My dad went home to be with his Heavenly Father on June 15, 1994. Even though he is no longer with me physically, his spirit lives on in my memory. The lessons he taught me
throughout my life have helped me to become the person I am striving to be today.
He instilled within me a deep respect for all people, young
and old alike. Like many things in my life, I had to learn the lesson of respecting people the hard way. I recall the day, I began to talk back to my mother and I even stuck out my tongue at her. My dad was within seeing and hearing distance, and needless
to say, I got a spanking and a good talking to about respecting mom. Now some might say, it was just a childish gesture, sticking out your tongue, but to dad it was very disrespectful and needed to be confronted. I learned my lesson well in respecting mom
and other adults in authority.
My dad was a hard-working underground miner who worked in the copper mines in Butte, Montana. He believed in
hard work and supporting his family to the best of his ability. As a miner, it was dangerous work. He was injured several times in his working career. In 1964, he was in a severe mining accident, which ended his mining career and his ability to work again.
This was an extremely difficult time for him and our family. He had a very tough time struggling with the fact he could no longer work and
had to go on disability pay. For a man who was a dedicated provider, husband and father, this was devastating. Dad began to drink a lot, trying hard to drown his troubles in a bottle. However, over a period of months, something began to happen to dad within
his own heart. He quit drinking and began to read the Bible. My dad, who had only a fifth grade education, painstakingly began to read and absorb God’s Word into his heart. Day after day, hour-by-hour, he studied and meditated on God’s Word. God
changed my dad’s heart. He began to live each day, with the love of God in his heart.
He enjoyed life to the fullest despite enduring many heartbreaking times, which included losing a daughter at the age of 18 in a car accident.
My folks were blessed with four grandsons and one granddaughter. As a grandpa, he had no favorites. Each grandchild felt as if he or she were the apple of grandpa’s eyes.
Even though the mining accident took away his ability to work, it turned out to be a wonderful blessing for all of us. He had the time to spend with each grandchild and give them his
full attention and love. Dad taught each of his grandsons how to drive his old Datsun pickup many years before they could legally drive.
mining accident left him with a very noticeably limp and his grandsons all tried to imitate his limp by walking just like grandpa. It was quite a site to see dad and his grandsons’ walking down the road together—all with obvious limps. They all
looked up to grandpa and wanted to be just like him. He was a grandpa who had lots of patience. But best of all he was a grandpa that took the time to be with each of them, enjoying every moment of the experience.
As a married woman with children of my own, many times I would go to my dad for advice and encouragement. He would listen with his heart and he tried not to judge but would always encourage me to pray and to trust in God to work things out. Through his example, I began to read the Bible too.
I have so many precious memories of my dad. But the one thing he instilled in me is to place myself daily in the loving presence of my Heavenly Father and to learn from the greatest Father of them all.