I love you Dad! May you now rest in peace. Thank you to my siblings that helped care for him these past 8 months, especially Diane. The service today was a wonderful tribute to a great man. It was an honor to be his son. You will be missed.
Thank you to all his family and friends able to attend For those unable to attend the service here are comments in tribute to a loving father -
Tribute to Our Father
We gather here today to pay tribute and honor a truly remarkable man – our father. He was a loving husband and father who had a big heart. He was an accomplished physician that blazed the trail for others in the Raleigh medical community in the field of neurology, which was a new specialty at the time he was coming out of medical school. Yet with all of his success and accomplishments, he always remained a humble man that spoke few words but left behind a lasting legacy in the profession he loved and with a loving and devoted family – his wife and our mother, 6 children (3 sons and 3 daughters) and (16 grandchildren).
When we were young, Dad would leave home for work before the sunrise and often never return before the sunset. During the middle of the night, when the phone rang – he was always there to answer it. It was usually an emergency call from the hospital. One of his patients had been hurt. Even though he was exhausted from a long work day, he would rise from bed and travel to the hospital to care for his patients. That is just who he was. Never thinking of himself, but of his patients he loved to care for and help heal their ailments. All of this occurring while his children slept. His work and success helped provide many opportunities for us. It is something we will always be grateful to him as we would not be who we are today without his guiding hand.
Growing up we never appreciated or understood the endless hours he spent at work seeing countless patients at the hospital or office. It was only years later when we had families of our own and began our careers did we come to appreciate the dedication and sacrifice he made for his family. He provided his children with every opportunity to succeed in life, yet he never pushed us to follow him into the field of medicine. He realized each of us needed to find our own path, our own calling. The most important thing was to choose a career and spouse you loved and cared for
One of his other passions was the beach. It was a place of tranquility and solitude for him. He could spend hours gazing at the ocean and soaking up all of the sounds and the sun. At the beach life is different, time does not move from hour to hour but mood to moment. At the beach, we live by the current, plan by the tides and follow the sun. During the summer months, we would go down to the beach nearly every weekend and spend our summer vacation there. Dad loved to go fishing with us and spending the days on the ocean enjoying all life had to offer. It was a place of solitude for him.
Our dad was a fighter. In 1971 we were traveling back from the beach he loved. That was when he had his first major heart attack. He was sent to Rex and then Duke Hospital where they were able to save him. It was when he was in the prime of his life. For a brief moment in time his heart had stopped. It was then he saw a glimpse of heaven, but God knew he had more to offer this Earth, more he needed to do for his family and patients. Dad always viewed the days and years he had after that time as a blessing. On Friday, November 9, he passed away at that same Duke Hospital nearly 40 years later knowing he was able to see his children grow up, walk his daughters down the aisle in marriage and sons become men and marry to start families of their own.
We leave you with these parting thoughts from a poem posted on the Internet written by a child to his father that passed away in 2008 -
Now God has called upon you
It's time to get your wings
To leave this world behind you,
And enjoy all of heavens beautiful things,
So wait for me in heaven Dad,
Don't let me come alone,
The day the angels come for me,
Please be there to bring me home.