Elbert Eugene Sharpe
September 15, 1925 – August 7, 2018
Thoughts On My Dad's Passing - written by Dave Sharpe
My father Elbert E. Sharpe passed 8/7/2018; there is an emotional black hole with his departure. It was not unexpected but still was shock to the family; it was a blessing he passed peacefully with family by his side. He was: A product of a large Depression era family of sharecroppers, 6 brothers and 4 sisters: Because of the times he learned to live off the land and shoot small game to help feed his family. He achieved a marksman level (nearly expert) medal in USMC from his shooting skills. He passed his knowledge and skills of firearms to me and my brother, and taught us both the enjoyment and responsibilities of that right. A World War II USMC veteran stationed in Quantico. He achieved rank of Corporal and was involved in OCS training at Quantico, VA; and was lucky enough to be stationed home side, since 6 of his siblings were on oversea deployment. He didn’t refer to WWII much, except to mention many friends never returned (our family lost several cousins at Pearl Harbor). Had he been deployed, he would have been sent to Okinawa. If Hiroshima and Nagasaki hadn’t been bombed, I likely wouldn’t be writing this. He was forever Semper Fi. A Fixer at American Tobacco Company; he joined after USMC discharge in 1946 and worked until retirement at age 55 in 1981(35 years); in all those years he only missed 2 days from work. I credit all knowledge of things mechanic to my dad; he repurposed everything and threw away nearly nothing (Depression era mentality). If a part broke, double or triple its size; I inherited his trait of overbuilding everything. It might weigh 4X as much but it’ll never break where it was “fixed”, or come apart when you “load it up”. I can’t count the number of car, lawnmower and outboard engines that we pulled apart and rebuilt (and yes they ran afterward, in spite of our amateur efforts). A Craftsman; he could repurpose or build nearly anything, and it didn’t matter if the medium was steel, wood, cinderblocks or bricks, or artificial lures for fishing. He enjoyed using his hands, and enjoyed woodworking and making furniture. He helped me numerous times make stuff for science fairs, Tesla Coils, CB Radios, and weird science. He was very creative and inventive, even with only a 6th grade education. I have little doubt he would have been an engineer if he had gone to college. A Gardener; I cannot fathom the thousands of pounds of tomatoes, squash, green beans, green peas, cucumbers, cantaloupes, watermelons, and tomatoes he harvested in his life, and gave away to neighbors, family and friends. Outdoorman; He loved fishing and spending time with me and my brother on the Chickahominy River. Family Man; He raised a step brother and two sons and married our mom in 1949 and was by her side at her last breath in 1993. He remarried and became close to a second family. He kept a roof over our heads and food on the table. I can never repay my debt of gratitude, but understand I’ll never forget his legacy.
- Graveside Service Saturday, August 11, 2018