Monday, March 21, 2016

Grandpa's Obituary

David Carl Hultgren, 73, passed the way he lived… quietly and on his own terms. Dad left this earth on Saturday, March 19, 2016, with his family about him while watching television after a short, painful, and frustrating battle with cancer.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, on February 9, 1943, Dad was the adopted son of Carl and Anne Hultgren of Oak Park, Illinois. He grew up splitting his time between the city and his grandparent’s home in the very small town of Varna, Illinois.

Dad attended Evergreen Park High School, where he was a member of the Projectionist Club, graduating with the class of 1961. He spent a year at Eastern Illinois University before joining the Air Force in 1962.  He enlisted during the Vietnam conflict; the very definition of a patriot. Dad spent his basic training in Biloxi, Mississippi, of which he said, “Yep, it’s muggy.”

Dad was not particularly interested in guns, he said, and he encouraged his family to avoid them. Yet, during his time at Biloxi, he earned several marksmanship awards; always a dichotomy.

The Air Force took him to Utah in 1963 where he met his future wife at an Air Force dance. He married Judy Kay Sewell that November and they celebrated their 52nd anniversary in 2015. They welcomed three daughters, Karen (Jackson) San Antonio, Texas; Cheryl (Spangler) Ogden, Utah; and Annette (Maughan) Chicago, Illinois.

In 1967, Dad arrived in Cambodia, where he worked as Secretary to General (we wish we remembered his name but Dad hardly mentioned his time there, drat?).  Dad had taken a federal competency test prior to leaving for Cambodia, and it turned out to be a lifesaver for his little family. While in Cambodia, he developed whole body eczema and had to be medically discharged. Heartbroken, he shipped out to Walter Reed to convalesce. While there, Mom received a call about the test he had taken and when Dad returned on a Friday afternoon, he had two days down time before he started work for the Internal Revenue Service in Ogden, where he spent 20 years and received several commendations for his work. He retired from IRS once his transfer request was approved, and he continued his federal service, becoming a civilian contractor in the Logistics division at Hill Air Force Base.

Dad never missed a sporting event that his daughters were involved in and always rooted for the Cubs. He attended LDS church regularly although he never took the plunge or dipped a toe in the baptismal waters. He made sure his family was supported in everything they did, and he worked three jobs in the early years to keep them warm, fed and happy while finishing his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

Dad spent 16 years at Hill, until one day at an IHOP while drinking coffee and developing model train plans, he suddenly got very disoriented and started to fall sleep. Dad had a transient ischemic attack and was taken to the hospital where he was told he had to spend a few days. The day after the TIA, Dad started to get up and get dressed to go to work when he was stopped. He protested. “I can’t leave them a man down”.  He didn’t have a choice, and with the rapid onset of a heart condition, Dad was sad to have to retire from Hill in 2010. His 48-year service to the federal government was over, replaced with a pace maker and an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. He struggled with this indignantly for 6 years, angry, happy, and enjoying his grandchildren. Changing diapers like a pro he said, “I helped bring them into the world, the least I can do is wipe a bum or two.”

Dad enjoyed civic service as well, spending time on the Riverdale and Clearfield Planning Commissions and running for City Council in Riverdale. He was diligent, attentive and dedicated himself to learning what he could to make informed and very serious decisions that he knew would have a lasting effect. His time with the fine people in these city governments was a very happy and rewarding time for Dad, and the family would like to express their sincere thanks to Riverdale, Ogden and Clearfield city governments.
Dad spent his life helping others, working seven years with a special needs church group, helping with seven Christmas programs and too many scout meetings to count. Just last year, he and Mom were awarded Volunteer of The Year for their work with the Epilepsy Association of Utah.
In his off-time, and any other time for that matter, he would build model railroads and help “run the trains” at shows with the Hostlers Model Train Club of Ogden. His work with trains helped him make even more friends, and if there was ever a child in a wheelchair watching the trains, he would be sure to invite him or her to be an engineer on their railroad.
He will be missed by many but especially his dear wife (Judy), daughters (Karen, Cheryl and Annette) and “sons” (Jared, Scot and Glenn), sister (Judi Holbrook, Atlanta, Georgia) and “brother” (Wes Holbrook) , 10 grandchildren (Amber - Greg, Zak - Krystal, Megan, Parker, Glenn, Taylor, Ava and Aiden) , and 5 great-grandchildren (Jared, Annabelle, Luke, Adrienne, and Malcolm).
Funeral services (with sincerity and laughter) will be held on Saturday, March 26, 2016 at 11 a.m. at Lindquist’s Ogden Mortuary, 3408 Washington Blvd.  There will be a viewing party on Friday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the mortuary.  If you would like to converse at Dad one last time, there will be a viewing Saturday morning from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Don’t be late, we will start without you because if you aren’t 15 minutes early…you’re late.

Dad’s love for his children, especially his special kids, should be celebrated by bringing your families with you. Wheelchairs, oxygen tanks and feeding tubes are more than welcome; they are encouraged. Dad would love it.
And “if you are always pulling your skirt to keep it down, maybe you should buy a longer one.”

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Unpredictable Nature of Mal

An interesting fact about Mal is he was born with a double uuvla. At birth, no one was worried about it. Greg and I didn't really see it until months later. When I first saw it, I was pretty shocked because they were both fully developed and hanging a couple cms apart.

With some research done by a worried Mama, I was 90% sure he had a Submucous Cleft Palate. After a visit with his pedi and a pediENT, they both said yes and were impressed at my research. This at 11 months old.

A month later, we found out from the Pediatric Plastic Surgeon (who is a Cleft Palate specialist) that he actually had a full Cleft Palate, which would need surgery asap.

His ASAP surgery is tomorrow morning. He'll have to stay in the hospital overnight. Then, there is a four week recovery period of all soft food. He'll also see a speech therpist until he's five, and if his speech isn't developing properly, he could have more surgeries.

I'm not too worried about the surgery because I know the medical team is experienced with this situation. I also know that my baby is being watched over by more then just men, but a Savior, Jesus Christ, who understands all we go through, and loves infinitely.

With that said, can y'all say a little prayer for our family as we start this journey tomorrow.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Forever a Family

Yesterday, we had the chance to go to the temple. We try to do that regularly, but today was a little bit different because we went with my parents and siblings. It was the first time all together in the temple.  It was an amazing experience. Temple workers kept asking us if something big was happening (i.e. mission, sealing), but it was just us. All together. In the house of the Lord. Absolute eternal truth.


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