American Patriotic 10

John H. Hax Jr.

August 10, 1937 ~ July 9, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old


I'm John Hax and apparently I just died. Details below.

I was born in Waterbury, CT, in 1937 to Helen and Howard Hax, who soon learned I was a strange little boy they struggled to understand. But they and my older sister Carolyn gave me all the love and support a kid could want.

I was tested in kindergarten and declared a genius. Parents beamed, I beamed. My stunning lack of distinction in grade school, though, finally revealed that I was ordinary. I still tested well, so the SATs opened the door to Cornell--and to more spectacular failure. I was sent home after my junior year. My parents' love and faith stayed rock steady, though, and Cornell took me back! There I met Lizzy O'Connell. I was instantly and completely in love. It lasted 42 years until ALS took her in 2002.

Thanks to Lizzie, I graduated, became a Marine Corps captain, a helicopter pilot, a decorated combat veteran (DFC, Purple Heart, many air medals), and a holder of some big responsibilities at Sikorsky Aircraft. Her confidence in me was total and mine in myself grew to match. Why did she agree to that first date, I would ask her. Her answer never changed: She saw something. What, I hadn't a clue.

Our family was our--mostly Lizzy's--proudest achievement: Katy (1962), Debby (1963), Betsy (1964) and Carolyn (1966); I was in Vietnam in 1965. Lizzy knew only four of the nine grand- and great-grandkids.

Half of me died in 2002 with Lizzy but the other half had work to do, mostly for the ALS Association with Andy Byrne, who also saw something in me, though she's not talking, either. Her powers were life-saving--emphasis "were." Goodbye and thank you to friends and neighbors who kept me together during my years alone, and to my comrades in arms from 1963 to 1965, HMM 163. Semper Fi.

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