Greatness! A Special Father’s Day Tribute!

Greatness!  A Special Father’s Day Tribute!

“The good that men do lives after them!”  Unknown

What makes a father, a son, a brother, a grandfather great?  These are some of the things I think made my father great.

My dad with his mom

  • Greatness is learning to do things that would make your mother proud!   

My dad always talked about the close relationship he had with his mother.

“My mother cared for me with great love and attention.” 

“My mother was an excellent cook and homemaker.  Since I was the oldest of four children, I helped my mother with many household duties.  I especially remember washing and wiping dishes–chores I don’t mind doing in my own home.”

as told by Leroy Jorgensen in his autobiography

“True greatness gains recognition because it has been observed by others, not advertised by the individual”  Don Yeager (sportwriter, author)

“We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit!”  Aristotle (Greek philosopher)

Dad as a young man

  • True greatness comes with equal parts of strength and humility!

Perhaps one of the things I admired most about my dad was that he lived his life with quiet dignity and great integrity.  My father always encouraged me to be teachable and learn new things that would make my life better!   In my mind’s eye, my dad instinctively seemed to know how to masterfully balance his life; he worked hard to provide for our family and gave us a wonderful lifestyle, but he also had a significant presence in our home and planned fun outings–even if it was simply to pile into the car and drive to go get fresh raspberry shakes at our favorite ice-cream shop.  My dad also knew how to discipline kindly and love genuinely!

“We all get something in life.  It’s not worth a nickel if you don’t give back.”  Walter Payton (NFL football player)

“I want to be remembered as the guy who tried…tried to be a part of his times, tried to help people communicate with one another, tried to find some decency in his own life, tried to extend himself as a human being.”   Paul Newman (actor–my dad’s favorite actor)  Quoted from a statement on”Newman’s Own” brand website.

My dad, a great grandpa

  • Greatness is taking time to share your enthusiasm for life with those you love! 

My father had an insatiable desire to truly experience every aspect of living and shared that enthusiasm with his family and his grandchildren.  My dad worked very hard throughout his life and loved it!  My father enjoyed serving in our neighborhood and community; he loved this country!  My father also loved to learn and audited classes at our local university well into his 80’s.  My dad loved his family and showed it without reserve.  I’m glad that in turn, I tried to let my father know how much I loved him.  Like all of us, my dad had flaws, but he tried to improve upon them; he was quick to apologize if he felt he’d done something wrong.  I felt important around my dad and so did his grandchildren.  Mostly, he taught us to try and do our best, and more often than not, he was by our side helping us accomplish our goals in life!

“To be truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them.”  Charles de Montesquieu (French politician)

I hope everyone has a Happy Father’s Day!

How did your father exemplify “greatness” in your life?  If you haven’t already, tell him what he means to you!   



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