My father was only 40 years old when he passed from this world on the evening of December 27, 1967.

I was 16 and a sophomore in high school when he fell face first onto the kitchen floor due to a massive heart attack. I remember that night like it was last week. To be brutally honest, I'm still angry with him because he didn't take care of himself when he was alive. Don't get me wrong, he was an amazing man and he treated my two brothers and our mom and me with the utmost love and respect.

My Two Brothers, Steve and Scott - Ethan Photo

So many townspeople loved our dad as evidenced by the line outside the Thomas J. Keenan Funeral Home on Main St. in Fairport, NY Our dad was an outgoing friendly kind of guy who would do anything for anybody. He was a WW2 US Navy Vet, an active member of the Fairport Volunteer Fire Dept. and was the coach of my Little League team, Security Trust Bank.

It's quite possible he was one of those men who was either too macho to go to the doctors or was too petrified to make that appointment because he knew what the doc might say. He was overweight, a two pack a day smoker, and ate way too much fried food. Shortly after his death, my brothers and I found out that this killer heart attack was his THIRD and maybe, just maybe had he made that first appointment after his first coronary, he might still be alive today.

My Dad

He left behind three boys, ages 16, 12, and 9 years old along with a devastated widow. I have always wanted to put my thoughts into words about how my dad left this world at such an early age. Believe it or not, writing about him and the circumstances surrounding his passing on the 50th anniversary of his death provides some closure for me and at the same time gives me the opportunity to ask that if you're a mom or a dad, please, please don't ignore the warning signs of a heart attack. 

You can bet that when it's my time to be called up and I see him waiting for me with his arms outstretched, I'll give him a big kiss and bear hug, tell him how much I've loved and missed him over the last 50 years and then whip out my iPhone to show him his beautiful grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Love you Dad!

James Lawrence Wilson

May 11, 1927 - December 27, 1967

The American Flag that was Draped Over My Father's Casket.....