I'm sure many of you are aware of the health problems my father has had. For those who are new, my dad has been suffering from Parkinson's disease, brought on (in my opinion) from some very heavy drinking he had done for many years. He worked in the steel mills of my hometown, Granite City, IL (near St. Louis), for some 40 years.

The culture there back in the 1960s and 70 when I was growing up was simple: You worked hard in the mills during the day (or whenever your shift was) and then drank harder afterwards. No one questioned it back then. In addition (at least I've now thought of), the air in the mill (and in Granite City itself) wasn't particularly clean; in fact, Granite City pointed to the fact (with pride, even) that the dirtiest air in the state was located there.

Today, I am sad to report, my dad, George Feeney, died at 5.30 am Central time of complications of Parkinson's disease aged 79 in the nursing home he was a patient at in Collinsville, IL. To my knowledge, he went peacefully.

I found out about it about 8.30 this morning when I woke up and saw a message from my sister on Facebook asking me to call. Since I have no phone service at this time (both landline and cellular because of some monetary problems), I had to go across the way to a neighbor's apartment to borrow his phone. I called her and that's when she told me dad had died.

Funeral arrangements are pending at this time, but I do know he wanted to be cremated; both my brother and I will get a chance to see him before the cremation takes place, time and date still to be determined. I imagine it will be in the next day or two. There will be a private graveside service in Edwardsville, IL, and a memorial service at a SBC megachurch in Edwardsville my sister attends (she's in charge of the arrangements) with a meal following; it looks like that will be on Monday.

Both my brother and I are holding up OK right now. We're going through a lot of emotions at this moment. While we knew this was coming (we had seen him at Christmas and he did not look good at all), when it does happen, you're never *really* ready for it.

I want to thank everyone here, especially my friends, for their love and support. It's not going to be easy for the next few days, no doubt, and I'm sure it's going to be tough. But we do have a good support system in place, so we'll have plenty of folks to lean on when things get difficult.

I'll keep everyone posted as developments warrant. Take care everyone...

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Comment by Brent Feeney on January 18, 2013 at 9:47am

Update: A memorial service will be held at 11 am Central Monday at Metro Community Church, Edwardsville, IL. Memorials may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (http://www.michaeljfox.org) or to 3littlebirds4life (http://www3littlebirds4life.org)

Comment by Brent Feeney on January 18, 2013 at 8:32am

Thanks Loren. =)  It's tough, no question, knowing it's coming, but trying to figure out when and where it'll happen is difficult at best. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine. I hope you're doing well too.

Comment by Brent Feeney on January 18, 2013 at 8:29am

Thanks Randall. =)  You're right, it's the great inevitable. As the great social philosopher Bugs Bunny once said: "The one thing about life is - you'll never get out of it alive!"

Comment by Brent Feeney on January 18, 2013 at 8:28am

Thank you Joan. =)  Really appreciate it. As far as stuff I learned, I'll get back to you on that after I have a chance to think about it. Thanks for asking though. Hope you're doing well.

Comment by Brent Feeney on January 18, 2013 at 8:27am

Thank you Eric. =)  It's very much appreciated. Hope you're well today.

Comment by Brent Feeney on January 18, 2013 at 8:26am

Thank you Pat. =)  Sounds your family and mine were cut from the same cloth - except dad's thing was beer (Schlitz at first, then Pabst. Never could figure out why he didn't like the local brew. *LOL*) 

Hope you are doing well too.

Comment by Loren Miller on January 18, 2013 at 8:24am

Condolences, bro.  It's a bear to realize that you can see the accident coming, but that knowledge doesn't help when the accident actually HITS.

I'm very much down with what Joan mentions.  I hope there are good memories and good times you and your father shared.  Holding those in mind can help, as can talking about it here, which you have.

Beyond that, about all I can say is: "Take care of YOU."

Comment by Brent Feeney on January 18, 2013 at 8:23am

Here's the obit as posted by the funeral home handling the arrangements: http://www.herrfuneral.com/book-of-memories/1471706/Feeney-George/i...

Comment by Randall Smith on January 18, 2013 at 8:03am

We all gotta go sometime. It's never easy.

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 17, 2013 at 11:24pm

Brent, I am sorry to learn of your loss. What are some things you learned from your dad for which you are grateful?

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