|Dad (1925-2017) and Mom in 2005|
I could go on at length about my thoughts and feelings for Dad. He was a perfect father for me, and a perfect grandfather for my children. With his inquisitive spirit, and interest in everything, I imagine that he might just take a quick vacation from his new work on the other side to come down here and see what it is that Molly and I are up to. He would be very welcome.
Here is the tribute to him that I just sent to Mom to be shared at his funeral, since Molly and I won’t be able to be there:
As most of you know, Molly and I are serving a mission in Bolivia, and so we can’t be there to share our love and memories of Dad with you personally, but I appreciate so deeply the opportunity to share those things with you.
All of us are so very blessed to have known Dad, to have worked with him, to have received his love and service, to have been taught by him. Let me share with you just a few of the things that I have seen and been a part of. Hopefully it will bring to your minds some of the things that are so great about him.
When I was fairly young, I remember Dad telling me not to “vacillate”. Now who uses words like that with an 8-year-old? He wasn’t trying to impress me with his vocabulary, he was being precise, and using the right word for the right purpose. Dad was always precise. If you didn’t do something right, he knew that it would have to be done again. And he didn’t want to waste his time or anyone else’s. He always did his best to do a job right the first time, and he taught me the value in that. His work always spoke for itself – complete, accurate, precise. When he did something, you knew it would last for a very long time.
We went to Yellowstone with the family, towing a rented trailer (mobile home) behind the old Ford. I remember the bears and other wildlife. But one day, while stopped on the highway watching some elk or moose, a bear came up behind the trailer, and ripped off a utility door, probably smelling food inside. The door was small, and the bear accomplished little more than damaging the door. But Dad was so concerned about the owner and his property. I was too little to know what was done specifically upon returning the trailer, but I know Dad made it right with the owner. He didn’t like to borrow tools, for fear that the tool might be damaged or lost. In that case, Dad would have purchased a new tool for the owner, one that was better than the borrowed one. He had tremendous respect for the property of others, and taught us to have that same respect.
Dad loved to observe the outdoors. We went on drives often, which I enjoyed, but my brothers didn’t, since they got carsick. I ended up in the middle of the backseat, but I still loved it. Every once in a while, on some winding mountain road, Ralph or Richard would be carsick, so Dad would stop the car and let us walk up the road a ways, coming up slowly behind us after we’d had time to get the carsick (or maybe the wiggles) out. I loved it that our family vacations were always to the National Parks – Yellowstone, Arches, Bryces, Canyonlands, Rocky Mountain National Park, etc. I didn’t get to Disneyland until after I was married, and it wasn’t anywhere near as enjoyable as living in a cabin at Bryce Canyon for a couple of days with my family, watching the chipmunks, and hiking in the beautiful surroundings.
Dad was an observer of things, always inquisitive and learning. He didn’t just accept that something worked, he figured out why it worked. He built radios and televisions, he built our home in Heber, and learned carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, etc. Everything necessary to build a house was learned with the same precision and exactness that he applied to every task in his life.
Likewise, he built a home and a family. He taught us obedience, integrity, and honesty. It didn’t matter how bad it hurt to tell the truth, it was always, always, the right thing to do. I can’t imagine that there is anyone who has been the recipient of a little lie, a white lie, a shaded truth from Dad.
I have come to appreciate Dad’s quiet, hidden acts of service throughout his life. He never drew attention to himself, going about doing good without fanfare. When I was about 12 years old, though, I was the benefactor of a visit, with him, to a family in need. I don’t remember the family, now, nor the circumstances, but I do remember the feeling of love and pride as I saw him go out of his way, to do something that needed to be done, but would never be known by anyone but the family in question. He continued doing these little acts of loving service throughout his life, and I’m sure he is still doing it as we commemorate his noble, honorable life now.
When I married Molly, she went out of her way to express her love for him in her way – hugs. And he let her do that. We weren’t a demonstrative family that way, but he accepted that, and came to look forward to her hugs. And to share them with his children and grandchildren.
As grandchildren came along, he loved them, and hugged them, and played with them. As he became restricted to a wheelchair, he didn’t let that change anything. He continued doing every little thing he could do for himself, while involving his grandchildren in his projects, like his train.
In these last few years, I have seen love and strength and patience beyond belief. Trials have come, and have impacted his physical body without changing his diligence, his patience, his love, his dedication to service, his example of being a dedicated and loving husband, father, and Son of God.
We’ll miss you, Dad, but will look forward eagerly to a sweet reunion, with hugs, on the other side of the veil. You will be busy there, without the impediments you’ve had here in the last few years, serving, loving, teaching, and learning. You have been, and will continue to be what you have always been here to your family, friends, and others - a good and faithful servant of Our Father in Heaven.
The world needs more dads like my dad. Constant, unassuming, loving, kind, full of service and sincerity.
This is Molly, I just want to add some of my thoughts about this great man that I love dearly.
It's hard to imagine him gone. He lived his life to the fullest right up to the end with still more things he wanted to accomplish. He never let grass grow under his feet. He was always busy even when others would have given up. Even yesterday when they brought him home to die, he wanted to look at the parts he had ordered for his trains.
He was one of the best men I know. He never ever would tell a lie, even if it was to make someone feel good, it wasn't worth it to be dishonest. He would always choose to do what's right no matter how hard that might be. He chose to not complain even when life got very, very hard and many others would have complained and or given up, he didn't.
He took really good care of his dear wife and Eternal companion. He always made sure her needs were met. When any of us came over for a visit he made sure that we were not a burden on her and if he felt we were, he would let us know it was time to leave.
He always treated me like a daughter and never judged me or tried to tell me how to do things.
He thought deeply about everything, the gospel, the way things worked, the beauties of the earth, how to make things better, what he could do to lessen the burdens of those around him, how to make things easier for his wife and so, so, so much more.
He loved his family deeply. It was hard for him to show his love in words, but the last years of his life, he made a point to let us know.
He was one of the most humble men I have ever known. He was willing to submit to whatever came his way and do what was needed, not complaining and not shirking.
I'm so grateful that I know him and that my children grew up with him as an example, that they got to be in his home and play with him and listen and learn from him. I'm so glad he is the father of my husband, that Charlie has inherited a lot of his qualities as well as chosen to cultivate a lot of his qualities.
I love this man deeply and I know that I will always be a part of his family and some day he will have to run from me like he used to because I am going to throw my arms around him and give him the biggest hug ever.