Ah, yes … Father’s Day is upon us. I’d like to shared something I posted one random day on Facebook some time ago. It rings true today and forever will.
“I am beyond thankful and appreciative of my father. For those blessed to know Mr. Michael Hurt, you are a favored bunch. His morals, his values, his ethics, his devotion and his intelligence shine. I think at times that there is nothing he can’t do. The combination of strengths and genuine positive attributes that he possesses seem unfeasible, yet he lives each day as a Christian, a fair and loving father and a devoted husband to my wonderful mother. I am so very proud to be able to call him my dad.”
Actually, he’s listed as “Daddy-kins” in my phone — no lie. Still, be it “Dad,” “Mr. Hurt” or one-half of my “parental units,” It’s been an amazing opportunity to grow up surrounded by his love and teachings. There are few like him in the world. He is my go-to for so much and I can always count on him. He is selfless and just one cool dudely (that’s one of his words I’ve acquired into my own vocabulary). Ne’er a day passes when I am not told by someone whose life he has touched. I love you so very much. Kyla “HG” Hurt
William C. “Bill” Deem was a unique individual. Two major hallmarks of his life were loyalty and dedication. This is evident in his 50 years as an engineer at Eli Bridge Company where he co-designed a trailer-mounted version of the classic Ferris Wheel and helped revolutionize the industry with The Scrambler.
He served 40 years as a leader in the Boy Scouts. He was a 40-year member of Kiwanis. And for 45 years he was a member and leader at Grace Church.
Yet perhaps his most difficult assignment was the 18 years he spent trying to shepherd me through childhood, although some claim that figure should be decades higher.
I often found it a challenge to live in his shadow, given the incredible community service he provided and the mountains of respect he earned. Wherever I went, I was never me—I was always Bill Deem’s son, among other less-flattering things.
I must admit my personal delight when he wandered into a Cub Scout leader training event I was running at age 24 and someone introduced him as Roger Deem’s father. If fist pumps had been invented at the time, I could well have knocked myself out.
When I was 16, he was the dumbest man I had ever met. By the time I hit 30, our roles had reversed. And by the time his 75th birthday came around, I was able to share with his family and friends how blessed I was to have been the son of a man of such intelligence, thoughtfulness and integrity.
I’ve known many fine people over my lifetime but I can say without hesitation I’ve never met anyone who more genuinely embodied the values and love of Christ as did my father. How proud and humbled I am to be Bill Deem’s son. Roger Deem
At our house, Dad was boss. He was the final arbiter in all disputes. He was the enforcer. He was the one you feared when Mom would utter the words…”wait til your dad comes home.” So, my memories of my Dad were at least two, maybe three distinct recollections. Once I left the house to start my own family, younger brothers and sisters still in the family home kept me updated, and I saw my Dad change to become a teacher and mentor for me. That later evolved further when he faced issues of his own, and reached out for help, admitting his shortcomings. It was a battle that he would win. The final lesson, and greatest lesson he taught all of us kids would come as he fought a final, losing battle with cancer. He taught us to say the words, I Love You. That lesson continues to this day. Very rarely is a conversation NOT ended among the Scott kids with the words..I Love You. I think of him every day. Dad, I Love you. Gary Scott
Few people have been blessed with having a dad as long as I have. And those that have, may not have been able to remain as close at age 63 as they were at age 5. My dad (it’s never been father) is Elmer Bradbury. He has lived within a 20 mile radius for all of his 95 years. He has buried two sisters, one son and a wife. He has owned many farms and a John Deere Dealership. He has worked in a bank and sold Real Estate. He has made people laugh and helped them in a time of need. But above all else he has demonstrated an exemplary life. I have never doubted it. I never wondered if he was right or wrong. Never once questioned his actions. Never once ignored his advice to do what is right. And don’t complain about it. Accept people as they are and respect yourself for who you are. I thought I totally understood his impact on my brother and me, but when I see his grandsons with the same outlook, I realize how deep that river runs. Many are disadvantaged. Many start with a leg up on the world. Ken and I are indeed blessed to have had that head start. I only hope we can reach the bar that has been set. Keith Bradbury
I realize it’s a part of life but losing a parent is tough. Fortunately for me I was never afraid to tell my Dad that I loved him, I always thanked him for everything he did for my family. My parents were so supportive of everything I was involved with and that carried on with Jenissa and the kids. The thing I miss the most is not being able to pick up the phone, stop by the house, or see him at a ballgame and talk with him. I know he will always be with me but I would love to recap a Cardinal game or tell him how Drew did in a tournament or let him know Kaylee made the cheerleading squad. It was those conversations that I really miss. I was lucky to have my Dad for 46 wonderful years. I could tell you many stories about my Dad but the one that really summed him up happened on the night when he passed away. Mom and I were walking through the emergency room at Memorial hospital and we happened to catch the eyes of Springfield Police Officer Butch Slater who played for my Dad at Turner Jr. High. Butch was really busy at the time but he darted out of the room and asked what was going on. After Mom and I shared with him that Dad had passed away he asked if he could come with us to tell his Coach good-bye. He came in the room with us and took his hand and said “thanks for believing in me Coach.” He then let Mom and I have our time with him and we could overhear him with the nurses saying Coach Ezard saw something in me, explaining he could have headed down the wrong path but Coach would not let me. That was who my Dad was. He cared about people. I miss you very much Dad and even though when I talk with you I can’t hear your voice, I know you are in me and will always be looking down. Happy Fathers’ Day in Heaven, Dad. Andy
Rodger Heaton – Where do I begin on the impact this man has made on my life. He is the reason I love the number 7. He is the reason I love the Atlanta Braves and know who Dale Murphy is. He is the reason I love basketball. He is the reason I love chocolate covered peanuts. He is the reason I love Peyton Manning and the Colts. Basically, anything my dad loved when I was growing up, I loved. My mom probably wished I wore my dresses growing up, but I preferred anything sporty and old softball t-shirts of my dad’s. My dad was always the jokester dad and made my brother and I (and all of our friends) laugh. He taught me all I need to know about sports long before I had a coach. He was my first coach and my first music teacher (one of the first songs I learned was take me out to the ballgame ). My dad was, along with my mom, my biggest fan and still is today. He is smart, kind, funny, and has always been engaged in all aspects of my life. I am very lucky to have grown up in a family where my dad showed me the importance of respecting one another. He spent countless hours playing sports with my brother and me. He spent countless hours playing trivia with us and countless hours on family vacations with us singing to kid’s sing-a-long tapes in the car. He made me feel special, loved, and important, and often I think I don’t tell him enough how special he is to me! Here’s to you dad, have a wonderful day! Thanks for the lessons you’ve taught me. And of course, the importance of making your free throws. Christy Heaton