My Dad died August 31, 2013.
His funeral services were Thursday
September 5, 2013.
We love you Dad and miss you.
I hope my brother Terry doesn't mind me sharing what
he said at the funeral. It was really great and that's why I
want to share it:
- The greatest compliment I ever received was when I was told, “You’re just like your father!” Because Pop was a great man!
- As a young boy I wanted to be just like my father but as I got older I realized I couldn’t be. Looking at my father, in many ways I could never measure up, but I could aspire to the values and character he modeled for us and I have tried to pass them on to my sons. Pop was a man’s man, a strong man, and he was a big man, somewhat intimidating at times. And he was good at everything he did. I was never able to beat him in a round of golf!
- More importantly though, he was a family man. He always wanted to be with Mom and us kids. When he was in the Air Force he didn’t volunteer to go places he couldn’t take us. Staying with the family was a priority for him. He loved his family! He loved my mom and he loved his children and grandchildren. He was proud of all of us.
- Pop was an honest man. He instilled in us the importance of telling the truth, honesty, and integrity. He was an example of being a man of his word, even when it was difficult or complicated.
- Pop was a man of faith and his faith became more and more important to him as he grew older. His relationship with the Lord, the study of the Bible, and spending time in prayer changed his outlook on life. I noticed the transformation as his priorities changed and as he grew in wisdom and Godliness.
- Pop was a generous man. He was always willing to help out his children… and not only his family, he reached out to help other people in need as well. He had a tender heart, sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s prompting. I didn’t realize it but Mom told me this week that one of Pop’s spiritual gifts was giving. I think only she knows the full extent of his gift in this area.
- Even to the end, he was a smart man. Whether he was whipping us in a game of hearts or giving us his political insights on current events; he was sharp. I started calling more frequently in the past few years and it was always good to get his perspective on the issues I was facing. Things like when to retire from the Air Force or what advice should I give one of the boys. He would always have wise advice and valuable insights. Even when I visited for his birthday a few short weeks ago, he was still passing on words of wisdom and good advice. Unfortunately, I didn’t always follow his advice and at times I should have. But I always learned from him.
- Unlike Vickie, Trisha and Stuart, I moved away from the family and Florida and never moved back. So I would often think of my Dad the way he was when I left home when I was a teenager. I remember him as the pillar of strength in our family.
- Over the years when I came home to visit, I would notice the changes as he grew older but I would leave and go back home and my image of my father hadn’t changed. In my mind I still remembered a younger, healthier Pop. That’s the Pop I would visualize when we were talking on the phone each week.
- I got a call from my Mom at 2:40 in the morning last Saturday. You definitely think the worst when the phone rings at that time at night (if you can think at all). I was hoping it was a wrong number… but it wasn’t. Mom and Stuart were with Pop early that morning and they had to call 911 and Pop was taken to the hospital. Donna and I prayed for Pop and Mom and Stuart but I couldn’t go back to sleep. I went into our family room and continued to think and pray. It was 5 am when I felt a strong presence in the room with me. I don’t know if it was Pop or the Holy Spirit, but I knew he was with Jesus and he was at peace. I felt at peace and was able to go back to sleep. A couple of hours later, Mom called back and said, “it is finished.” Pop’s suffering was over. The Bible says, “for in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye…the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality…as it is written, Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
- So don’t think of Pop like he was at his 80th birthday. Think of him like I do, as a younger, stronger and happier man. Actually, I can’t even imagine how glorious the heavenly experience was for him. He has a new body, perfect and whole. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
- Pop, you won’t be joining us here anymore, but someday we’ll be joining you up there and on that day, our joy will be made complete.
We love you!---