"A life lived with love, is a life well lived!"... the legacy one soldier left for his family.

John Seldon Bair, my grandfather, was a family man, known for his beautiful legacy of love for his family. Grandpa John was born in the  Cache County, Utah to his parents Hyrum and Harriet Bair, on January 17th, 1910. His childhood was a happy one, surrounded by siblings, horses, and big open fields. This is where John developed his love for the earth and all kinds of animals. Education was important to him. After graduating from North Cache High School in 1928 he made the decision to attend Utah State Agricultural College (USAC) to increase his knowledge of this land that he so dearly loved.

A sweetheart came into grandpa’s life who he later married in the Logan Utah Temple on June 6, 1934. Laura Clarissa Bair was gentle in nature and a perfect fit for grandpa. John and Laura had 3 children, 2 daughters and one son, Lynette, Janice, and John Jr., who later went by “Jack”. Every moment spent with his wife and children was precious, memorable, and never went without a valuable lesson attached.

Grandpa always dreamed of having a family and was living that dream until one day in 1943 he was inducted into the U.S. Navy. Leaving his job as a Prudential Life Insurance manager, John lovingly and tearfully kissed his wife and three children good-bye and before he could blink found himself aboard the USS Magoffin (APA-199). He was assigned to the South Seas and the Pacific. Grandpa even still from faraway places found ways to love and provide for his family. He took left over bullet shells and pounded and molded them into bracelets, sold them to other soldiers for their wives, and then sent the money made home to his precious family.

The reality is that the experiences John encountered on this ship were both tragic and life changing. You see, grandpa was aboard this ship on December 7th, 1941, when the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service brutally attacked the Naval Air base at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu Hawaii on Sunday morning at 7:48 am. This was a day the world, and grandpa could never forget. This day of unforgettable events marked the day of 2,403 deaths, 1,178 wounded, and 19 destroyed US Navy ships. My grandfather was among the lucky ones who survived this attack and given the blessed opportunity to return home to his family after assisting thousands of refugees and survivors into safe territory.

Once things settled, Grandpa was honorably discharged from the Navy and sent home. He found his way back to health, strength and kept the drive about him to continue living the dream he had left behind years before. In hopes to be able to provide for his family, John purchased a large piece of land on the Wasatch front, built a home, and developed a tree farm that provided trees across the Salt Lake Valley for landscapers for years to come. On this farm he found what he needed to be able to teach his children about God, hard work and diligence.

Grandpa never forgot his journey in the Navy or all he witnessed during the tragic events of Pearl Harbor, but he learned about the priceless gift of family and how quickly it can all be gone. Grandpa spent the rest of his life making sure to leave behind a beautiful legacy of Love.

https://elysianvisuals.wordpress.com/2022/10/04/a-soldiers-love-for-his-family/(opens in a new tab)

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