My Dad – Forever He Will Be


Today on Father’s Day memories of Dad flood my heart and soul:

I remember Dad as a gentle, patient man. By example he quietly taught me life skills. He taught me to have good character and work ethics. I watched him work responsibly and diligently in taking care of his home and property. I watched him rise early in the morning to get to work on time. I admired him for his patience and tolerance.

When I was a little girl, Dad worked long hours as a freight conductor on the Pennsylvania Railroad. I don’t remember him being home, but I never thought of him not being home. It was just that Dad worked and that was life.

Dad would send us across the street to DeLock’s, a small corner grocery store, to purchase the afternoon newspaper for him but did not always ask for the change back from the

Dad gave me the necklace that I wore in my kindergarten picture. He also gave me a little yellow ring with flowers printed on it which I wore every day in kindergarten. Every year he gave me a Valentine’s Day card and gift. I still have all the cards he gave me.

Dad was a handy man. He could fix anything. He would work on his cars. He would work on the yard. Anything that needed to be fixed, he could do it.

Instead of sending me to school for drivers ed, Dad taught me how to drive when I was sixteen years old. He was a patient man. Behind our house we had a field with an alley that circled it. He had me drive back there until I got used to the feel of driving. Then he took me out on the streets to drive.

Fortunately, he was a quiet person and didn’t anger easily. For the number of his cars that I, and some siblings, damaged he never yelled at us.

Dad always changed the oil in his car himself and when I was a teenager, I asked him to teach me to do the same. He was willing to show me, however, I did not have to change it often as he did it for me.

I remember Dad at the Indiana Dunes racing up and down the steep sand dunes faster than us.

Dad passed in February 2007 making this my tenth Father’s Day without him. He’s physically gone but my memories of him keeps him close to me

Preserving the legacies of your father will prevent him from ever being forgotten and future descendants will be able to read his life story and understand their family heritage. Grab your laptop or paper and pen and start Keeping Your Memories of your father starting with the following questions:

  • In what ways are you like your father? And not like your father?
  • What did you enjoy doing with your father?
  • What was your proudest moment of your father?
  • What was the most valuable lesson you learned from your father?
  • What is the one thing you most want people to remember about your father?



My Dad…Boot Camp, German Measles, U.S.S. Coral Sea


In honor of my father on this Father’s Day weekend I want to pay tribute to him with an excerpt from his story that took place seventy-one years ago. He wrote sharing his experiences as a 17-year-old enlistee in the Navy during World War II.

Reading his entire story shows me how Dad became the knowledgeable, discerning, patient and fearless man he was through the encounters he experienced on his own as a young man. Below is the beginning of his story:

“After graduating from Boot Camp we were allowed to leave the base and go into town. San Diego was a pretty town, and the weather was mild for wintertime. I enjoyed my first liberty in San Diego. I was like a child taking in all the new things.

I was asked if I wanted to train as an aerial gunner on airplanes or to serve on submarines. I chose to go into communications as a signalman and was assigned to a three-month signalman training class. After one month of training, I contacted German measles and was placed in the hospital for 11 days.

After departing the hospital, I was dropped from the class that I had been training with and had a month of leisure time waiting for the new class to be formed.

After going through three months of training as a signalman, I was sent to a receiving station to be assigned to a ship.  I was assigned to the U.S.S. Coral Sea CVE57.

When I saw the aircraft carrier that I was being assigned to, it looked so big, awesome and dangerous, and I realized for the first time what I had gotten myself into. This was real. The training and the fun I had been having was over, and I didn’t know what was ahead of me. As I walked up that gangplank with my sea bag on my shoulder (which I could hardly carry) for the first time it hit me, I was afraid.”

Dad passed eight years ago at the age of 80, but he is still with us because he recorded his life story that we can read again and again. On this Father’s Day weekend, pull out your laptop or grab a pen and paper and start Keeping Your Memories of your father. If he is still with you, start with asking him the questions below. You will definitely be glad you did.

  • Describe who you were as a little boy.
  • What is a favorite story from your childhood?
  • What did you learn from your parents?
  • How are you similar to and/or different from your Mother/Father?
  • As a young boy, what did you dream of being one day?