NOVEMBER 29, 1926 – MAY 11, 2010
This was my grand uncle, we called him Uncle Stan. I didn’t know until he died that most people knew him as Si, like sigh, for his initials, S & I, for Stanley Irwin. Was a little odd to hear him referred to as Si.
I really only saw him around my grandparents or at Holweger/Hager/Bitzer family reunions, and everybody in his wife’s family, my grand aunt Edie(My maternal grandmother’s sister), called him Stan.
Though I never called him Irwin, ever, i did give Irwin, as a middle name to my son Milagro. Uncle stan was a grat man, whether my grand uncle or not, and he was a pretty cool Grand Uncle too
I know he served in the Navy, and I think he may have served in both WWII and Korea. His obit says WWII for sure, and i seem to remember, being told as a kid that the reason Uncle Stan and Aunt Edie never had kids had to do with his service in Korea. that soehow, he was rendered impotent, unable to have children. The exact reason was never discussed, at least while I was in earshot.
What I really remember about him, is that he was welcoming to us, my father, my siblings and I. he was Sioux Indian, and as such, fairly dark skinned. The majority of the family, at the family reunions where we would see Uncle stan, were not, decidedly not.
Nope, about as white as they come, Uber german, yet seventh day adventists, so no beer, no brauts, not even oompa music!
Gramma had more than 20 siblings, half siblings and step siblings, and most of them had large families as well, so this was a a huge family reunion, hundreds of people, held every two years. Yet, with th hundreds of people at the reunion… Uncle Stan, My dad, My three siblings, myself and two other cousins made upALL of the diversity in the family. 8 people with melanin in their skin,out of the generally 300 people plus reunions.
So, whether consciously or not, we seemed to gather, to huddle, well, not really huddle, we were brazen about who we were, and that we were part of the family. yet, we still, ended up, like amongst like, even among blood relatives. Uncle Stan wasn’t blood to me, but he was a closer relative to me, a better person, a greater teacher, to me, than most of those other relatives we were surrounded by, combined.
Love and miss you Uncle Stan, and I still have the blanket you gave my father. I intend to pass it on to your namesake, my son, Milagro Irwin Leo Madden, when he is old enough to take care of it.