There are no words to tell you how much you are missed by everyone who loved and admired you, Dad. You were always our Rock...the one we all turned to for wise advice, a helping hand, and the answer to pretty much any question on any subject. Losing you in such a tragic way just doesn't fit with how you lived... and it is possibly one of the hardest things to come to grips with in your unnecessary absence.
You always took such pride in your family and greatly enjoyed teaching each one to be honest, thoughtful, compassionate, hard-working and selfless. You lived out your strong faith in Jesus by seeking to serve others and made it a priority early in the morning to seek God's plan for your day. You had no way of knowing that when you were up before the sun, we would sometimes catch you finding a little quiet time to read your Bible and pray.
We will always remember your fun sense of humor and gentle smile as you looked for every opportunity to try new and uncertain things, despite the risk involved. One thing I miss the most is seeing your ornery grin and the bright smile you'd get in your eyes when something made you truly happy. The simplest things could make you laugh, and because you were normally working so hard, it was always nice to watch you slow down a little to find joy in the ordinary, which most times involved making special memories with the grand kids.
When depression entered your life, we watched a man who had seemed unshakable and so full of gratitude for living with endless blessings slowly become lost in in a world where fear and hopelessness dominated. Struggling to pull you back from the despair you felt each day was painful and left everyone who cared deeply for you feeling helpless as we were forced to watch you being robbed of your joy and tormented by the terrible lies that your life no longer had purpose or that you were a burden.
Now in our grief, we find comfort in knowing that the enemy and his deceit did not have the final victory. Being sure that you're safely home with your Lord and Savior and are renewed with eternal joy and peace allows us to more clearly see you smiling again and reminds us that something can never be truly lost when we know right where it is. Until that wonderful day when we make our way home to see you again, dad...we will forever love and miss you.