While attending UNLV to earn a Bachelors of Science degree in the College of Engineering with a focus on Informatics, one of Sean’s required courses was Anthropology 423- The Anthropology of Aging. A course assignment, representing 35% of the class grade consisted of writing a life history of a person 65 years or older. The 10-15 page paper covered information regarding the individual’s upbringing, significant life/career altering decisions as well as other relevant data and information.
“I selected my father’s dad because I knew very little about his life” recalls Sean. “I knew he was a career Navy man, just like my father. I knew Grandpa Ron, who lives in San Diego, had served duties in Hawaii, Guam and the San Francisco area but outside of that I really didn’t know much more about his earlier life.”
At first the assignment appeared a bit overwhelming, so Sean began with a list of basic questions. As he became more intrigued with Ron’s life story, he progressed to more in-depth probing. He found his grandfather to be quite captivating with his descriptive recollections from his past, someone who had served during World War II. Ron provided an abundance of material that created a challenge for Sean to condense into the assignment’s parameters, but diligence and careful editing earned Sean an A on the final report.
Recalling his past in the report for his grandson, Ron then decided to pen a book of his memoirs, a biography for his current and future grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Ron explained, “It took a little over five years to complete the book, but I feel a strong sense of accomplishment after finishing a long and unforeseen difficult project.” Within the book’s dedication, Ron includes a passage crediting his grandson’s role for inspiring the book.
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