My dad, Virgil Rehg, passed away on January 18, 2021 at the age of 94. He was a great and humble man, softened by Mom, quiet, and yet showed his support for us in ways that did not shout from the rooftops.
Teacher and Artist
Dad was a teacher, and I remember one of the perks he shared with us. He did some teaching for Ohio State University, and we were able to attend OSU football games. We watched Rex Kern beat Michigan in 1968. That was the year they went undefeated and were crowned national champions. It was fun to be a part of that college atmosphere, as I was just entering high school.
Dad loved math, but said that no matter what we did, even if it was digging ditches, if that’s what we were happy doing, he would support us. He taught me to work on my own cars and to build things with wood. In his later years he focused on art, doing sculpture after his woodworking days were over. He built a large kitchen table (there were 7 kids) that is still used by one of my siblings. His many end tables are now distributed among the family. He also had an affinity for religious art, building works that reflected on the gospels and what they meant to him. He wanted one to view the artwork as a question about what the viewer believed.
His Last Days
We were fortunate, during these restrictive times, to have been able to spend his last days with him in some way. While limited to two people visiting for two hours a day once he was admitted to the hospital, we were able to communicate via FaceTime with him the last 3 days of his life. They said he could hear us, even if he couldn’t respond, and so it was a blessing to have my brothers and sisters in to talk to him and pray out loud so he could follow along in his mind. I’m grateful that he moved on 3 days after being admitted, his suffering kept short.
Dad was a remarkable man, a virtuous man, and a kind and gentle human being. I can see how he grew during his life, from his experiences raising 7 children. You can read one of his obituaries here.
Thank you, Dad, for all you’ve taught me.