In the hospital, during his final days, Lee Mach told a family friend:
"I want to go home."
"No you don't."
She then said, "I was hoping when you go to heaven that you could talk to my Dad."
"You do understand," he said.
She said Lee's motto in life was:
"How can I be of help to you?"
Then she added, "His neighbor was anyone who needed his help."
Our family knew him since 1958 when he first came to Fresno to be a professor at Fresno State. One day when I was visiting my parents, several months after my mother's Alzheimer's diagnosis, I saw a little something he had brought by in hopes of cheering her up. Some figurine or flower, I don't even remember what it was, but I thought it so sweet he brought it by just for her. He was already in his late 80s by this time.
The service lasted nearly 2 hours but we were all captivated by the words and the spirit the entire time.
Den and I didn't even turn to each other to give comments, like we usually do...we didn't want to miss a word.
There were a few stories about his sense of humor, especially during his final days at the hospital.
After one long shift ended, the new nurse came in his room to introduce herself.
She said her name was Melba.
After she left he turned to a friend and said, "Melba toast sounds really good right now."
On one particular day it was obvious many babies were born since a lullaby was played over the hospital intercom system after each birth.
Finally Lee said, "My goodness gracious, there were sure lots of busy people 9 months ago!"
Someone asked him towards the end what he would like to say to Gladys if he could tell her anything.
He said, "I love her. I had to marry her because no one would treat her as well as I could."
He treated her like a queen for 64 years.