Jon Stolpe Stretched

What's S-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g me now?

My Grandpa

Grandpa and The Stolpe Boys

When I get to this time of year, I often think about my Grandpa Stolpe.  (I’ll tell you why tomorrow.)  My Grandpa passed away a few years ago, and he is missed by his whole family.  Grandpa has two kids, seven grandchildren, and fifteen great-grandchildren.  I’m sure each one of us would have a different perspective on our grandfather, and I wanted to share a little bit about my take on the man my cousin calls Big Grey.

Grandpa was first and foremost a follower of Christ.  He lived it.  He breathed it.  He provided a clear example that Christ should come first in our lives.  I remember Grandpa leading us in prayer and Bible reading when we sat down for breakfast when we were there for a visit.  He was always involved at church.  And he had a huge heart for missions and bringing God’s love to everyone around the world.  As we sat down for breakfast, I remember Grandma and Grandpa praying specifically for missionaries around the world.

Grandpa was a killer croquet player.  Whenever we went over to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, the croquet set would come out of the garage and the croquet match to end all croquet matches would begin.  Grandpa knew the rules like the back of his hand, and he was always quick to teach us the correct way to play the game.  After Grandpa beat the rest of us around the croquet course, he would go back and knock out the older cousins so the younger grandchildren could win.

Grandpa had a great sense of humor.  Some of my cousins and siblings might argue with me on this, but this is something I carry with me.  Grandpa had a desire to make everyone laugh.  He always had a corny joke or response that broke the ice and made you chuckle.  For example, when the cantaloupe came out, he would say, “I can’t elope.  I’m already married to Grandma.”  Or if we had nectarines, he would say “I don’t neck with Irene; I neck with Grandma.”  I’m proud to say that I picked up some of that humor.

Grandpa was Swedish.  Grandpa knew how to speak Swedish.  He shared the Swedish traditions with our family – especially the Christmas Swedish traditions.  I big part of celebrating Christmas is eating the Swedish food.  I attribute this to my Grandma and Grandpa.  At Grandpa’s funeral, they even sang a Swedish hymn.

Grandpa was an incredible example.  After his faith, his marriage was always his top priority.  He and Grandma were a team.  They complimented each other well.  They put each other first before their own interests and needs.  Grandpa would do anything for Grandma.  After his faith and Grandma, family was a top priority.  He would do anything for all of us.  He always wanted the best for each one of us.  He and Grandma prayed consistently for each one of us.  Grandpa had a special relationship with each of us.  When we showed up for a visit, he showed us off like we were movie stars.

I share about my Grandpa to brag, to share, and to remember.

Who in your life to you want to remember and why?


December 7, 2011 - Posted by | family, looking back, marriage, prayer, thankful, thoughts, tradition, Uncategorized


  1. ah…croquet…i love semi-playing that game…semi cause…i can’t understand how to really play it…so we just play minigolf with it! LOL!!!

    I always want to remember my Dad…he is real. He has real flaws. He has real doubts. and he has real FAITH.

    Comment by Arny Sanchez | December 7, 2011 | Reply

    • Arny, great comment. I feel the same way about my dad. As for the croquet, if only my grandpa were here to teach you….!

      Comment by jonstolpe | December 8, 2011 | Reply

  2. I wonder what legacy I’ll be leaving behind. I’ll probably be remember for corny jokes too.

    Comment by Loren Pinilis | December 7, 2011 | Reply

    • Loren, I think this is a good question for us all to be asking. I want to leave a legacy that will out live me. The most important legacy (and the only one that really matters) is to impact people eternally. If I can do that then everything else is gravy.

      Comment by jonstolpe | December 8, 2011 | Reply

  3. My grandpa called me Old Buddy and Charlie Reuben. We traveled all over the country delivering hospital beds for the drugstore he worked for after he retired. And he taught me to sing real loud, “I’m an old cowhand from the Rio Grande.”

    Comment by LarryTheDeuce | December 8, 2011 | Reply

    • Larry, this is such a cool story!

      Comment by jonstolpe | December 8, 2011 | Reply

  4. John, Thank you for so eloquently putting on paper what we all felt at one time or another about Grandpa. I miss hearing him saying “Hello hungry, I’m Grandpa” or (sp) “Its smot a gut Mama” to grandma after a delicious meal that she had prepared. I remember making Korv with him and rolling up swedish pancakes after grandma was finally done cooking them and there were only a couple of them left that did not need to go into the fridge so he and I would finish them off while the girls would get ready for bed. The trips they made to show us their love when my mom and dad were having all their issues. There was never any doubt in our minds that Grandpa and Grandma loved us more than life itself. I miss him tons especially when I have those pressing questions that I would love to ask him about raising my sons to be more like he was.

    Comment by Tom | December 8, 2011 | Reply

    • Tom, well put! Speaking of Korv, I’ll be making a bunch of it this weekend. And don’t tell Grandma, but I think my Korv is much better than Grandpa’s Korv. I’m sure I’ll be thinking about him when I make it.

      Comment by jonstolpe | December 8, 2011 | Reply

  5. […] I shared about my Grandpa, and I mentioned that I think about him every year at this time.  The reason I think about him […]

    Pingback by It’s 40! « Jon Stolpe Stretched | December 8, 2011 | Reply

  6. What a treasure! There aren’t many men like him these days. My grandmother’s birthday was in December, I think of her this time of year too. I miss her terribly, she was a tiny ball of fire! I would have liked her to have known my children. I’ve been sooo amazingly blessed to have a lot of love and wonderful family members in my life!

    Comment by Beck | December 10, 2011 | Reply

    • It sure is a treasure. My kids have had the opportunity to meet 7 of their 8 great grandparents.

      Comment by jonstolpe | December 11, 2011 | Reply

  7. […] favorite family ornaments and Christmas tree traditions.  Wednesday’s post paid tribute to my Grandpa and his legacy.  Thursday was my birthday.  I appreciated all the birthday greetings through the […]

    Pingback by December 10th, 2011 Week In Review… « Jon Stolpe Stretched | December 10, 2011 | Reply

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