…lots of people think my dad was a great man!
Here is his obituary in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
To that, I would just add that he was an outstanding father. I couldn’t hope for, or even conceive of, one better. He always put his family first, and was always willing to go the extra mile… sometimes literally.
I often drive by the office building in Dallas where he worked when I was very young, and I’m amazed that he drove all that way from our hometown and back every day. When I was older, he would interrupt his busy day to drive all the way to my school to deliver a forgotten lunch or assignment–always just in time. When I was at university, he would make a twice-yearly trip from Florida to New Orleans and back to move me to or from school . Still later, he came from Kentucky to Florida to pluck me from a really thorny situation and bring me back home to him and Mom.
I don’t remember him ever complaining about any of it, or counting the cost, or demanding anything in return. It was just the kind of dad he was.
I took these things for granted at the time. But looking back now that I’m older and wiser, I’m struck by how closely my dad imitated the Good Shepherd! Or the father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. During the years when I strayed spiritually, squandering my life away, I’m sure he bore a resemblance to St. Monica, as well. I have no doubt that I would not be where I am if it were not for Dad, and Mom too.
If I had to sum up Dad in one word, it would be “self-giving.” Dad gave of himself so much to me and all his family and friends… to his colleagues… and to so many other people, including many who would have otherwise been marginalized, ignored, forgotten, and abandoned: the deaf and/or blind, troubled families, endangered children.
I can’t understand why his life was cut short as it was, but his great legacy will live on forever. Not only in my heart, but many others.
Rest in peace, my sweet Daddy… you deserve it!