How did Sara Louise's father die in Jacob Have I Loved?

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Sara Louise's father, Truitt Bradshawe, dies a peaceful death after Sara Louise has married Joesph Wojkiewicz and moved away from Rass Island to a small town in the mountains of West Virginia. Sara Louise says of her father's death,

"...this year, on the second of October, my father went to sleep in his chair after a day of crabbing and never woke up."

Sara Louise is "so far along in (her) ninth month" of pregnancy that she is unable to return to Rass to attend her father's funeral. Her husband Joseph goes in her place, and returns home just in time to be present at the birth of their son (Chapter 20).

Of all the people in her family, Sara Louise had been closest to her father. Truitt Bradshawe was "a true Rass waterman," who daily labored to catch crabs and oysters to make a living. He had fought in World War I and been injured, bringing home "a hip full of German shrapnel," and spent ten years trying to get back on his feet, working for other men while trying to recover fully from his wounds to support himself and his widowed mother. One fall during this period, a young woman came to teach at the island school, and fell in love with the "large, red-faced, game-legged" man. The two married, and awhile later, had two children, twin girls. Sara Louise was the older twin by a few minutes, but, as they grew up, Caroline, her sister, received the bulk of adult attention because of her frailty and sunny appearance. Sara Louise became bitter, feeling that she was left out in the cold for most of her childhood, but her father was the one family member with whom she developed a comparatively close relationship (Chapter 2). Sara Louise is very unhappy that she is not able to attend her father's funeral, but, under the circumstances, it cannot be helped. She is glad that, before he died, Truitt Bradshawe had been able to meet her husband Joseph (Chapter 20).

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