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A Father’s Eulogy

July 12, 2011 at 5:35 am my father passed from this world after a battle with cancer.  His obituary is listed here, and today I will say my final goodbyes to a man that defies any description.

I was asked to deliver Dad’s eulogy today – and I have scheduled this post to publish around the very time that I will be speaking these words at his funeral service.

Rest in peace, Dad – I love you and miss you so much.

In the year 1959, the states of Hawaii and Alaska became part of the union of the United States of America, a country my father proudly served in the United States Air Force.  In the summer of 1959, in a smaller state at the center of his beloved country, at the pool of the Lincoln Air Force Base in Lincoln, Nebraska – a young and very beautiful woman finally worked up the nerve to approach the Lifeguard stand where a young and very handsome man sat a top.  With the sun shining bright behind his head, she looked up at him and said, “My, you are very bright.” … to which he replied, “Yep, that’s why my Dad calls me Son.

With that, somewhat, awkward exchange between two nervous young people, a love of a lifetime was born.  A love that has endured 52 years, 49 of which spent in a beautiful marriage.

My father’s love for his wife was a full, romantic and sentimental love, rich with devotion that is rare and a love I feel honored to have witnessed in my lifetime.

In those 49 years of marriage, they shared their love for one another, their love for their children and grandchildren, their love of their country and their love for travel and family history.

Through the years, my father became interested in many things.  He was a self-described simple man with simple tastes and enjoyed simple things.  He loved to play Golf, although he would admit he was not very good at it, he loved the quiet simplicity of the game.  He liked to fish, camp, collect coins, garden and travel with his family, and later in life, with his wife, they had the lofty goal of travelling to every state in the union as they worked together to research their family history and learn about the paths of their ancestral roots and geneology.

They did not make it to every single state in this country, but they came very close.

With his children, he was loving, gentle and always filled with pride and joy with each accomplishment and milestone and made sure he was involved in our activities and interests.  As kids, we could always count on seeing his, and Mom’s, face at our events and activities.

Whether at Jan’s softball and volleyball games,  Scott’s baseball, football or other sporting events or my own musical and theatrical performances, he was always there, without fail, to support, encourage, applaud and cheer us on.  Dad was our biggest fan.

During our failures and struggles, of which there were many, he was quick with a word of advice, encouragement and support.  Dad always encouraged and taught me to pick my battles and was fond of saying things to me like … “Is this the hill you want to die on?” … or … “Don’t kill a fly with an AK47“.  He tried to teach us the important things in life and tried to guide us away from the trivial.  Mostly, he succeeded.

If there was one word to pick to describe my Dad during my lifetime it would be the word: Present.  He was always there, always present with warmth, love, pride and joy.

I have never seen Dad more proud than when the years rewarded him with seven beautiful grandchildren: Nico, Eric, Daniel, Kylie, Derek, Ben and Melissa.

He approached grandfatherhood in the same way he approached fatherhood – only this time with the seasoned experience and wisdom that only time can bring.

He was very proud of his grandkids and very much enjoyed being involved in their lives and encouraging them with each of their interests and talents.  Dad always made sure to involve himself as much as possible as he could with Nico’s Robotics, Eric’s academic progress and growth, Daniel’s baseball and football, Kylie’s track and softball, Derek’s baseball, Ben’s emerging computer talents and Melissa’s choral and orchestra performances.

He attended to each grandchild with the same warmth and love as he did to his own children’s lives.

Between his love for his wife, children and grandchildren, Dad had precious little time for else in his life – except for the work he did to provide for his family.

In working to help prepare for Dad’s services today, I have talked to many people – neighbors, caregivers and friends and it is clear that Dad was well-liked, respected and well-regarded in his life by both his family and peers.

I am proud of my Dad.

I am proud of the way he loved my mother.

I am proud of the house that he built.

I am proud of the way he loved and cared for his children.

I am proud of the way he loved his grandchildren.

I am proud of the way he served his country.

I am proud of the father and grandfather that he was.

I am proud of the man that he was.

I am proud of the way, by daily example, he taught me the lesson of unconditional love and the importance of family.

That is his legacy.  He is, and will be, greatly missed by all.

xoxo

24 Comments

  1. Jeff

    Lisa, I suspect your father would be honored by your tribute. Thank you for sharing it and enjoy fond memories of him.

  2. James

    A beautiful testimony to a clearly great dad, best wishes to you and all your family Lisa

  3. Very moving. Well said. I would bet your father was very proud of his daughter and her accomplishments as well.

  4. Leanne

    Lisa and family –

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Lisa, your eulogy is a beautiful and loving description of a sweet man whose presence will be remembered, cherished and missed for years to come.

    Prayers and love to you all.

  5. Beautiful. My condolences to you and your family.

  6. My heart goes out to you and your family, lisa.

  7. Oh my goodness, Lisa, I just saw this. I am so incredibly sorry, I know this has been a really rough journey for you. Your eulogy was beautiful, and I know that he was proud to call you his daughter. If there is anything that I can do, please let me know. I’m praying for you guys. My love goes out to you!

  8. Bug

    Very touching eulogy, my sympathy to you and your family. *hugs*

  9. Very Sorry for your loss Lisa. Having lost a near family member just last month I can understand how you must feel.

    Your eulogy was very beautiful and touching. Im sure your Dad was proud to have such a loving daughter.

  10. Happened upon your beautiful words. I am sorry for your loss, it really hits home especially since I am a new father of a beautiful girl.

  11. sandra

    I have your book. I am sorry to hear about your dad. I was born in 57 so it touched me that your dad was younger than I am. It caused me to reflect how I am glad to still be here to enjoy the physical world and those who I care for. I believe that an awesome creator put us here and this what we see in motion. I believe we will be united again with our love ones in a very special place souls go. I believe you will see your dad again. I am happy he had the opportunity to see what a success you are. God bless you now during this time of transition.

  12. Dear Lisa, I just today purchased your book and am starting to learn how to blog. A trip to this site presented me with your sad news. Please accept this senior’s condolences. Your tribute to your dad was very moving. He must have been a wonderful person.

  13. Hi Lisa, I just finished your WordPress for Dummies for the third time….and logged onto your site to ask for your help–but will defer to that request until I hear from you, due to your Dad’s death.

    I was happily reading your Eulogy and saw your parents were married for 49 years. I was touched by the entire story but my wife, Pat and I just celebrated our 50th in June.

    Please be comforted to know that Pat and I will be including your Dad in our Divine Mercy Prayers each day for the next week….our special gifts to our friends with deaths in their families….

    Lisa, if you could, I woold ask you to email me back and help me with cleaing up a couple of things on my blog with WordPress…please take a look at my site if you can..at

    http://relhurg1.com/ My blog is Lifejustiz®.

    I would really appreciate your input…If you do inspect my blog I have a table of contents and at the top is the Editor’s Page with all my pleas for help…Thank you so much and May God Bless you and your family..My brother just was notified of a stage 4 liver cancer determination….Please pray for our family as we yours…John Gruhler (relhurg)

  14. Very sorry to hear about your father. Lost my step-father in 2009 to pancreatic cancer. Cancer is a disease that shows no mercy to anyone. I watched a strong man get widdled to nothing in a span of four months. Cherish the day and live your life!

  15. Arthur Klein

    I am sorry for your loss…
    <3
    Arthur

  16. Decio Vanderlei Nogueira

    Accept my condolences, your history really touch me, my sympathy to your family.

  17. Jackie

    This was Gorgeous! I Have lost both of my parents in the past. I wish you and your family the warmest condolences. I have been an avid follower for a while, just haven’t said much until now. My Older Brother was Just diagnosed with Mouth Cancer last week. :(

    Just love and take in as much of your family as you can everyday.

    ~Jackie

  18. I’m sorry to hear you loss. May his soul rest in peace.

  19. I sympathize. Your father was very good person, time has managed to grow up such good daughter :(

  20. Hi Lisa,

    This brought me to tears. So sorry for your loss. Must be hard for you at this time. I lost an uncle to pancreatic cancer. He was only 57.

    On a different note, I found out about you through your WP book and am using it now. Thanks for the great info.

    Lori

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