Ethel Maharg: A Tribute to My Dad

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Thank you you Sister Ethel Maharg for this wonderful tribute to your Dad! It is awesome to get to know the history of your family! Happy Father’s Day also to your hubby Dean!

Happy Father’s Day to all you amazing Dads.

 

My Dad Augustin Eichwald along with my Mom Carlota Eichwald, pictured at the very top,  raised 7 kids. My parents were of two different faiths, he being Presbyterian and my Mom Catholic. He was faithful to attend his church and during summer vacations I remember attending Bible school in the basement of the little Presbyterian church in Cuba. During the school year we attended Catholic school from kindergarten to eighth grade then on to Menaul High, a Presbyterian High School in Albuquerque.

 

My Dad worked hard on the farm as well as the local electric cooperative. They put all seven kids through private school and college through the sale of cows. I often say, that was a lot of cows. He always said he wanted better for us, so he worked to provide a good education for us all.

 

They did not have a lot of money and I remember those times when he would splurge and take all seven of us to Furr’s Cafeteria for lunch where we could have all we could eat. Those were special days. He would take us up to San Gregorio Lake to fish. When he would hunt we would all help making jerky.

 

My Dad was fair to everyone. He would bail and sell hay and gained many Native American friends because he never overcharged them as they had become accustomed to people doing this to them.

 

My Dad was very strict and when we deserved it, his belt would come out swiftly. We did not dare get in trouble at school, because if we did, we would get it at home as well, and don’t you dare talk back to mom or you were in major trouble. I am so grateful that he instilled in us the value of respect for authority. I dare say we could use a little more of that these days.

 

My Dad was severely injured on the job and spent his last years on disability, but that didn’t stop him from taking care of us all as well serving his community as Mayor for two terms. He died in office. I remember the ambulance driver who took him to the Veterans hospital saying it was the saddest ride he had to make. Although he was Presbyterian, his funeral was held at the Catholic Church parish hall because of the crowd. The Catholic priest who he had become great friends with served him along with the Presbyterian minister bringing two faiths together in his death.

 

My Dad a World War II Veteran loved his country and he loved my Mom and I think these were two of the greatest gifts he could have given us. A lesson in how to love your country and how to love your spouse. The week before he died, my aunt told us that they had a long visit and all he could do was talk about how wonderful my mom was. I knew that because he loved her so much, there was never a question about his love for his seven kids.  It has been 30 years since he has been gone, but I still miss him. My Dad left us too young at 63 years old, yet his life impacted mine greatly. I am forever in his debt. I am so grateful that God gave me such a good Dad.  Happy Father’s Day Dad.

Ethel Maharg

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