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I know some of you here have seen this elsewhere but I've received a couple of emails/texts requesting that I post this here so those who haven't read it will be able to see it. So here goes...

Things I learned from my Father.

I would not be here today if it were not for the many things I learned from my Father. I can’t think of a better way to remember my father than to share some of those memories and learning experiences that I’ve had courtesy of dad.

I learned that my father grew up in something resembling a sodd hut on the open prairies of Kansas City Kansas jam packed with almost a dozen siblings. Life back then was hard, but somehow my father managed to walk the 5 miles to and from school each day, uphill both ways, often in the snow and likely in a pair of worn out shoes.

I learned that my father excelled in both music and sports. He played saxophone in the marching band and not to toot his own horn but he once made a game saving catch for his baseball team by jumping high enough to extend his glove over a 10 foot outfield wall.

While most children learn fractions in school, my father saw fit to teach me fractions at an early age. “Hand me that 9/16th box end wrench would you son?” he would ask while working tirelessly on one of my sister's cars. I learned that my father could fix anything, in fact if he had known earlier that he had a condition with his heart he probably would have gotten his tools out and fixed that too.

I learned to drive from my father, not at the age of 16 but at the age of 6 when he would let me sit on his lap and steer while he worked the pedals, long before child seats were invented. I learned that he loved cars and driving so much that he used to race against the likes of Carol Shelby and Dan Gurney at the Lake Garnett track in the early 1960s. While he never won a race, I learned my passion for cars through my father.

I learned that my father loved airplanes, in fact flying was his first love. He learned to fly in a PT-19 just after WWII was over and to his credit no enemy aircraft ever made it to Kansas City while my father was in the skies. I learned what it meant to have a good group of friends through tagging along with my father on Saturday’s when he would spend the day at the airport tinkering with planes among his many flying buddies.

While I have learned more from my father than I can possibly share in the few minutes that we have here today to honor him, I believe what I learned most of all from my father was how to BE a father. I learned that you love your children and grandchildren unconditionally, that you lead by example, that you speak softly but carry a big belt, that you protect you loved ones at all costs, that if you fall down you get back up again, that it is ok to cry (just not too much), and finally that you are the Rock that anchors the family. My father was all of this and so much more.

I love you Dad and thank you for teaching me as only a father can.

20141012_180912.jpg
 

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There are never enough words to describe fathers, but your tribute is heart warming. He is a handsome guy...
 

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very nice words.

It's interesting, you really understand the value of your parents esp as you get older (and have kids). No one is perfect, and everyone does their best with their kids.

Something you keep in mind when raising your own.

Thanks for sharing.
 

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Since you used the verb was, I assume he has passed. I'm sorry for your loss. He sounds like a guy I would have loved to meet and have some conversations with, about airplanes and cars. May he Rest in Peace.
 

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Wonderful. And what a void they leave when they're gone.
 

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Yes, sorry for any confusion, my father passed away on January 16th and the service was held this past Monday January 26th where I read the above passage I authored and let me tell you it was damn hard to get through it without completely losing it.
 

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Touching words and my condolences to you and yours K-Man S.

"There is nothing more sad or glorious than generations changing hands."

I always think of the above quote by John Mellencamp when I see stories like yours. I first read it 30 years ago and it still brings a tear to my eye when I think about all that that quote means.



Eddie
 

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Thanks for sharing this, Ken. You are very proud of your father, and have worked hard to fulfill his expectations. You will miss him, but never forget that you carry his spirit with you always.
 

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Sorry for your loss, very touching words. It is always the hardest to loose a parent because it is so final. His memories will live on in you ..that you can take comfort in.
 

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Your father sounds like he was quite a guy, someone I would have liked to have met. Your eulogy is a beautiful tribute. My condolences on your loss.
 

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Sorry for your loss, but a very eloquent and fitting tribute that would have made him proud.
 

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I'm very sorry for your loss, Ken. From what you've written, it sounds like he was a great father and a huge benefit to your life.
 

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So sorry Ken. Lost my dad 40 years ago and still miss him. And now the scary part, I'm 7 years older than he was when he passed. Every day is a gift.

Bud
 

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Excellent tribute. I'm sure he would be proud.
 
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