This blog is simply the story about my little life
with my sweet family that the Lord has blessed me with
and the day in, day out things that we do.
It basically is my online diary/photo album of our life.
I'm glad you're here!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

My Daddy was a rare diamond

My Daddy was a very special man. I'm not sure I fully realized that until he passed away. I was very close to my father, but as I went through his photos I got to know him even better. I wanted to share with you a little about this wonderful man. There are no baby pictures of my father. This is the youngest photo of my father that I could find. It was his 2nd grade school picture. Isn't he a cute little boy!
My Daddy was the 4th born child out of the 9 children that Harry and Ethel had. They were dirt poor and lived much like the Walton's. They didn't have much money, but they sure had love and had fun! Their father, Harry, worked out in the woods as a timber cutter and also in the local mill. He was a strong father figure to all 9 children.
Daddy had six brothers and two sisters. As you can imagine, those boys got into lots of mischief! My grandma, Ethel, was a strong Godly women and all of those kids were good kids and all love God. All six boys served in the US Military. My Grandfather and Grandmother were married for over 60 years!
My father graduated high school in 1947.
He joined the US Navy in 1948 and served 4 years during the Korean War. He had a very dangerous job in the Navy, he was a Mine Man and he worked on explosives. He was humble and never talked much about it. Oh how I wish I would have taken the time to discuss all of this with him when he was alive.
After the Navy he started attending Bible college. He was so handsome!
His life forever changed the day he met this young lady, the love of his life, my mother Shirley. He was 24 and she was just 16! This was their first date, they are sitting on the back porch of my mother's house.
They married two years later on April 26, 1956.
Daddy started driving truck for a local fuel company and he worked at that company for the next almost 50 years of his life!
Daddy and Mamma both worked hard and saved their money and soon built their first home using a VA loan. Here's Daddy at the work site helping out as much as he could.
Soon four little babies came in four years! Kelli in 1958, Kathi in 1960, Sharon in 1961 and Wade in 1962. Here's a sweet photo of him holding and feeding me. I love how he's looking at me and how I'm looking at him!
Daddy was so happy with his beautiful wife, their beautiful life and their four beautiful children! They soon realized that they had outgrown their home.
Daddy kept working hard...
....and they saved enough money to build a new larger home. This is the construction of the home I grew up in. This is the home that they lived in for 52 years.
Daddy was always so much fun and ingenious too! Here is is pulling us kids in a sled he made from an old dresser drawer! Oh what fun it was being pulled around by my strong Daddy with the bitter cold wind hitting my cheeks!
Here's Daddy paying the bills. He was a wonderful provider. He was home every night and never drank, swore or acted in anger.
We had a lovely family. Mamma and Daddy made a cozy, loving, secure home for us.
We had an idyllic childhood. We had a Daddy who loved us. He loved our mother. We were safe and secure. We were told we were loved every single day.
Daddy was a great example of a Godly man. He loved and respected his parents. Here he is shaving his father and hugging his mother. He also helped my mother's parents, Irving and Margaret and did yard work and other projects when my grandpa Irv got sick with cancer. After Grandpa Irv died, Daddy took care of Grandma Margaret and her place until she died a few years later.
Daddy always visited widows and widowers and shut-ins. He cared about anyone who was alone or who needed help. He would visit or do any favors or odd jobs that needed to be done for them. He took us kids with him many times.
Daddy was a devoted family man. It was important to him that we all attend church and know Jesus Christ as our personal saviour. Every night either Daddy or Mommy prayed with us and tucked us in bed. Often times you would hear one of us kids say, "Daddy will you come and pray with me" because we had an extra worry we wanted to pray about and he always came when we called. He read his Bible every day early in the morning as he ate breakfast before work. Often times us kids got up early and would visit with Daddy and he would read us the Bible and discuss it with us.
Whenever we had a problem we knew we could go to him and he would give such Godly, sound advice and pray with us about it. I always felt so secure knowing my Daddy was praying for me!
Daddy was an interesting person and had many hobbies and talents. He played many instruments including the piano, guitar, fiddle and harmonica. He was an amazing photographer. He painted beautiful oil paintings. He was an amazing cartoonist. He worked on cars and other things around the house. He was excellent at woodworking and made shelves, dressers, cabinets and toys. He even helped Mamma in the kitchen with jam and fudge. He liked old things and would go up to his childhood home with his brothers to look for old bottles and other treasures. He was very sentimental and saved treasures and memories from his adventures (I think this apple(me) didn't fall too far from the tree!).
He was an excellent landscaper and took great pride in keeping the yard immaculate. People often times stopped by to tell him how pretty the yard was!
He was a very hard worker. He averaged 60 hours a week driving truck and then he would come home and do chores around the house and do big projects such as cutting firewood on the weekends. But there was always time for us kids and of course for church.
Daddy made the best eggs! They are just scrambled, but he had a magic touch to make them so flavorful. I have so many memories of Daddy making a big breakfast on Sunday mornings before church.
He loved cats and trained our kitty Sarah to climb his leg to get a treat!
My Daddy was always there for me. I felt so loved and secure.
Here we are on my wedding day right before Daddy gave me away to Eric. My father really liked Eric and approved of us getting married. God blessed me with such a good husband. I know my Daddy was praying for whoever I was going to marry. I didn't consciously go out and try to find a husband who was like my father, but I think because of the example of my father, I couldn't help but seek a man with the same type of character traits.
When the grand kids started coming, Daddy was the best grandpa! Every time my kids came for a visit, he always did such fun and interesting things with them. As I was going through the photos, I found photo after photo of proof that he made it a magical fun experience at his house with ALL 15 of his grandchildren. Here are pictures of him with my four boys. Carving a pumpkin with Mackenzie...
...having a coffee break with Cameron...
....working in the garage with Grayson...
...and showing Hayden the world. This photo is one of my favorites. He let Hayden try on his old Navy uniform and was showing him on the globe where French Morocco is, the place he was stationed in the Navy. He always did cute things like this.
Daddy took all four of my sons down to his work and they got to see the big semi that he drove and sit in it. I love it that they all have this memory!
My son Cameron always had a special connection with his grandpa because they were born on the same day but 57 years apart! They always called each other on their birthday and this year I know it will be so sad for Cameron to not be able to call his grandpa.
In 1999 he retired from his 50 year truck driving career. He always really loved his job and he was really good at it. He was a very hard worker. He was a cheerful worker. He never got in an accident and only called in sick one time in 50 years!!!
Oh how I miss this man.
Once he retired, he didn't slow down. He kept busy with lots of projects around the place, spending time with Mamma, spending time with his grandchildren, working out (look how buff he is in this photo!), going on trips with Mamma, going on trips with us kids and our families, tinkering in his shop, visiting shut-ins, working in the yard, spending time with his siblings, etc.
He also kept up with the times and got a computer and really enjoyed it.
Daddy had an alter ego, Doc Leonard. Whenever there was a talent show or someone needed someone to do a skit, he was there as Doc Leonard. That's me and my father in the lower right corner acting up in skit at a family reunion. I'm so thankful for the memories.
In 2007 we almost lost Daddy. He had a major stroke with a brain hemorrhage. The doctors and nurses said it was a miracle that he survived, most people do not survive that kind of hemorrhagic stroke. Praise God he survived and he recovered almost 100% and he even was able to drive again. Daddy was determined to recover and worked very hard towards his goal. He even started pumping iron again and walking on his treadmill. I am so thankful we got ten extra years with my Daddy!
He was able to go to work with my husband a few times up in the woods. This was a very special blessing for both my husband and my father.
This is one of my favorite pictures of me and my father. I love him so much.
He was very joyful when he became a great grandfather to precious Ridley.
Here he is playing the harmonica for Ridley. This is just the cutest picture!
Daddy and Mommy loved to laugh and both had a great sense of humor.
Daddy had a bad fall and had a serious brain injury requiring surgery in June of 2015. This caused him to be wheelchair bound. He was so humble and accepted what had happened to his once strong body. He did not complain about it. I'm so proud of my sons for always helping their elderly parents. I am sure it was such an honor for my boys to help their grandfather.
In April of 2017 Mommy and Daddy celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary! What a gift to give our family to have a long and loving marriage. They were committed to each other! When Mommy died Daddy looked at his wedding ring and looked at her and said, "Til death do us part". He had kept that promise he made to her 60+years before.
I love this picture of my husband and my father having a laugh together. These are my two favorite men in the whole world (well, also my four sons and my dear father-in-law).
Oh Daddy, why did you have to leave this earth? I miss you. I love you.
I did not even know what a special diamond I had in my life until he was gone. He was truly one of a kind person. He lived and loved. He gave. He forgave. He was tender and kind. He was good natured. He laughed. He was considerate.  He was an excellent husband. He was an excellent father. He was a hard worker. He was a man of character, strength and integrity. He was honest. He was committed. He was a man of his word. He was a stand up guy. He was truthful. He loved the Lord and tried to live a life according to Christ's teachings. My Daddy was truly a rare diamond. I am so blessed that he was mine.

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:12-14 


Anonymous said...


What a wonderful legacy that your father left! And what a blessing to have all of the amazing photos that were taken over the years- A lot of people don't have many photos so that is really neat! They are so special to reminisce with. I was just marveling recently at how amazing our God is and how He gave us memories and the amazing way He allows us to recall. As I was reading your post, and saw some of the first photos, I thought to myself how much your son Cameron favors your dad! Then I saw what you posted about their special bond. So neat! The photo of your whole family with your sisters and their husbands, looks to be in the late 70's? That photo of your husband looks so much like your son Grayson! Must have strong genes on both sides!
I have enjoyed your more frequent posting- your blog is one I very first started following and have followed for years! So sorry to read about your mom and dad, though your posts about them have been lovely. Praying you have some upcoming happy times, sounds like you have much to look forward to with new babies on the way! Congratulations and God's best to you!

Anganie Roach said...

What a beautiful woven story, I always look forward to reading your blog. I have read your blog in its totality and Sharon you are a wonderful, humble woman of God, I am so very sure that your daddy was very proud of you and I know that he loved you so very much. Take comfort in both your Father's love.

P.S. I noticed you said April 2017, you all celebrated your parents anniversary, should that be April 2016??

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