"All the money that ere I spent, I spent it in good company" -- The Parting Glass
My Father MICHAEL KRAXBERGER was the stock of the earth, and it was back to his gods he returned on May 8th, 2020. He was 63. My Father lived, and he died in the same house, on the same land that he was born on April 9th, 1957.
My Father had a will of his own, his rhythm was his own, and when he was a young man my Father followed that drum to Chicago under the protests of my Grandfather where he served in the Mennonite Trainee Program driving a van for people with disabilities. He returned home only to pick up and leave again, this time across the wild ocean to Europe where he worked the farms in both Germany and France. This experience would inform a great deal of my father's personal mythos and life philosophy that would carry him the rest of his life. After his adventures, the drum of fate brought him to my Mother, then Kellie Monaghan, daughter of a retired police detective. Kellie would be the only women he would ever marry legally; she would remain a very close friend and ally for the duration of my Father's life.
My Father and my Mother were married in 1982 and in 1987 I, Breidon, my Fathers only son and heir, was born. This, however, did not stop my Father from unofficially adopting my sister Awbrey as his own blood, and when he spoke of her it was always that of the swelling adoration of fatherly pride. My Father had a gift, and that gift was treating all humans as people. He would treat the homeless man who was hearing voices the same way he would treat the man sitting next to him at the local bar. Everyone, to him, was worthy of dignity, and such a grace was afforded to all he would encounter. To this end, my Father devoted the better part of thirty years, working with people who suffer from mental illnesses, and became a fierce advocate for them, even serving for a short time as VP of the Eastern Oregon branch of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
It was his joy after a day of working with people, to stop by the local Canby bar The Backstop to have a drink with the men and women who filled the barstools with stories and good company. When I would come to visit him, he would speak of them, and more often than not, he would bring me along for a pint and a burger so I might have a visit with them as well. For my Father, it was a place that called him home, and its people meant the world to him. In the last few years before the stroke that would be the bridge that would set my Father free, he would meet Deborah Walton and my Father died with her at his side in the wee hours of the morning.
My Father leaves behind him his partner Debby of four years; me Breidon his only son; and his two grandsons Odin and Arwyn; Awbrey my father's daughter and her three daughters Molly, Adalynn, and Kendoll; Kellie my Mother; his sister Donna; and almost a dozen adopted grandchildren.