Years ago a friend of mine was doing housekeeping for Nick, but she was going back to school and needed a replacement. She knew that I was busy being a publisher but shared the job was only once a month. She also knew that I loved to clean and that I would be perfect for him. After cleaning his house several times, I figured out it was more like he was perfect for me.
Nick is so real and old-school that he gives me hope that that time in life still exists.
My monthly visits as a housekeeper include hearing beautiful stories about his sweetheart, Joanie (Dipple), whom he was married to for 54 years before her death in 2002, and the achievements of his children, Linda, David, Beth Ann, Danny, John, Kathy and Mark, as well as his 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. We also listen to music and have many laughs, and some tears on days when he’s missing Joanie.
He shared last week how tickled he was when his grandchildren came by on Halloween to get their monetary gifts and candy.
After each visit I’m able to go home and share Nick’s wonderful stories with my husband, Brett.
Nick, a member of St. Mark Catholic Church, graduated from Cathedral in 1944, where he met Joanie his senior year. He enlisted in the Navy as a radioman and sailed mostly in the Western South Pacific. After proposing marriage to Joanie, his two-year military career ended as a petty officer second class because being a military wife wasn’t going to be Joanie’s cup of tea.
Nick worked at Eli Lilly and Co. as a supervisor in heating and cooling, retiring in 1988.
He and Joanie loved to frequent Red Lobster, Lotus Garden and Olive Garden. Before her illness they were blessed to have many travels to Florida and cruises. His favorite restaurants now are Sister’s, Vito Provolone’s and Longhorn Steakhouse.
Notre Dame football and basketball games are always on his agenda, and he enjoys watching them with his sons.
Traveling with Danny to Florida was always something he looked forward to, but the past year has slowed him down a little, so shorter trips are in the future.
Until next month my dear friend, keep laughing along with “Let’s Make a Deal” and “The Price Is Right.” I’ll see you soon.