Milton Seidel -- or as I know him, Uncle Milt -- passed away a few days ago after stuggling with cancer and treatment for a couple of years. He was a great man, and not just because he was a grandfather-figure in our family but also because of the tremendous contributions he made to our country over his decades of service.

Much of what Milton accomplished is public record: husband, father, uncle, distinguished Korean War veteran, Assistant Director of the Treasury, world traveler. Among many other responsibilities, Milton was in charge of printing all paper money for the United States, and he was one of only a handful of engineers who knew the printing process from start to finish and could rebuild the system in case of disaster.

Beyond all that, he taught me to shoot. He taught me about conservatism. He demonstrated to me and everyone who knew him a tireless, uncomplaining work ethic. He took his responsibilities seriously and met them.

Which is not to say that Milton was humorless -- far from it! He was serious in business, no doubt, but he didn't take himself too seriously and was always quick to laugh at the vagaries of life. We laughed about politics, sports, whatever was in the news. He took joy in his family and in sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience.

My wife and I grew a great deal by observing his marriage to my Auth Katherine. They love each other deeply and without reservation. They've always been best friends, confidants, partners-in-crime, and a tremendous example of marriage to everyone around them. They've been an inspiration to Jessica and I that the joys we find in the early years of our marriage can last a lifetime.

So farewell Uncle Milt! Not forever but for a little while. I'm sure they've got tulips in Heaven.

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