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Celebrating life

Published: Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 3:01 p.m. CDT

This past Thanksgiving, like many before, I had a number of things for which to be thankful. But the one thing that topped the list this year was the new addition our family welcomed into the world.

On Thanksgiving Day, my sister and brother-in-law blessed me with my first niece, Sawyer Rose. I couldn’t have been any more overjoyed when I saw the first picture of that healthy, beautiful 6-pound, 3-ounce little peanut with a full head of hair come across my phone, knowing both mom and baby were doing well.

But while God had blessed our family with the birth of a new baby, he had different plans for my grandfather.

A little less than week after Sawyer was born, my grandfather’s fight was over, and his time here with us ended, and while we mourned his passing, we celebrated his life.

My grandfather, a Korean veteran, was a small grain farmer, but mostly specialized in growing vegetables.

Like most farmers, he worked from sunrise to sunset, stopping only for the basic necessities like water and food, and time permitting, he could sneak away for a quick nap under the shade tree.

He taught my father everything he knew about growing vegetables, which his father had passed on to him.

Even after retiring from the vegetable business, he still enjoyed helping on the farm, driving the Allis Chalmer G Model up and down the field cultivating the onions, knowing that no one would be able to do it quite like he did.

He was a hard worker, a loving father, a devoted husband and an exceptional grandfather.

He shared many of life’s lessons with my father, which in return he has passed on to me and my siblings. I will forever remember the wonderful memories we shared together at the farm, the weekend casino trips and our many winter vacations.

Unfortunately, many of us have experienced the passing of a loved one and have inherited the role as the executor of their estate.

Our office wants you to know we are here to help you.

We ask that you notify our office when an individual has passed away that has a farming interest in Bureau County.

By doing this, we can better inform you of the documentation our office will need when you come in to the office. This will prevent multiple trips and allow us to start making farm changes that could avoid problems in the future.

On a more cheerful note, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

For the past three Christmas seasons I have worked for the Farm Service Agency. Whether my short career as a program technician in LaSalle County, my time spent traveling from county to county throughout Illinois as a trainee or here in Bureau County, one thing is consistent, the abundance of Christmas spirit.

A special thank you goes out to all of our producers, farm managers, lenders and friends who have stopped in the office to wish us a happy holiday.

Your kind words, cards and snacks are greatly appreciated and very much enjoyed.

Justina Boggio is the county executive director for the Bureau County Farm Service Agency.

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