Honor and respect: A memorial service for my father

Posted By on August 18, 2015


On Monday (August 17, 2015), we held the memorial service for my dad at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sidney, Ohio. Dad died on August 12th after his “thankfully” short hospice care after suffering a stroke and brain bleed. The burial urn (above) was surrounded by flowers and aDadC_FlowersFather150817 lifetime of memory photos (our families brought photos spanning his 86 years of life) … along with family and friends. Pastor John Schriber performed the service and he included a very personal memorial since he has known my dad and mom (and both Ron and me) for years. It was heartwarming to hear such kind and compassionate words about our father.

My brother Ron also said a few words and shared a little past and present history which really rounded out my dad’s life for those who knew him in different roles throughout his life. DadC_FlowersCard150817Having spent the last 4 decades in a small town like Sidney, people connect with him in many different circumstances; some from work, some from church and a lot from the many groups both he and mom were involved with. I was wonderful to see the many faces of friends.

My dad also has his “guy” friends … a bunch of WWII, Korea and Vietnam veterans that gathered for cards and jovial friendship every month. They have looked out for each other over the past few decades and bonded even closer during a honor trip to Washington DC (both Ron and I were privileged to be volunteers on that trip). Jim Hall offered kind words at my dad’s memorial from the perspective of a fellow war veteran. Over the years, this group formed a unique bond and “most likely without words” were able to help fill a void after the loss of a spouse, the challenge of declining health that come with age or just to offer the comradely of a buddy. Thank you Jim and those from this group (past and present)who checked in on my dad … just as he did in years past for others.


For those of us who by fate were spared from conscripted military service or by choice did not volunteer, my admiration and DadC_KoreanWarMemorialappreciation to those who DID served our country grows everyday. Thankfully my dad’s Korean War service did not go unappreciated or unrecognized while he was alive or in passing. The American Legion was at the cemetery with 13 men; 4 Color Guard, 7 Firing twenty-one rounds, 1 bugling Taps and 1 presenting me a flag. Very humbling.

RonDadRichSummer2013m“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
— Ephesians 6:4

My dad lived a wonderful life. He left this earth for eternity a very wealthy man when looking at the good friends and loving family he had. Every person I knew held him in high regard and treated him with respect  – my brother and I included. His opinion was always trusted and valued. I’ve always looked up to him and can’t think of anyone I would have rather have had as a mentor, a teacher, an example … or as a father.

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 6:4 

My dad with me … just a few years ago.


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  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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