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Cecil Donald Jellison
My father, Don, was always an inspiration - who, somewhat reluctantly on my part, inspired me, on my own terms, to attend and graduate Class of 1978.
After struggling with the rules at John Brown College, Dad joined the California National Guard to avoid the Korean War, but was immediately activated - and fell, by accident, into the Company Clerk job because he could type. He helped some fellow soldiers complete their application for West Point (he had never heard of it), and slipped his application in with theirs.
While his unit headed to Korea, he went to the Prep School and then immersed himself whole heartedly into West Point. Having endured his (well-deserved) lectures as a child, I imagine he was a fearsome flame, but with a twinkle in his eye.
He graduated full of idealism - however the reality of Army life, with high ideals that aren't always realized, wore away some of that idealism while not diminishing his desire to maintain and uphold Duty, Honor, and Country.
After he retired, he re-examined his life from several spiritual angles and attempted, in his inimitable way, to maintain and expand the honor and dignity of life among his fellow journeymen.
I miss him greatly - and hope to greet him again some day to continue our conversations.
Rest in Peace, Dad.
June 20, 2012