A Giant Of A Man

December 28, 2022

“A giant of a man.”

At 5’ 7” and 170 lbs. he wasn’t big in stature.

He played baseball, football, and basketball, but he never set any records. By his own account, he wasn’t more than mediocre at any of them, but we know he played with the heart of a champion.

He never won any big golf tournaments but those who were lucky enough to land in his foursome would likely have him back over any pro.

He didn’t see the Eiffel Tower or the Great Pyramids, but he appreciated good engineering and architecture and he incorporated it in his work. One of his favorites is the ornate entrance he fabricated to the very cemetery he will be laid to rest.

He never watched the sunrise from the eastern most coast of Maine, but he saw it glisten through the frost covered autumn trees more than most will in 10 lifetimes.

He didn’t watch any ocean sunsets from a yacht, but he saw more than you can count from the drivers seat of a 19’ ski boat loaded down with family and friends.

He didn’t see Saint Peter’s in Rome or Bethlehem, but he saw the same church pew every Sunday for 88 years. He didn’t preach his faith, but he lived it out in quiet and disciplined devotion.

He didn’t shower his kids and grandkids with fancy or expensive gifts, but he made them feel like a million bucks! He gave them something money can’t buy…his time.

As a family member or a co-worker, he expected nothing short of the best from you, but when you fell short, he always picked you up, and showed you the right way.

He didn’t amass a big fortune, but he never wanted for anything. He was known to say, “I never worked a day in my life because I have always loved what I do.” He had meaning and purpose in his work. He had faith and family. He had all he needed.

His best projects didn’t garner any big awards or publicity. The most important ones were likely witnessed by no more than him and the owner of the broken corn planter, with 20 acres left to go just before the rain came.

He was never a ‘public figure’ but the people he served, the lives he touched, and the reputation he built would stretch across many counties and multiple generations.

He didn’t have a trophy room full of exotic big game animals but he could head shoot a limit of squirrels with a .22 rifle at 87 years old.

He wasn’t an Olympic shooter but he could break 100 straight and he was a local legend at the trap range well into his 80’s.

He didn’t win any big-time fishing tournaments but he knew where all the best farm ponds were and he cleaned more fish than most.

He didn’t farm thousands of acres but he lived off the land and his garden was one of the best around.

After his wife had a massive brain tumor, he cared for her and his 5 young children while running a business that hundreds of local families depended on. He never let either party down.

He buried a child and his wife. He knew his share of grief but his faith, his warm smile, and his infectious laughter were never shaken.

Perhaps most impressive, after working with the public for more than 50 years he said no matter where he went, he never had to worry about running into anyone, because he could look them all in the eye. He never cheated anyone.

Among the things I have listed, if each is evaluated individually, they could certainly be viewed as relatively ordinary.

My Grandpa Sonny isn’t an example of one or two extraordinary traits or accomplishments. He is THE example of excellence IN the ordinary. Everything he did, he did with vigor. Everything he did, he did with absolute integrity. (except maybe the golf scores) 😜. Everything he did, he did with Faith. Everything he did, he did with Love.

He was 5’ 7” and pretty “ordinary”, but he was A GIANT to me!

“Well done good and faithful servant, you kept the faith, you won the race”.

OBITUARY: https://www.werryfuneralhomes.com/obituaries/Carl-A-Nix/#!/Obituary