My siblings asked that I speak at the funeral. My Dad had 90 years, the majority of them pretty darn terrific. I usually don't talk about my personal life here so I hope that you will indulge me in this non-bookish post. I will not be mentioning this again. Here is what I said at his funeral yesterday:
Dad was an amazing person. He quietly taught me so many things.
One of the earliest things that I remember is Dad teaching me how to garden. When I was little he would give me the plants that needed nursing. He made a little garden for me not far from his bigger garden. The lesson there was don’t give up even on the things that don’t look so wonderful to start. They may bloom and surprise you.
Dad taught me about sports. We spent many Saturday and Sunday afternoons watching college and pro football together. Dad taught me about baseball by taking me to Major League farm team games at the local stadium. This included how to properly yell at the umpire. The lesson there was learn the rules and be a team player, but it’s okay to speak up when things are not right.
So many of the lessons Dad taught me were useful not only in life in general but in my career.
My Dad taught me the value of a job well done. That if you work hard, the people working with you will work hard too.
My Dad taught me how to value people and that everyone can shine given the chance and the right niche.
Dad taught me to get to the point and focus on the objective. During a particularly difficult time I turned to Dad for advice. He told me that "if I could save it, save it. If not, I should cut my losses.” He got to the point, put everything in perspective and it was the best advice I received.
So getting to the point, the most important things Dad taught were really taught by example: love your family, care for those around you, be generous of spirit, do the best you can do, and be the best person you can be.
Dad’s generation is called the Greatest Generation. Dad was one of the very best of that Greatest Generation. Thank you Dad for your love, support and the wonderful example you were for all of us. Love you always.