Well, it’s been 4 years today since my dad died. It doesn’t get any easier. I don’t think I’ve ever shared the eulogy I delivered at dad’s funeral… it has some great memories so I’ll share that here today. You’re still loved and missed each and every day, dad…


Dad was such a fan of BGSU sports and basketball in general, I have equated the past couple of months to a basketball game to better help me understand and cope with his death.

The way I see it, dad was down by 2 against cancer on cancer’s home court. He really only had two options; go for the lay-up of chemo treatments, a virtual sure thing that would send the game into overtime…but the visiting team almost never wins overtime games…the home team just wears you down over the extra period and finishes you off in the end.

The other option was more risky…take the more difficult 3-pointer and finish things off right then and there. Remove the cancerous tumor and live cancer free!

Dad took the three to win it…but unfortunately, he never had a very good outside jumper. It took REAL guts to that that route…we should ALL be so brave.

I have so many wonderfun memories of my dad, it’s hard to pick out any that were more memorable than others, but here are just a couple that stand out above the others:

The time we were playing one-on-one in what was then Bill Riemer’s driveway, I couldn’t have been more than 15. It started out as a friendly game…but quickly became more serious as I was at the stage where I could finally compete against my dad. The game was close and a shot went up, bounced off the rim, and the next thing I knew, I had a broken nose!! Dad’s elbow had swiftly landed on my schnoz in order to get the rebound. And until he saw how badly I was hurt (the pool of blood on the driveway was the give-away) he wanted me to keep playing! It was always fun playing ball with dad… and he had a HORSE shot that I’ll NEVER forget! He’d hold the ball behind his back, flip it up over his head, and through the rim with amazing accuracy!

Another great time was Corvette shopping a couple years ago. We were like two kids in a candy store. We went to Napoleon where they have warehouse after warehouse of Vettes. We went from building to building picking out our favorites. Dad was a bigger kid than I was that day…picking out colors…which engine…and test driving a couple of cars. And, as fun as the shoping was, the conversation on the trip there and back was even better!!

Little things like Porch-sitting… greasy french fries with vinegar over the 4th of July… pop-overs by he and mom… and just hanging out watching TV together… these are how I’ll remember dad the best…and when I’ll miss him the most.

Just about 4 1/2 years ago, my dad stood in front of a room full of people and read what he had written upon the death of his father. Much of what he said then is very appropriate today. I’d like to read from what he wrote now:

I want to say just a few words about my father. Someday my son, Grant, will say a few words about me. Someday, furthur on, Grant’s son will say a few words about him. That’s the natural way of things!! We need not fear it, we must embrace and accept it.

That’s how dad approached death. No one wants to die, of course… but he did realize it is part of life and accepted that, and he wasn’t afraid.

Dad then went on to tell a story about his dad and then he said the following:

There were many things my father NEVER DID:

He never played small forward in the NBA
He never sang at the Grand Old Opry
He never made a million dollars
He never went on a round-the-world cruise
He never ran a marathon
He never starred in a movie
He never was on the cover of Time
He never endorsed an athletic shoe

Here are some other things he never did:

He never let his family go hungry
He never struck me in anger
He never ran away from responsibility
He never pretended to be something he was not
He never forgot a friend
He never looked for excuses
He never lost his sense of humor

However, he did marry one woman and stay married for 61 years
He did go to work every day
He did bring his paycheck home to his family
He did believe in his country
He did live a full and happy 86 years!!

Some day in the distant future, Grant, I hope and pray that the list you read will be even a fraction as great as your grandfather’s list!

And I hope you see him every time you look at me! Nothing could make me prouder and happier!!

Well, the distant future is here, not nearly as distant as any of us had hoped, and I can say that dad’s list mirrors his father’s except for the numbers. Dad DID run a marathon though… Dad married one woman and stayed married for 37 years and he lived a full and happy, although much too short, 57 years. Hopefully my list will continue that tradition someday.

Finally, last week in Columbus, mom’s dear friends Rhodna and Phyllis came to visit and help mom out a little bit with some chores and the like. Maryellen and I walked mom and her two friends to the elevators in the hospital, and I, being who I am, cracked some kind of joke to try and lighten the mood. Rhodna’s comment then really made my day, and probably really made the rest of my life. She looked at me and said, “Boy, you really ARE your dad, aren’t you??” That’s the greatest compliment I could ever receive…nothing could make me prouder and happier!!
dad waving