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Remembering My Dad.

My father - John N. DiPippaMy infrequent posts are usually about law and legal education. But today is different. My father died over a year ago. I have thought a lot about what he meant and still means to me, the hole he left in our family, especially in my mother’s life to whom he had been married for 62 years, and my failings as a son.

He worked for decades in an Italian bakery and he voraciously read several newspapers every day. He was intensely loyal to his family and friends. He was a great cook and played a major role preparing the large family meals like Christmas and Thanksgiving. I remember calling him to get advice on how to prepare Braciole, a Southern Italian rolled steak.

He liked nothing better than to gather his family around him.  Living in Arkansas made frequent travel to Pennsylvania difficult and I was able to visit only once a year. One of my most cherished possessions is a picture taken when my children were young. They are posed with my Dad in front of the bread “proofing”  machine in the Italian bakery where he worked.  He looks like he is exactly where he belonged: working with food and surrounded by family.

I miss him and think about him often.  I regret not being able to visit as often as I would have liked or telephoning more regularly. He didn’t travel far from home so he never was able to visit us in Arkansas. But, in spite of the distance, when you were around him he made you feel that you were the most important person in the world.  I am grateful for his love, his devotion, and his example. I can never repay him. I can only hope to remind my children of who he was and to be a pale imitation of him for my friends and family.

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