Dr. Stephen Thomas Gupton Jr.
While I'm deeply saddened about the passing of my Dad, I'm also extremely proud of his life and the way he lived it. I spoke at his funeral service and following is an excerpt of what I said:
How do you measure the worth of a life? Is it in years? My Dad died when he was 81, but scientists say the universe is billions of years old, so 81 is not very much. Do you measure a life by how much money you make? My Dad was a doctor, so he did pretty well for himself. But as my grandmother Jane used to say, “You won't see a U-haul behind a hearse.” So money isn't it. What is it then, what is the measure of a life? Well, look around you… It's about family -- Tom Gupton married the love of his life, Helen, my mom, and they had six children together. And those children went out in the world, got married and had 16 grandchildren. It's about friendship. My Dad cherished spending time with friends -- whether it was going fishin' at the beach with his buddies, having a cup of soup at the club, or even just going to the grocery store and saying “Hi” to the neighbors. And for nearly 40 years, it was about his patients. Dr. Gupton cared for thousands of patients from all over the state. But to him, they weren't just patients, they were like family. So what can we learn from him? I think it's simple: Live your life with purpose -- Do the right thing. Make the right choices. Make time for family and friends. Try talking instead of texting. Hold open the door for a stranger. Help your neighbors. Help make this world a better place. My Dad did.