life. She is planning on retiring from Confluence Health in July and looking forward to this new adventure.

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