Grandpa H Tracy Hall, 1919 – 2008
My grandfather, H Tracy Hall, passed away last week on July 25, early in the morning. Grandma (Ida Rose Langford Hall) died 3 years ago. One of the sweetest recent memories I have of my grandpa was at my grandma’s funeral. As her casket was being closed, grandpa rushed up to grandma’s side and said “I love you Ida Rose.”
Since that time, Grandpa’s health has been in steady decline, with Alzheimer’s and diabetes contributing to this decline. But even in sickness, grandpa was gentle, sweet, and smiling. In light of grandpa’s poor health and his obvious suffering near the end (after a fall), his passing on was in some ways a relief. And it’s comforting to know that he’s with Grandma again. They were very much in love.
My aunt Nancy took care of both of my grandparents in their old age. A couple years before grandma was diagnosed with cancer, Nancy and her family built a house across the street from my grandparents, so that she could be near them in their old age. Nancy was able to arrange for my grandparents to remain at home with 24-hour care. I am so grateful to Nancy and her family for the loving care that she has provided my grandparents; as well as the care-givers, for the time they spent with my grandparents. The picture below was painted by a BYU art student who took care of my grandpa. This spring I was home for Easter and stopped at BYU to look at the student art show (I graduated last August in art, so I like to see what students are doing). You can imagine my surprise at recognizing the subject of one of the paintings!
Since I’m living in the UK, I assumed I wouldn’t be able to fly home for the funeral. But here I am in Utah, and I’m so glad I could be here for the funeral. All but one of the 35 grandchildren (one is on a mission) were there, as well as all of my aunts and uncles, etc. Both grandma and grandpa’s funerals were just wonderful. My grandparents were very intelligent (grandpa was a famous inventor), and they loved the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They made sure that we knew how much they loved the gospel, as well as how much they valued education. They worked hard and have always been tremendously generous. My mission as well as much of my college education was funded by them (and this is true for all of my cousins, too).
My cousin Laura wrote a nice blog post about grandpa (and grandma) here.
Obituaries, as well as the story of my grandpa’s invention of the diamond press have been written all over the country. Some of them can be seen here, here, here, here, and here. And here is a short news clip about grandpa.
I often take the story of my grandpa’s invention for granted. But every once in a while I remember that it’s actually a thrilling story. As my uncle said at the funeral, it is difficult to find any industrial branch (oil drilling, construction, computer, even woodworking) that does not use / is not benefited from the invention of synthetic diamond. Several years ago, I researched grandpa’s story and wrote an article about it for a children’s magazine, which was a fun project. It was accepted on spec (meaning I need to rewrite it a bit–they wanted me to spruce it up with a bit more about the science of it)… and I never have gotten around to re-writing it. Maybe after my thesis I’ll find time for that. : )
Anyway, I came away from the funeral feeling grateful for the rich legacy my grandparents left, and for the goodness of their lives.