Family

Thanks Dad

My dad died yesterday. 

In 2004, he ran the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC with my brother Doug and Doug’s wife Ann. It was his first and only marathon.

Marine Corps Marathon

Marine Corps Marathon

He retired from the world of banking in 2006 after working his entire career with Manufacturer’s Bank/Comerica.

Bank

The next year, while in Siesta Key for a month, he ended up in Sarasota’s hospital just days after Rachel, Aly and I had stayed with them. He had caught a very rare subtype of Guillan-Barre syndrome called Miller Fisher Syndrome, which involves paralysis that begins at the face and spreads throughout the body. He was lucky to be correctly diagnosed quickly, which helps impact the recovery time, but he was in the hospital in Florida for nearly a month before coming home to Michigan to start a long recovery process.

One year later, in 2008, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

I’m going to remember you, Dad, for the warm, kind, intelligent soul that you are.

I’m going to remember your calm demeanor in a house of three occasional hotheads.

I’m going to remember you bursting with pride at Doug’s and my weddings, and as you met each of your four grandchildren.

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I’m going to remember you taking us through Indian Guides and Trailblazers. I’m going to remember, how when I had to go outside to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night at Indian Guides camp, you’d let me stand on your shoes so my feet wouldn’t get dirty on the cold wet ground.

Canoe Trip 1984

I’m going to remember canoe trips, cruise ships, and Stonington Harbor rides in kayaks, the water tender, and the pea pod. I’m going to remember sailing in the Wayfarer on Lake St. Clair.

Maine 2008

I’m going to remember Pistons games, Tiger games, Lions games, Red Wings games, the Auto Show, Cedar Point, Wall Drug, Mount Rushmore, and the Indianapolis 500.

Back Camera

Indy Time Trials 1984

I’m going to remember all the times we played golf together, with not a single good round between us, but never a bad round. I’ll remember the tennis out east, the driveway basketball, and all the games of catch in the yard.

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I’m going to remember running in Frankenmuth, at Oakland University, and the Turkey Trot downtown through the Thanksgiving Day parade route, which was always followed by breakfast at Denny’s.

Running Race at Oakland University

I’m going to remember the hours and hours spent in the basement, working on our train sets, building models, and teaching me how to use tools.

Train Tables

I’m going to remember the time that you came into the kitchen after discovering your mother had died, and how you came right to me for comfort, despite the fact that I was an awkward, rebellious punk teenager.

I’m going to remember all the days we spent together cheering our hearts out at Michigan Stadium, which sometimes ended feeling like our hearts had been ripped out. I’m going to remember the trips to Star Deli on the way to tailgating, and playing pool in the Student Union, before walking in to the Big House alongside the band.

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I’m going to remember you taking us to rock concerts, and then asking us which one is Pink and which one is Floyd.

Family 1990

I’m going to remember your lifelong love of reading and writing, and even your bad handwriting. All of which were passed on to both your sons.

I’m going to remember groaning at all the sharp puns and dad jokes, even though they weren’t called dad jokes back then.

I’m going to remember skiing up north, and all the amazing trips out west to Colorado.

Steamboat 1985

Vail 1987

I’m going to remember DisneyWorld, DisneyLand, San Francisco, the Rose Bowl, East Coast college trips, Siesta Key, Sanibel Island, England and Scotland, Estes Park, Kennebunkport, and I’m going to remember our St. Paul’s work trip to Caro, Georgia.

Colorado Trip Summer 1982

I’m going to remember the smell of the projector during the slide shows that followed every family vacation.

I’m going to remember road trips, delayed flights, and boat rides to Mackinaw Island.

Mackinaw Island 1987

I’m going to remember our short morning drives to Rochester High School, where we always had some fun conversation to start my day.

I’m going to remember Walloon Lake. Ten years of incredible Walloon Lake memories.

Walloon Lake 1979

I’m going to remember your love of photography and being outdoors, both of which have passed on to me.

Grand Canyon 1994

I’m going to remember your grace, courage, and class as you dealt with Miller-Fisher and prostate cancer over the last years of your life.

I’m going to remember your incredible commitment to your family, your work, your lifelong friends, and to the causes important to you.

Most of all, I’m going to remember your friendship. You are my occasional co-conspirator, my most patient teacher, and my biggest cheerleader.

Goodbye, Dad, and thanks.


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Mackinac Island 2014

Mackinac Island 2014

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Family 1990

Family 1990

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Family 1989

Family 1989

Ted's Arrival

Ted’s Arrival

Christmas 1980

Christmas 1980

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Mackinac Island 2014

Mackinac Island 2014

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11 Comments

  1. 1
  2. 3

    So incredibly sad for our loss Ted. Your dad was a special man and will remain alive in our memory. My condolences to you, your Mom and brother and your families!

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  4. 5

    Ted, I really appreciate you taking the time to put this together. Your dad was a fantastic role model for all of us, and someone I strive to emulate. May he rest in peace, and may your family find comfort in the Lord as you grieve. We grieve with you my friend.

  5. 6

    Ted, I only had the opportunity to meet and chat with your dad once, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am sincerely sorry for your loss.

  6. 7

    Ted, a great summary of a life that was important to all of us. I did talk to your dad a few weeks ago and I was optimistic that he might reach that 75 year milestone. He will be greatly missed.

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  8. 9

    What a beautiful tribute to your dad, Ted. I’m not surprised that he was such a loving, invested father. He was a good, good man. My husband, Jeff and I will miss him.

  9. 10

    Dear Ted,
    What a beautiful way to honor your dad. He loved you and Doug very much. I enjoyed seeing the snapshots you chose as he moved through life with his family. He was blessed with a loving life with your mom. A very special man, he will be missed by all who knew him. My sympathies are with your entire family.

  10. 11

    Dear Ted, This was stupendous, thank you so much for taking the time to put this together, we enjoyed it to much. Our hearts go out to all your family with love and friendshp

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