My father passed away 7/22/15. A memorial service was held yesterday, 8/7.

I wrote a short eulogy, but the service didn’t include guest speakers, so I didn’t get a chance to give it.

Anyway, here it is. Pretend you’re reading it in my voice.

 

I’ll try to talk slowly, because the main things my father ever scolded me for were talking too fast and owning a Japanese car. So I’ll try to meet halfway.

I’ve often thought of my father as a perfect combination of three comedic talents: Johnny Carson, Dick Van Dyke, and Steve Martin. His sense of humor was outstanding, and I’m glad I inherited that from him. He loved All In The Family and The Carol Burnett Show. We watched those shows many times together, and laughed a lot.

My father loved cars. He was a car guy; he was the go-to man for any car question. And he loved driving. In the 1950’s, he’d use his own car and enter stock car races at the track near Pittsfield. When I was in grade school, he’d often take me to local stock car races. We’d have a great time discussing the body designs and picking which cars would win.

My father loved boats. He loved water skiing and driving his modest speedboat around Carlyle Lake or Lake Bloomington. On Sundays when church ended, he’d invite people to go out on the boat that afternoon. Many times, they’d have other obligations and would decline the invitation. I always went, so there were many times we were out on the lake, just the two of us. He’d drive while I water skied, then I’d drive while he skied. It was really a great time for both of us, and I’m glad he knew I’d always go with him.

I’d like to share a couple of my father’s recurring quotes that always amused me when I was a kid.

I’d say, “Let’s go do (whatever).” He’d say, “Let’s don’t and say we did.”

I’d ask an obvious question and he’d say, “Three guesses, and the first two don’t count.”

I miss everything about my father, but I think what I’ll miss most is his advice and support. He was a very wise man and gave me many good pieces of wisdom. And you couldn’t ask for a better cheerleader. He was there for you any time you needed him, and he supported any endeavor you undertook. In good times or bad, my sister and I knew we could count on him.

So, in conclusion, dad, I hope you’re up there right now cruising on the coolest speedboat ever on the most beautiful lake imaginable, and winning the Daytona 500 every day.

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