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A Few Good Men

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By Kimara - Posted on 10 October 2008

This week Tim’s father died. I feel privileged to have known him these past 7 years. Here is the eulogy Tim read at his father’s service. You will be sorely missed, Fred.

In our country, we glamorize greatness which is often gauged by how much money you have, how many people are affected by each decision you make, and your ability to be remembered by posterity. When we set those people and their accomplishments up as a standard, it is not hard to understand why most of us see ourselves as falling short of our potential.

 

Fred never strove for greatness. Instead, he embraced his “ordinary” life with gusto, and seemed oblivious to the social yardstick that measures success. But Fred was more than great. He was good. He was a good man. He never took for granted his good fortune in marrying the love of his life. He instantly fell in love with his Mary, and stayed in love with her even after God called her home after 54 years of marriage. He loved his 10 children, 34 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren and was proud of their accomplishments, both large and small. Fred didn’t expect greatness from his children, but he did expect goodness. He was seldom disappointed.

 

Fred was a leader, but not for the glory that leadership imparts, but because when he took on a job, any job, he felt compelled to do it right and to see it through to fruition.  He did not seek praise or gratitude for the things he did, as a matter of fact he was usually surprised and touched when accolades were bestowed upon him. All he expected when he finished one job was a new assignment!

 

Typically eulogies include anecdotes. Over the past few days I heard a multitude of stories about Fred; enough to fill a book. There were stories that made me chuckle, stories that made me cry and stories that filled me with renewed awe. These stories were overflowing with love, admiration and respect for a man that bestowed love, kindness and reverence for others with nonchalant ease. Everyone had a story, I have my own. But instead of sharing a handful of individual accounts, I want to share the last line in every story I heard. "He was a good man and will sorely be missed."

 

Fred was not a great man by the world’s standards, but he was a good man that touched the lives of everyone he met. And I would take a few good men over one great man any day. Fred was NOT a great man, but he IS the yardstick by which I measure my life.

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