My Dad

June 3, 2021 marks 11 years since my dad died. Today, May 24, he would have been 90 years old. I have a masters degree in theology and catechesis from Franciscan University of Steubenville, but no one taught me more about Jesus than my dad.

You see, my dad was a saint. I know many of us think that our parents were saints, but I truly believe that if my dad’s life was looked at by the Catholic Church, he would be declared a saint.

He grew up in the small town of East Aurora, NY. He was a soda jerk and repaired bikes. When he met my mom in high school he would walk/hitchhike the 20-mile round trip to visit her at her house. They got married while he was on leave from the army, January 2, 1954.

His entire life was spent giving to others. My dad owned nothing just for himself, except a set of golf clubs, which he hardly ever used. At Christmas he would buy new coats for the nuns at our church. At a building he once owned and managed, there was a poor man who would wash people’s cars in the parking lot for money. My dad let him was his car every week.

Our home was a safe, loving, prayerful and happy home. My dad provided for all our needs, including and most importantly time with him. That’s what he loved to do the most – spend time with his family.

A father of six, my dad came to everything we ever did – sports or otherwise. He took us
fishing, cross country skiing, on walks in the woods, on family vacations, to get ice cream, to the movies, trick or treating, and to the county fair. He taught us how to garden, how to pray, how to drive and how to treat other people. He taught me to wear good shoes, to be good to my mother, that Christmas Eve was the best day of the year and how to depend on the Blessed Mother. He would play games with us and let us win.

My dad’s great love led to great wisdom. He was ALWAYS right, and if you refused to follow his advice, you’d look back and regret it. Once my dad saw me walking in front of a girl. He took me aside and said, “You never walk in front of a girl, so she is hidden behind you. No one wants to see you.”

My dad was ALWAYS there. When I was 13 I had my adenoids taken out. I had to stay
overnight in the hospital for the first time in my life. My dad slept on a recliner in my room the whole night, so I wouldn’t have to be alone.

Every night he would say to us, “God bless you. I love you” and we would say back, “God bless you, I love you too!”

Less than two years after he retired, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He spent 13 years deteriorating with dementia. He lived the last two years of his life being fed through a tube. He died surrounded by his children.

During part of the end of his life I was privileged to live with my dad for almost two years. My mom had died, and my wife and I took care of him. It was the most meaningful thing I have ever done, being able to give a little back to my dad. At night, after getting him to bed, he would sometimes apologize for being so much trouble. I would tell him he was no trouble at all, while thinking to myself that I could do this for 100 years and still not pay him back for all he did for me.

Happy Birthday Dad! God bless you, I love you!

2 thoughts on “My Dad

  1. Hi Mike,

    I just want to say thank you for the beautiful tribute to your Dad.  It is amazing.

    Hope you and your family are doing well in your new job………….in Ohio, isn’t it?

    I am praying for you…….

    Barb Price


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