Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Here is the eulogy I gave at my Dad's funeral.

Image courtesy of topstep07 /

Giving good gifts was not one of my dad’s many skills.   I think all of us kids who were alive at the time can remember the Christmas Dad gave mom a pair of scissors.  

She was not impressed. 

One of my jobs growing up was to make sure Dad bought Mom a poinsettia at Christmas time and a lily at Easter time because he just couldn’t be trusted to remember on his own no matter how many times Mom told him this was a requirement.  And although every birthday and Christmas gift I received from my parents said love Mom and Dad I knew Dad really had nothing to do with it.

But even though Dad may not have given me tangible gifts, he gave me something much more valuable.  

He gave me the greatest gift any parent can give their child.  

My entire life I have known without question that three things were true.  

Number 1, Dad loved me..  

Number 2, Dad loved Mom.  

And number 3, Dad loved God.  

This is the gift my Dad gave me.

But as you may have noticed, I am not an only child.  Dad also gave this gift to his other 10 children.  But even more than that Dad gave this gift to the world.

Dad loved me.  He loved me for who I am and not just who he wanted me to be.  All of us kids have done things and made choices that disappointed Dad.    Dad could and did get angry, not often, not quickly, but it did happen. 

But he never stopped loving us, not even for a second.  

And that doesn’t just apply to his children.  Dad loved people this way.  My parents are the most loving, forgiving people I know.  Through all of his life my dad loved and reached out to all people around him but especially to those people that others overlooked, the poor, the powerless, those with special needs.  Dad saw past skin color, IQ, worldly wealth and importance and just plain loved people where they were at for who they were.

Dad also loved Mom.  

My parents were married for over 53 years.  On their second date my dad told my mom he was going to marry her.  She immediately replied, “Oh no you are not!”  I think we can all be glad she eventually gave in.  In today’s world where so many elements fight against solid marriages, my parents set an example of give and take, of compromise and cooperation that we all can follow.

And last but definitely not least, Dad loved God. 

Dad loved God with all his heart, soul, strength, and mind.  And he loved his neighbor as himself.  Dad didn’t just say he loved God, he lived it.  Sometimes this made life hard for Dad.  His ministry career had lots of bumps in the road because the fact of the matter is that lots of us say we love God but not many of us really live it.  And it makes us uncomfortable when someone challenges our comfort zone by not just saying they love Jesus but actually living like Jesus.  That was my Dad.

When I reflect on Dad’s life and all the people he had an impact on, I pray that I can give my children the gift he gave me, to love my children and others, to love my husband, and to love God.  And I know that Dad’s prayer for all of you would be the same.

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