Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Rest in Peace Dad

On June 24, 2013, the great beyond gained a true original. James Elwood Uffelman, better known as “Mike”, was born on May 18, 1939. He spent his early years tearing up the town of Windsor, graduated from Red Lion High School, and then shipped out with the Navy on the USS Essex. The tall tales from the Navy are so infamous it’s easy to see why Mike was neither an officer, nor a gentleman. However, the US military did survive Mike’s four years of service, and rumor has it they even retired his uniform. Not knowing what he wanted to do when he grew up, Mike held a variety of jobs including selling insurance and cars, but he is best known as the jovial bus driver from the Red Lion Bus Company who literally drove thousands of folks from the area to various destinations around the country. One of Mike’s favorite trips was to New York City, and if you were fortunate enough to be a passenger on one of his trips, you know that he may have been small in stature, but he could park that big ol’ bus on a dime. Mike also enjoyed telling a great joke and making people laugh. Red Lion is definitely a whole lot quieter now without his signature laugh.
Believe it or not, this wild man actually served his community in a variety of ways. He was a member of the Red Lion Elks almost as soon as he was old enough to join, holding the position of Exalted Ruler twice. He was also a 32nd degree mason, and for many years Mike drove ambulance for the Red Lion Ambulance Club. In his spare time, Mike enjoyed hunting and always looked forward to his annual hunting trip to the Sure Shot Gun Club in Potter County.
Mike is survived by his wife Sandy, who deserves her own medal of honor for sticking it out for over 50 years of marriage. He is also survived by: a daughter, Debra Church, son in law Jeffrey Church, two grandchildren, Conner and Ryan Church of Wilmington, NC; brother and sister in law Fred and Lynn Uffelman of York; brother and sister in law Bill and Ruth Uffelman of Hershey;  a variety of nieces and nephews; and inlaws George and Geraldine Heininger Sr. and George Heininger Jr. of York.
The family would like to thank all physicians, nurses and health care providers at York Hospital and Colonial Manor Nursing Home for taking such amazing care of Mike these past six months despite the colorful language you would often hear from his sailor’s mouth. To all of the angels at Heartland Hospice, you have made this journey much less painful and you have given dignity to even the most cantankerous of patients.
One thing is for certain, if Mike is in heaven, he is up there raising hell. If you knew the man, the legend, you know exactly what that statement means! In lieu of flowers, tell your best dirty joke to a group of friends, look up to the heavens, and say, “this one’s for you Mike”. That rumble you hear from the sky will be his big booming laugh in appreciation!
Olewiler & Heffner Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements and services will be private.


23 comments:

  1. Doesn't sound like there will be much peace in his rest, but there will surely be fun.
    I'm so sorry, Deb. My condolences to both you and your mom.

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  2. He sounds like he will sure raise hell and have fun doing it up there. Sorry to hear though.

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  3. So sorry to hear Deb... He sounds like a Great Man. Thoughts & Prayers go out to all of your Family.

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  4. He sounds like a riot! Literally :) He's probably got the angels and everyone else in heaven partying.

    I'm sorry for your loss. My condolences to you and your family. May this great man rest in peace.

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  5. Sorry to hear this, Debs dear! We have something in common it seems - my father also died a few months ago.

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  6. Very sorry for your loss and Mike sounded like a heck of a guy. Best wishes to you and your family.

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  7. Sorry to hear he passed away, my father passed many years ago and it's never felt the same.

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  8. I am so sorry for your loss, Deb. (Hugs) He sounds like a wonderful man and lived a great life.

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  9. So sorry to hear about your loss. Your dad sounds like a great guy and I've already opened a window and aimed a dirty joke towards Heaven in his honor.

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  10. Hugs to you and your family.

    Margurite over at Mind Deep just lost her mother a month ago and posted this on her blog. It just fits and I hope you can find peace in the words...


    This is the note left by Joan Baez's mother who died Saturday April 20th, just a few days short of her 100th birthday:

    "Friends who want to celebrate my new adventure, please gather round. Don't grieve, for it's only a worn body that's leaving and the memory of any sad times goes with it. The good memories are in my spirit and my spirit is with you today. I'm in your midst, for there's nothing more valuable to me than to be with you my beloved family and my gracious friends.

    Take a moment for silence and wish me well. I'll hear you. Then make the bottles pop. You know I love champagne almost as much as I love you!

    Big Joan"

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  11. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I am sending my thoughts and prayers to you and your family. You dad sounds like a great guy that is sure to be missed.

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  12. And you'll see him again. ;-)
    Peace.

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  13. Sorry to hear he passed, sounds like he was one of a kind

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  14. My sincerest condolences for your loss, but as you say, on the bright side Heaven has truly gained a very special somebody.

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  15. Oh hon, i am SOOOO sorry. It does sound as if you got some of your funny sense of humor from your dad. My prayers go to you and your family. Big hugs from Dallas, Texas!!!

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  16. Oh you sweetheart Deb. You knew the time was coming and you have written a fitting and loyal tribute. Commend yourself for the courage you have had too, my sweet. I'm here if ya need a listening ear in the weeks to come. I promise I'll help ya. I'm sending my smile to you right now. In this tribute, I can't help but envision your Dad as being a Ralph Kramden type. I think your sense of humor is derived from your Dad, too. huh? oh big (HUG)

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  17. I'm so sorry to hear this. This was a wonderful post, and much like him, I don't want flowers at my funeral. I want dirty jokes.

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  18. Im so sorry, sweetie... he sounds like a magnificent man...

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  19. Deb my sincerest deepest condolences going out to you and your family. What a beautiful tribute this was.

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  20. I am so sorry Honey for your loss. Sending love and light your way and big, BIG hugs! XO

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  21. Oh Deb, thank you for your sweet words. I see you are still have this post of your Dad. That is just fine. Take your time. Thank you for coming to see me. I'll check in on you periodically.

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  22. What a wonderful, honest, well-written tribute to your Dad. I'm so, so, very sorry for your loss Deb. *Hugs*

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