Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Final Thoughts....The text of my Eulogy Tribute To Dad
This evening we gathered to celebrate a wonderful man.....Pat's Dad, David Williams JR.
attaced are my notes from the part of the Eulogy I delivered. Wes Humble, Pat, Claudia and Wesley also brought some wonderful recollections and stories.....
I. Introduction …
A. On behalf of the family we thank you for being here. Your love and support and friendship mean the world to us.
B. First know that Dad…quote… “didn’t want no funeral!”
C. …so..Dad…FOR THE RECORD…THIS IS NOT A FUNERAL!
D. …This is a memorial service to share with you and remind us… about a man that we as a family dearly love
E. This service is not for him…BUT FOR US….to learn from his life.
II. I can honestly say that I’ve made some significant life changes at funerals. They are a chance do some mid flight course correction to OUR flight plan! It’s our chance to change or adjust our course and say….. “I want to be more like…that!”
A. For Bob and I… this all started back in the 60’s when the Weaver brothers swooped in and married his two daughters…..
B. He was military….spit and polish…It took me 6 years to get up the nerve to ask him if I could marry Pat….. Talk about nervous!...Picture this…I approached him as he was repairing his Buick…. I would like your permission to marry Pat. “Yeah…hand me that 3/16 wrench there…!”
III. Pat described…. “He taught us to be self sufficient….to drive, read maps,…to take the road less traveled and find out where it came out!”
A. He was the driver’s ed instructor not only for the girls and Dave but for the whole neighborhood.
B. With his aviation background…DAD was a human GPS device. In any of our travels he keeps track of us and the routes we travel.
IV. In his subtle way Dad had an impact on each of our lives. I’d like to open this up for other to share their thoughts about Dad….
A. Claudia –
C. His Grandson Wes
V. David Williams defined the words… LOYAL… FAITHFUL,…. DEVOTED.
A. Dad was faithful to his spouse…(s) He was faithful to Marge for 21 years…He stayed by her side through the ravages of cancer till her last breath. To him…. “Till death do us part” …. meant something!
B. He married Evelyn and as her health has declined he visits her at the nursing home 2 or 3 times a day ….EVERYDAY…even though as a results of Alzheimer’s …..she doesn’t even know his name.
C. Dad has taught us by his example to be FAITHFUL to each other….TO LOVE EACH OTHER…WITH OUT CONDITION.…
D. Dad was faithful to God. This is his copy of “My Dailey Bread” which he got us each year. Connecting with God is how he started each day…as maybe should we!
E. Dad was faithful to the United States of America
1. He served during WWII as a pilot instructor…he trained the pilots who flew the missions…..He was a member of what Tom Brokaw called “The Greatest Generation”
VI. DAD HAD A FLIGHT PLAN FOR EVERY TRIP……INCLUDING THIS ONE!
1. As Pat said…he loves storms…what you may not understand it that he loved flying into them…..
I close with this World War II story…
Flying fighter sweeps over France and air defense over England against the German Luftwaffe, World War II pilot, John Magee rose to the rank of Pilot Officer.
On 3 September 1941, Magee flew a high altitude 30,000 feet test flight in a Spitfire V. As he orbited and climbed upward, he was struck with the inspiration for a poem. Once back on the ground, he wrote a letter to his parents. In it he commented, "I am enclosing a verse I wrote the other day. It started at 30,000 feet, and was finished soon after I landed."
On the back of the letter, he jotted down his poem entitled, 'High Flight.' Just three months later, on December 11, 1941,…. Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr. was killed. This evening In honor of John and Daddy…I want to read his poem…..
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of EarthAnd danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirthOf sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred thingsYou have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swungHigh in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,I've chased the shouting wind along, and flungMy eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .
Up, up the long, delirious burning blueI've topped the wind-swept heights with easy graceWhere never lark, or ever eagle flew —And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trodThe high untrespassed sanctity of space,Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
— John Gillespie Magee, Jr