My grandfather was a complicated man, in a complicated world. He was one of the last of his generation, someone who grew up tough, and stayed tough. He was a Navy vet of World War II, having survived hanging off the side of an torpedoed ship that thankfully did not sink, but instead listed to its side. After the war, he returned home to Phelps, NY to run the Williamson & Coston company, married my grandmother, and watched the world change around him over his 87 years. Yet Don, stayed Don.
My favorite memories are of the cottage on Panther Lake that my dad's parents kept. Of the sports discussions we often had. Of the Victrola that I convinced him to give me, and not turn it into firewood. There are many things I received from Don Coston, and grandma Jean. Not all of them are physical, but they all mean something. And today, as I recognize Don's passing, they all mean a lot.
What is the measure of a life? The stories of what one did, or the interaction we had with others? Sometimes, it is what we leave behind. Donald Coston left behind three sons, and many grandkids, and great-grandkids to carry on the family name. Of which I am one of them, as his oldest grandson. And that is something I will always be thankful for.
RIP Don. Sleep, and sail away at peace.
May 7, 2013