On July 4th, 2019 my family, the collecting community and, indeed the world, lost the greatest man I have ever known. My dad gave me the two greatest loves of my life. My love for history/collecting and my love of animals. Dad taught me that, if you ever want to truly understand if someone is a good person or not, if you want to see inside their soul, watch how they treat animals. That advise has never failed me.
Dad started collecting about the time he got out of the Marines in the mid 1950's (he was part of the Marine Detachment on board the USS Princeton during the Korean war). He collected German helmets and uniforms until the mid 1960's at which point he took a break from the hobby for a while. He took it back up again in the mid 1970's when he began his collection of WW1 USMC. At this time many of the WW1 veterans were still alive and dad spent countless hours talking with them about their experiences. He had at the time probably the largest WW1 USMC collection in the world and at least 90% of it came directly from the veterans or veterans families. By the late 1980's that well had pretty much run dry and he shifted direction and began collecting German ID books. In the nearly 30 years that followed he put together what I believe to be the best collection of German paratrooper documents in the world (or at least that I was aware of). Tragically, the entire collection along with the house and all its contents were lost in the November 2018 California Camp Fire.
I thought this would be easier to write than it is proving to be so I will keep it short. I know there may be some of you out there who knew day "in the old days" so, I simply wanted to let you know.
He left this earth as the July 4th firework displays were bursting in the night sky. He wouldn't have had it any other way.