My father passed away last year on Nov 22,2015 and here is his video of his graveside service..This is the first time that I was able to look at the footage and edit it.. In two days will be one year since his passing and it is really hard to watch this.
For all that could not come to pay your last respects to my dad I created this for you all. He is missed by so many.
This is the Eulogy that I gave at the funeral home…
I wish to thank everyone for coming today to share in the celebration of our dads life and to bid him a fair well. I stand here not knowing if I will be able to hold back the tears. But, If the tears flow its is because I love him so dearly and he will be missed.
Nothing in the world can per pair you for this moment. Over the last 3 weeks my siblings and I had an opportunity to say our goodbyes to our father along with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
This eulogy is not for me or my sister and brothers this is for our dads grandchildren and great grandchildren. It is so you can know the man you call grandfather. These are his stories.
We were the lucky ones to have him with us all these years but yet it is hard to let go of such an amazing soul and wonderful father. We are here to celebrate our hero, our father Matthew Lupo who lived to be 93.
Our dad love each and every one of his children equally and each one of us felt special love from him throughout his long life. He adored his grandchildren as you could see his eyes light up when they would come and see him.
We each had to made hard choices as be became adults. Like Michael moving to Nevada then returning Michigan so he could spend more time with his dad and family. I chose to to move to Los Angeles over 30 years ago when both of my parents where healthy and doing well. My daughter needed her father in Los Angeles and my dad taught us that at times we will have to make hard sacrifices for children just like he did many years ago.
What many of you don’t know is that he gave up his career as a stand up comedian for his family and his dreams. He loved us that much that he was wiling to gave up what he loved. He worked hard to gave us a wonderful life and kept us safe and food on our table.
Who was Matthew ?
He was many things to so many people. We each have a story or two about him that touched our lives one way or another.
Matthew was born to Matthew and Rose Lupo in the year 1922 on July 16 At a time before the Internet, TV’s , cell phones or computers. Where people sat around at a dinner table and shared a home cooked meal and told stories.
Matthew was not born at a hospital but at home at first and Jackson street in Bay city Michigan on a hot July day.
Both of his parents were born in Terrasini Sicily but they can over on the boat separately as they did not know each other. Rose and her daughter Rose came to America after a long boat ride to Elise Inland after her first husband died on that boat coming over to New York.
His mom alone with a child then married Matthew Lupo Sr. The marriage was arranged to our grandfather and after the wedding they moved to Bay City, Michigan to start a new life. My dads mother then had twins boys Jack and Joe then came Matthew. Then Andy.
But there was something special about our dads birth. Our grandmother said that our dad was a gift from God. Because he was born encased in the sack. The Italians think that if child is born wrapped up in a sack that he or she was a gift from God.
My dad was named Matthew after his father. My grandfather was proud to have a son carry his family name. But with that honor, also came with a price.
He began to mold my father with principls of honor and respect of the old ways. No, he was not in the mafia.. Just a hard working Italian in a small mid-west town trying to feed his family and survive.
My dad was a brother to Rose, Jack and Joe and little brother Andy. The 4 brothers were the first generation Americans to be born here. For which my grandfather was proud of.
In high school our dad was known as number 22. It was the number that was on his football jersey and the year he was born. My dad ran really fast for a little guy and made so many touch downs at each game. He would laugh and say “I ran fast because I was this little guy and did not want to get tackled. “He Always said this with a little twinkle in his eyes” but you knew he was telling the truth he was scared of hitting the ground.
While my dad was in high school our grandfather decided it was time he put our dad to work so he bought a push cart and filled it with tomatoes , fruit and other vegetables and told Matt that he was going to learn how to sell off the cart.
Dad would tell us the story about how he was embarrassed pushing the cart yelling out apples, tomatoes, oranges. But his dad said “Mateo” ( that was Matthew in Italian) “you Got to yell out, so they can comea out, so they a knows you- a here. In his thick Italian accent. My dad never understood why his brothers never had to do this. You see the name Matthew Lupo did come with a price. But it also taught my dad the value of hard work.
After he left high school he was at the local pool hall shooting pool. Over the radio it was announced that Pearl Harbor was attacked. The only thought our dad had in his head was “I’m going to be drafted. oh shit ” he said, yes he did swear a lot. That word and few others became a main stay in dad’s vocabulary. My grand father cried on the step of their house when my dad left for boot camp. Saying over and over again,my Mateo is going away. my Mateo is going away.
He was in the army NOW and his division the 100 and 3rd was sent over seas. He was a signed to drive a jeep. He would tell us stories about driving the jeep like the day he hit a German tank and had to walk until he was giving a new jeep to drive. He hated to walk.
When we were children he use to take his hands off the wheel while driving and maneuver the steering wheel with his knees. We would all scream and freak out and he would laugh and assure us we were safe. It was something he learned while driving the jeep because he need his hands free so he could hold a gun in case he needed it.
What many don’t know is that our dad was in one of the two jeeps that met on Brenner Pass that ended the war in Europe. He was very proud of that moment. His division the 103 helped to liberate Dachau and at the age of 80 tears ran down his cheeks when he told me the story of what he saw when I interviewed him on video to capture his life story.
He never talked about the war with us children and I was so taken back that I asked him “dad why did you never tell us about the war?” His reply was “you guys did not want to know this.” I knew deep down inside He was protecting us from the horrors of war that he saw. He spent his life protecting us and that was a time in his life I think he wanted to forget.
The memories of war still hunted him. My father was a hero but kept it to himself. Like so many men that fought in WW11. That day I respected him more and was so proud of him and the other men that fought for our country. After the war ended he came back to the states his life changed forever. While out dancing he met the love of his life. Our mother Jerry.
They were such great jitters buggers that they cleared the floor when they dance. It was a magical time for the both of them. To cut the story short they married, had four children Sharron, Matthew, me Melody and Michael the baby. We moved to St Clair Shores after I was born out of the projects in Detroit.
My father would travel around Michigan and Canada as a stand up comedian. One night Jimmy Duranty (a famous comedian) went back stage and told my dad that he was a very funny and gifted comedian. He was a quite man at home but when he was out he was the life of the party. He was always making people laugh. He was funny and quick witted and would say off the wall jokes but he loved making people laugh. He had this amazing sense of humor that rubbed off on us children.
He had bills to pay and had to support his family. So He gave up he’s love for stand up and bought the aluminum siding business. Our mom and dad started Hallmark Aluminum products. My dad was one of the original tin men but an honest one. My mom worked the front desk while my dad did the sawing, drilling and selling as they were a team and worked hard to give us a better life.
Us kids would do talent shows for our parents and spend the night just goofing around and dad would sometime join us with a Magic trick or two. Lots of laughter and rolling on floor busting our guts from laughing to hard.. We would always trying to out do each other to see who could be funnier, my brothers always won but it never stopped Sharron and I from trying. That was how some evenings went in the Lupo home as neighbor kids would come and join us.
Many years later In Los Angeles I tied my hand at stand up as my dad made it look easy. It was hard but I got better as I did it more. A lesson from dad “never give up”
Who was he really this man I called dad?
He was kind, gentle and fearless. He was my knight in shining armor when there was a spider in my room. He would hold me when I cried and took me to 5 different stores to buy me white go-go boots on a cold winter night while I was in High School. He was my protector, my teacher,my strong role model that worked hard to put food on our table. He was honest and had a smile would melt melt heart. He was a man of integrity and someone that could be trusted. His word was his bond.
One summer He drove our family all night to take us camping. We never went camping before. When we got to the camp ground he put up a tent all by himself swearing every step of the way. My uncle that loaned us the tent said normally it would took 4 men to put it up. But he did it alone and then he got mad when a bear ate all our food. We did not know that we were suppose to put the food in the car. Our dad then packed the car up and took us home. We never went camping again. But he learned his lesson well it’s better to stay home cook a steak on the grill and sit in the above ground pool.
Speaking of the pool my mother decided to take out the water out of the pool so she could clean it. The pool was about 4 feet or so in the ground. The sides fell down as she release some of the water. It was a mess. The water filled up the back yard and the pool looked like bombed hit it. My dad came home she said “Matt don’t go in the backyard”. With a beer in hand he sat outside for hours just looking at damaged pool and flooded back yard. Shaking his head. A few days later a dump truck came with dirt and my dad buried it in the backyard. Yes, being Italian you would think that something would be buried in the backyard it was not a body, but a pool.
Dad was very stubborn and could not pushed in to any thing that he did not want to do. I think he lived so long because he was so stubborn and did not give up. Death was not going to get him as he would say I’m going to live to be a 100 and I believe if he did not get liver failure he would have made it to 100.
He worked 6 days a week and still had time to go see my brother Matthew other wise Known as Speedy play football. Or out to the hockey rink watching our wiz kid brother Michael creating circles on the ice. Please remember he was very quite at home and at the foot ball or hockey games he would be yelling like a truck driver. He love sports and was very proud of his sons.
What was my dads passion?
It was us kids but most of all the love of his life our mom Jerry. He would walk pass her while she was cooking and grab her and they both would smile at each other in a love way. As us children would cry out “that’s gross” but that never stopped them. They both should us how to love and that it was OK to show affection toward someone that you loved. They had so much passion and love for each other and still had enough love for us kids.
At a young age of 58 the love of his life, Jerry passed away. After she died our Dad loved her so deeply that every night he would crawl into bed to go to sleep and say “Good night Jerry I love you. He never missed a night till he passed away. Theirs was a love story as mom would say that God sent our handsome dad to her to take care of her. And he did. When she was so sick he bathe her and feed her and was there with her holding her hand when she passed way.
This amazing man showed us what love was and how a man should treat a woman. He was the let me open the door ma’ma generation and knew that women should be cherished. Don’t get me wrong they fought. I remember one night my mom nailed the doors shut from the inside with us kids and her trapped inside because she was so mad at dad. But at the end of it all they would sit in the couch laughing sharing little jokes that we were not a part of. You could see the love for each other in there eyes as they held hands.
We all have stories about the man we call Matt and our fond memories. My dad would come out to visit me in LA and I will cherish the walks on the beach and the special moments we shared. I would come out to see my family each year but Last summer I got to see my dad up close and personal for 24 hours a day for 10 weeks. In those weeks I got to see the best and his worst of him. As Alzheimer and dementia took him to a place we could not enter. But in the mist of all this he sang with me and told jokes and made me laugh. At times, I wanted to cry when he did not remember me but I saw how his eyes lit up when he did recognize me.
At the hospice one night he opens his eyes and looked at my daughter and said “Babette you came from California to see me? As he had tears in his eyes. Then she held his hand and they just looked at each other with such love.. It is memory that I shall never forget. A brief moment in time in the lives of the two people that I love the most. Were there showing such love. I will cherish that image forever.
Last summer I watched him talk to people that I could not see in this fantasy world that We could not enter. Watch him say things that my father would never say but knew he was in a state of confusion and it was his sickness and pain.
At 93 he still taught me so much and the lessons that I learned were. We will all die someday, and if we live long enough we will go off inside our mind where no one can go but our self. We will forget people and our loved ones and our stories. But in the end it’s how we live our life. To find happiness and to be kind to others.
He taught me to be fearless to kill spiders and yes I can go camping and not let Bears eat my food. He taught me to never give up and it’s Ok to be stubborn and in the end it will all work out. He taught me how to love unconditional. He taught me that Go-go boots will come and go but love never dies. He taught me some times you have to make hard choices but it will help you to grow in to a person of honor and self respect.
At 93, he passed away when he was ready, on his terms. He is now where he wants to be and that is dancing in heaven with our beautiful mother and your grandmother. The love of his life that he had missed so much for so many years. They are now holding hands as they look down on us in heaven.
So I celebrate the man that would take my hand and buy me ice cream. Matthew, Today we love you more than we can express. You will be missed but but never forgotten. look around the room and see what you started? A generation of beautiful children and grand children and great grand children that you personally affected in a positive way. You are so loved by so many. Through it all dad you never lost your sense of humor and was telling jokes and singing with us until you could give us no more. You gave us laughter and taught us how to believe in ourselves. You saw all of your children as being perfect in your eyes. You will always our hero to all of us.
You have shown us such love and kindness. You taught us how we should live our life. Thank you for gracing our life dear father. Grandma Lupo and our mom was right you were a gift from God. Rest in peace our angel along with mom in heaven. You are now with the love of your life dad. Hold her close and tell her we love her.
Dad just remember this a kiss is just kiss a sigh is just a sigh as I will always hear you and mom singing that song in my head. God bless you dad we all love you and you will be dearly missed and forever in our thoughts and prayers.