My Father's Hands
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My father's hands worked the land,
Holding the steering wheel of the tractor,
Guiding it down the long straight rows
Where corn or sugar beets would soon grow.
My father's hands held mine when young,
Helping me walk, and keeping me from danger
He nurtured and cared for his handicapped son,
Loving him through the many challenges to come.
My father's hands held mine in his,
A wedding waltz with the best dancer I know
My father's hands gave mine to his,
Embracing a son-in-law, an added friend.
My father's hands enjoyed a good cribbage game,
His sharp mind calculating a usual win,
Laughing and teasing were part of the process,
Followed by ice cream to comfort the win-less!
My father’s hands played the banjo,
Just enough to pick out a tune,
Selling a load of grain and returning with a mandolin,
Rhythm and music were always “in his veins!”
My father's hands became frail and weak
Struggling to grasp, unable to write
My hands became my father's hands,
Helping him manage his daily tasks.
My father's hands found a home in mine,
When struggling with his final breaths
My love flowed through my hands to his,
Grateful for his faithfulness.
My dad, Frederick Lenhardt, passed into glory on Saturday, November 30, 2019. He died at age 95 from complications of congestive heart failure.
Dad was born on June 4, 1924, to Henry and Katherine (Hein) Lenhardt on the family farm. This farm was on what is now Sunset Memorial Gardens in Billings. He will be laid to rest there as well, returning to the land he was born on. He attended Elder Grove School and Senior High in Billings, MT.
He was happily married to my mother, Helen M. (Slater) Lenhardt for 38 years. She preceded him in death. He was a farmer most of his life, meticulously caring for the soil, his machinery, his animals, and his family. He enjoyed playing cards, dancing and woodworking.
Survivors include his son, Mark Lenhardt and his daughter, Linda (Alan) Staszcuk, both of Billings, MT; grandsons, Andrew Staszcuk of Billings and Joey (Maria) Staszcuk of Bozeman, MT; and adored great grandchildren, Kaydee and August Staszcuk. He is also survived by his brother Clarence Lenhardt of Billings; and sisters-in-law, Corinna Slater of Laurel, Veda Fay of Alaska, and Doris Lenhardt of Billings, along with many beloved nieces and nephews.
When asked what was important to him, Dad replied “The love of family.” He grew up with 4 brothers (Adolph, Richard, Leo, and Clarence) and 1 sister (Elsie Kahler Kinsfater). He enjoyed playing pinochle with his brothers and working along beside them. He also loved his extended family and enjoyed many family gatherings. There was always laughter and happy memories made with “Uncle Fred.”
A celebration of Dad's life will be held at 11 am on Friday, December 13, 2019, at Faith E Church, 3145 Sweetwater Drive, in Billings MT Please think of a special memory of Dad to share, either verbally or written. Smith West Chapel is in charge. A private burial will be held on another date.
Memorials may be made to Residential Support Services, 2110 Overland Avenue, Billings, MT 59102 or charity of your choice. A special thanks to Compassus Hospice for their help and care during Dad's final months. Condolences can be shared with the family by visiting smithfuneralchapels.com where a complete obituary is available.