Dad could talk to anybody about anything. He made whoever he was talking with feel like what they had to say mattered. He cared about people and it showed.
My dad had a zest for living. He made the best of every day and lived life to the fullest. He was interested in so many things and in what mattered to others. He was once asked by a former co-worker what his secret was. Dad replied, "Always have something to look forward to, to make it worth getting out of bed." And he did. He always had a project or two or three. Whether it was fixing something around the house or helping someone with theirs, going out to the range and practice shooting for a match, working on one of the six books he authored, writing the newsletter for one of the clubs he belonged to or serving the clubs' needs as an officer, or the city as a councilman and council president.
When our town was having a lot of problems, he ran for office because he cared about his friends and neighbors and wanted this to be a great place to live. Everyone saw how much he cared by how hard he worked, spending his own time and money trying to work for the good of everyone.
Everyone said what a smart man he was, but Dad always claimed that he wasn't very smart. He always said, "It's not what you've got, but how you use it." I learned so much from my dad. His self-made set of standards that he believed-have something to look forward to, a reason to get up in the morning, and use the brain God gave you for something other than a hat rack and apply yourself. Find things you enjoy and do them. Think of someone other than yourself and do something for others. Fame and fortune do not make a great man. These are the differences between an average man and a great man. And he was.
He moved on to a better place 11 years ago, February 1, 2002. I still hear his laugh and see his smile. Someone once said they were sure he's up there doing Heaven's newsletter and he probably is.
My mom's sometimes said, "You're just like your dad." which translates into "Why do you have to always be taking on something else? Why can't somebody else do it? You're going to get too many irons in the fire." She didn't mean it in a complimentary way but that's how I took it.
Proud to be your daughter and call you my daddy, miss you, and love you always.