Firstly I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for just being here. It is such a healing gift to be surrounded by your love & respect for my Dad. Thank you so much for coming and showing my family and myself that my Dad holds a special place in your heart.
While I could use 1000 words & thoughts to describe my Dad.. Summing up my father’s life, I keep coming back to one thought.
Never will you meet a greater man, a man who more faithfully lived his values. My Dad was a teacher of all things. His method was simple. He taught by example. At any age, when faced with an ethical dilemma, after reflection, study, or even rationalization, I found myself coming back to one simple question. What would Dad do? His character is the foundation of my conscience. He is my moral compass. He always wanted me to be a self-sufficient and independent woman. One of his favorite sayings was “For every action there is a reaction.” I used to roll my eyes when he said that during my teen years. He taught me so many of my firsts. How to drive car, how to shoot a gun, how to ride a bike, change a tire and to ride a lawn mower. Of course that was so I could help with yard work. He also taught me how to stick up for myself, how to be kind, giving, loving & loyal.
He was an incredible businessman, starting and running a successful car dealership. He was brilliant with his car knowledge, diligent in his work ethic, and wise with his money. He turned a passion for cars into a career and brought honesty to that occupation. I will think of him every time I see a classic car, especially if it’s red. My Dad never let another man down. He fulfilled every obligation he ever undertook. His word was his bond, and everyone knew it. I never heard him utter a lie, nor intentionally deceive. He was self-made and self-reliant.
He was such a good father to us kids. A while back, I pulled out pictures from my childhood, and every single one of them, my dad is beaming from ear to ear. When I look at pictures of him, I see happiness. I see light in his eyes the way he looked at us and my mom. We were adored, completely and wholeheartedly, loved undeniably, unconditionally. I see the same happiness if not even more in the pictures of him with his grandkids. He was a wonderful Papa. He was the kind Papa that played for hours, took them for rides in his cars, listened patiently to stories about Legos, and superheroes. They will know too that they are loved! I asked all the grandkids what their favorite thing about their Papa is and they all said “There’s too many things, we can’t name just one “
He loved my mom with all his heart. They have been married for 43 years. I cannot even begin to describe the impact their marriage has had on my life. Through their relationship, I learned what true love is all about. They met and married each other young and lived a true love story that most people only see in movies. Love is a partnership of two unique people who bring out the very best in each other, and who know that even though they are wonderful as individuals, they are even better together. The Bible says that Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not envy. Love does not boast. Love is not proud. Love is not rude. Love is not self-seeking. Love is not easily angered. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil. Love rejoices with the truth. Love always protects. Love always trusts. Love always hopes. Love always perseveres. Love never fails.” -1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 That’s the kind of love my parents share and their love story doesn’t end here, it will continue on.
My Dad considered everything good in his life a gift from God, and he gave richly out of what God had given. He was a man of integrity in all he did and generous with all he had. I can only hope to be the same. It was not unusual for my Dad to find someone stranded on the side of the road and come to their rescue with his tow truck. He loaned cars to people in need. He handed out bibles through his work with the Gideon’s. He was a hero to more than just me.
My dad loved the Lord. He was faithful to the church. His faith and the many beautiful ways it manifested itself served as such an example to me. My dad’s clearest moments of speech during the past few months were when he was praying to Jesus. He spoke to Him with a natural ease. When everything else was fading away, the one area that always remained was his love of the Lord. I want that for my own life. I want to be so devoted to Jesus that when you take everything else away, He remains – just as clear and strong as when I had everything.
My father had a quiet dignity, respecting himself the way he respected others. As he faced his final days, his body ravaged with the cancer, he never ever lost his faith. Not once. He never complained, or asked ‘why me?’ he never let the cancer beat him. He never had one single moment of self-pity. My father’s courage though through his fight with cancer – was incredible. He trusted in Jesus when he said in the book of John, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. His peace with God in knowing where he was going and his gratefulness to God for the good life he lived here on earth bring our family great comfort.
Toward the end, when things were more difficult, I found myself no longer hoping for earthly healing or a miracle cure. But that isn’t to say that I stopped being hopeful. Having faith that my Dad would be healed was only one area where I could prove my faith. I had faith that there was something better ahead for him, I had hope that he would be at peace soon. I believe that the future holds good things. Asking God to heal my dad is one of the most common prayers I have prayed over the past year. And I finally got what I wanted. My dad beat cancer because cancer cannot follow him where he is now. He’s in paradise with Jesus and I rest assured knowing I will see him again someday.
2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
We love you Daddy! And we will miss you always!