My Grandpa- Thomas Irvin Maust

March 14, 1927 – May 4, 2017
Grandpa’s Senior Picture

Two weeks ago my Grandpa passed away. He had been in Hospice care since November so we all knew this time was coming but that doesn’t make it any easier. When I look at the “big picture” though it is hard to be sad knowing he is in Heaven and no longer suffering. We grieve his loss on earth and always will but we know we will see him again one day and what a day that will be!!! He celebrated his 90th birthday in March! He was married to my Grandma, Sara, my namesake for 68 years. That alone says it all!! He loved my Grandma so much and took such great care of her and made sure to spoil her any chance he had! He had 5 children, 19 grandchildren and 25 grandchildren. Grandpa loved his family and was always so proud of all of us. When his great children walked in the room his eyes lit up and he smiled his big smile that I know we will always remember. What a smile that man had!!!

I took this photo of my Grandparents the week of Thanksgiving in 2014. This will forever be my favorite photo of them! So thankful to have it and the memories that come with that day.

Some of this is taken from his obituary: He was born on March 14, 1927 to Charles and Rose Ella (Dreyer) Maust. He had a large family; brothers: Richard, Harry, Warren, and Charles and sisters: Eleanor, Evora, Edith, Elaine, and Emily. He graduated from Berlin High School (same school my mom and my sisters and I attended) in 1945. He and Grandma owned (70 years) and operated (40 years) a dairy farm in Berlin, PA. After retiring from the dairy business, he was a claims adjuster for Highland Mutual Insurance Company. He was an active member of the PA. Young Farmers’ Assoc., serving as president for several years. He was also active in the Senior Extension Group, the I.O.O.F., and served as a 4-H leader. Music held a special place in Grandpa’s heart, playing the baritone and singing with the Berlin Men’s Octet Group for many years. To this day, I can hear him belting out church hymns every Sunday morning at the Somerset Church of Christ where he attended church.

These are some of our family favorite photos of Grandpa growing up, with his family, his wedding photos, and photos of him with my Grandma and their five children.

I could literally write for days about the qualities of Grandpa and the memories I have growing up across the field from him. Grandpa was an avid hunter. He kept his binoculars on the radiator in the kitchen so he could check for deer and other wildlife in the huge field out the kitchen window. He also would check up on what his brother Charlie was doing on his farm across the field. Many times growing up we would call him to let him know we were going fishing at Uncle Charlie’s pond and he would stand in the kitchen with the binoculars watching! Grandpa was such a hard worker. He loved helping anyone that needed help with various projects especially involving the use of one of his tractors. One summer, he helped my dad tear down their swimming pool and the deck surrounding it. We drove to PA that summer and my husband, James and our really good friend, Nick, helped as well. James and Nick could not believe how Grandpa outworked them all!! My dad always said Grandpa could work circles around everyone else. I think that had a lot to do with why he lived to be 90!! He was always doing some kind of project!

Some photos of Grandpa doing some of the things he loved!

My Grandma and Grandpa had a special relationship with my Dad’s parents, Nanny and Pappy. Growing up we had them over together a lot for dinners, birthday celebrations, and brunch every Christmas morning. Grandpa was Diabetic but LOVED sweets, especially cookies, homemade pie and ice cream. He always loved when his “numbers” were good and he could have some sweets! I know for sure that Grandpa and Pappy are eating a lot of ice cream and sharing their Buck stories in Heaven. I smile just thinking about what they are doing together right now.

I love the photo of Grandpa and Pappy enjoying a day at the beach together. We sure loved spending time with both our grandparents!

The memories of Grandpa will live on forever. Every time I eat a strawberry I will hear him saying as he laughed “This strawberry is saying, put me in your belly”. I will pull my girls toes until I hear them crack and remind them that their Great Grandpa did that to us as often as he could when we were younger and oh, we hated it! He pulled our ears every year on our birthday and laughed as he counted to our age that year. On my birthday, he called me every year to tell me the story about when I was born. It was a very cold and snowy winter day and he would tell me about driving over the mountain in the snow storm to meet me at the hospital. He would then compare the current weather to that day. I sure will miss that phone call I got every morning on my birthday. This year I had my dad call my phone on my birthday and I purposely didn’t answer so Grandpa could tell my birthday story on my voicemail. So thankful for that!! I can listen over and over to it. Grandpa was known for his truck rides. Throughout the summer the cousins and their parents would go on truck rides through the fields with Grandpa. We put picnic table benches on the truck bed and piled on them. We sang songs and had so much fun. Memories I know none of us will ever forget! Grandpa loved the ocean and swimming. We went on several wonderful beach trips with Grandma and him and swam many summer days with them. I will treasure this man forever!

This is my favorite photo of Grandpa and me. We loved that swing set at their house and he loved pushing us on it. Notice his binoculars around his neck just in case he might need to check for some deer!

A few fun photos of Grandpa and Grandma with me as a kid.

I am so blessed that each of my three girls got the chance to know Grandpa. I will hold tightly to each and every photo we have of him with them and all the memories we have and remind them about him all the time. He loved when Marlie put on a show and sang and danced for him, he loved how tiny and shy Lyla was and he loved that Ellie had blue eyes and blonde curly hair. He loved everyone of his great grandkids.

Favorites of Grandpa with each of my girls.

When we visited him at Thanksgiving he was sound asleep. We woke him up and he immediately smiled and said “Ellie”. He hadn’t seen her in 4 months and knew exactly who she was. She sang him “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” several times that visit. She still talks about it! That was the last time we saw him. Children are the sweetest and most sincere. Ellie has been saying randomly all week “I really miss Grandpa Maust. He’s in Heaven with God and Jesus.” We watched the slide show from the visitation a few days ago and she loved seeing the old photos. She said “awwww, he was the cutest little boy.” When we got to a photo of Grandma and Grandpa she said “Grandma is not with Grandpa anymore and she is sad.” After being married for 68 years I can not imagine how truly sad and lonely she is! I also love that Ellie (3 years old) also gets it. We will continue to look at these old photos of Grandpa and talk about the memories we shared with him.

I absolutely love how happy they look together in this photo from one of their Grandkids weddings.

Grandpa donated his organs and was then cremated. We were lucky enough to make the trip to PA last weekend to celebrate his life with a lot of our family and friends. Even though we were all together for such a sad occasion, it really was a wonderful weekend. My uncle and aunt and three of their children came from Norway, several of my mom’s cousins came to town (some that I had never met and am so glad I finally met them), and many of my cousins and their families were there. Grandpa would have loved his memorial service. His son, Tommy, lead the beautiful singing, one grandchild from each of his children’s families read a poem, scripture or shared memories, and four of his great grandchildren read verses from Psalm 23. A dear family friend led the service and said the eulogy and did such a nice job. Thankful again!

Since he was such an avid hunter a bunch of the guys got together on the evening of his memorial service and shot three rounds (he had a semi automatic that shot three rounds) as a tribute to him. That was the perfect way to end the weekend of remembering his life. There was a lot of laughter on that hill and we know he would have loved every minute of it!

One of his closest friends always came to hunt with him. Apparently, he was npt the greatest shot and missed quite frequently. With every shot he missed he would say “Oh, Sh*t” and I am sure my Grandpa would give one of his belly laughs. My Grandpa received the nickname “Deadeye”, because he had such an accurate shot. As a tribute to them both the boys shot their three rounds and ended with a loud “Oh, Sh*t” I am attaching the video, but remember there is language in it.

RIP Grandpa. We can’t wait until we see you again!!

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