I wrote the following up and printed and framed it for my dad for his 70th birthday. Mum told me that when he went to read it to mum he got all choked up and mum had to finish reading it to him.
My dad is an amazing man who has a wonderful life surrounded by a family who both love and respect him. He was born on the 16th October 1940 in Kurri Kurri where he lived till he was 8 years old when he went to live with his Aunty Joyce & Uncle Arthur.
Dad is the second eldest of 5 children but I think he looks a lot younger than the others I don’t know why it is that dad looks so good for a man of 70 maybe it’s because he is surrounded by a loving family with lots of young children and babies in it that keeps him young. Dad does love seeing the babies in the family; his eyes light up and he looks so happy when the babies are around.
On the 4th July 1958 he would meet the love of his life................Mavis Townsend.........aka......mum, they meet at Newcastle Railway Station when they both worked for the Railway mum worked on the trains in the dining car and dad was working as a barrel boy, taking beer to the bar and loading the dining cars.
Dad worked for the Railway for 43.5yrs starting out as a barrel boy, then he worked in the single box before moving onto shunting and then in 1963 he went out guard which is the only job I ever knew dad to have. He retired in 2001 since he retired he has become the family expert on computers, dad is the go to guy when we have a problem or a question about the computer. He has also taken to doing the family genealogy.
He married mum on the 19th November 1960 at St Andrews Church in Newcastle so they have now been married 52 years this year.
Dad was taught to drive by his mother in-law Flo James with whom he always had a good relationship, in fact mum and dad lived with mums parents for a short while around the time their first child was born in 1962.
Dad has 5 children, Jo-Anne, Jeannie, Susan, Sandra and David and he has 17 grandchildren, Kathy-Lee, Natasha, Jessica, Samantha, Tina, Tyler, Thomas, Heather, Kirsty, Vaughan, Kelli, Zac, Temika, Denni, Dawson, Kayla, Liarna......................and he has 8 great-grandchildren, Blain, Leo, Sydney-May, Hayley, Isabel, Holley, Leonard, Daemon and counting.........
When his first born Jo-Anne was a child she called him “Bay” instead of dad this I did till I was about 7yrs old when my sister Jeannie started calling him dad and I followed suit. I have no idea why I called him “Bay” I just did…………….
Speaking of names my dad is the only person ever allowed to call me Josephine why because he is dad and it’s not my name………….lol
Dad also spelt his name Denis with two “n’s” for most of his life then a few years back he realised it had only one “n” in it and dropped the second “n” it has taken a bit of getting use to this new on “n” spelling, well for the rest of us maybe not for dad……………..lol
In 2009 dad was diagnosed with lung cancer this came as a shock to the family, he was unwell one night with stomach pains and went to the hospital where they ran a heap of tests to try and find out what was causing the pain, in the end they did a chest x ray and that showed the lung cancer. He was told at the time that if they hadn’t caught it when they did he wouldn’t have lasted the year, he had to have part of his lung removed along with Chemo and Radiation therapy and of course he has to have regular check-ups and tests done but so far so good. We hope to have dad around with us for many years to come………..I can’t imagine life without my dad………….and I am sure all my siblings must feel the same. Oh and they never found out what was causing the stomach pain…lol