Edward Grover Kanavel Jr.
Novermber 13th, 1926 - October 26th, 2007
Although "grandpa" Kanavel is not my real g-pa, he has been an important male figure in my life. When my mom graduated from her small town high school she found herself wanting to get out of New York. She started her journey across the country and somehow ended up in Utah (I know she's told me the story, but I always forget it). While in Utah she started dating the Kanavel's son and actually got engaged to him at one point. After realizing that he wasn't the "one" she decided to break it off. However, during that engagement she became very close to his family and she remained in in contact with his parents, and to this day we still consider them grandma & grandpa Kanavel.
My grandpa never missed an important event in my life. He was there for my baptism and actually confirmed me the following day at my church. He also sat as my witness during our wedding and filled in for my late grandpa Cox in all of our wedding photographs. When I was little I remember having sleep-overs at their house and my g-pa would help me pick out a movie from their huge personal blockbuster library and my g-ma would teach me how to crochet and press flowers between wax paper. I learned many things from my grandpa, but most importantly he taught me the power of repentance. I have a vivid memory of my g-pa sitting me down on my baptism day and talking to me about the importance of the covenant I just took. He also taught me that old age doesn't have to stop people (certainly it will slow them down). Even up until this past year you would have found him in his wood shop making shelves for family and friends. In fact, just a few months ago he practically amputated his hand off while working on a project for someone else. He would have done anything for anyone even if he didn't have the muscle power to do so--he would have still tried.
This past summer, we had the opportunity to celebrate my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. I watched him as he sat their slumped down in his big comfy chair and I realized that he wasn't going to be around for much longer. On the other hand, my g-ma was still going strong, running around like a mad woman making sure she greeted everyone with a happy smile. Just thinking about them I feel so grateful to have them in my life. My grandpa has been the purest example of patience and service and I can only hope that I will be one fourth of that for my grandchildren.