A Great Man

Dear Readers –

The hu-dad here.  We apologize, but there will be no funny stories or pictures of the dogs today.  In fact, we will be taking a few days break from blogging.

On Sunday evening, the world lost a great man.  He may not have been famous and most of you may never have met him, but he was great nonetheless.  I want to take a moment to tell you about him.

He was the eighth of nine children and he lost his father when he was only 5.  But adversity was no excuse to fail to achieve his dreams.

He served his country proudly in the U.S. Army and, thus, demonstrated self-sacrifice and duty to country.  The Army sent him to language school where he learned to speak, read and write Mandarin (Chinese) – a life lesson that you can learn absolutely anything if you simply set your mind to it.

The Army and a series of jobs funded his way to the University of Tennessee.  By focusing and achieving his goal, he taught the value of determination.

Upon graduating from college, he went to work for a company and remained with them through his entire 38 year career.  The company faced many financial challenges over the years, as many in the textile industry did, but he remained faithful to them until the day he retired.  The value of loyalty.

He was married for 52 years.  We cherish the 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration that we helped him celebrate two years ago.  And we cherish the hundreds of funny little stories of family events over the years.  The importance of family.

In these last few years, as disease (progressive supranuclear palsy) robbed him of his body and mind, he taught us what is really important in life – simply sitting, talking and sharing time.  Not to mention, we learned the power of a canine as Cheoah visited first him in his nursing home – and then a series of other patients as they looked for Cheoah during our Sunday visits.  What another great lesson – simply pause for a moment and make a stranger smile.

He told me a thousand times that I could be whatever I wanted to be and then he supported those dreams.  We siblings are different than each other and pursued different dreams, but he encouraged each of those dreams equally and celebrated our differences.

He guided me.  He taught me.  When needed, he disciplined me.  And when I was out on my own, he became my coach and advisor.  I sought his counsel often.

Sure, he taught me how to catch a baseball, throw a football, and shoot a mean right hook.  But mostly, he taught me the honor of a life lived well.

Yes, the world on Sunday night lost a great man.  The world lost my dad.

I can do only one thing to honor that memory – continue to make him proud.  I will do what he always asked me to – I will do my absolute best.

I love you, Dad.

– D.K. Wall

 

76 Comments

  1. The Painter Pack on June 20, 2016 at 7:24 am

    So very sorry. Nothing says what a good father he was more than the words of his son. What a wonderful blessing this has been for you and your siblings, and everyone who met this wonderful man.

    The Painter Pack

  2. Julie Starling on June 19, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    So sorry DK. What a lovely tribute and story.

  3. Mom 'n Ice on June 16, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Both me ‘n Ice want to let you know we are sorry you’ve lost your own Dad. Having lost mine in 1962, I can remember back to how I felt, and I feel your grief. I’m never sure which is hardest — losing a parent suddenly, as in a car accident, the way I did, or losing one gradually, to a debilitating disease, the way you did. (The way I lost my first husband, to cancer). We’ll be waiting for your return, and in the meantime, Hugs and SiberHugz.

  4. Edie Chase on June 15, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Sorry for your loss. Try to let it comfort you to know that you have shared your Dad’s great qualities with those who were never lucky enough to have met him. Thank you.

  5. Tawny Wall on July 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    You have always had a gift for writing, however, this tribute is the most beautiful and honest work you have ever written – I have read it practically everyday since dad passed. Thank you for sharing our dad with everyone in this way. He would be speechless after reading this – you and I both know how rarely that happened 😉 – he would also give you that look that let you know… he was proud of you.
    Love,
    T

  6. Lilian Kwan on June 22, 2011 at 7:26 am

    My thoughts are with you and I know you will cherish the precious time you had with your father. I don’t claim to know how you feel but I do know the feeling of losing a loved one….my dad left us last year and the loss is still felt

    warm regards,
    lilian
    so sorry I only saw this today….do take care

  7. Dream Valley Ranch on June 20, 2011 at 1:38 am

    Oh no…I am so terribly sad to hear this news. I am so sorry for your loss, DK. There are simply no words to ease the heartache felt when losing such a beloved family member. But hopefully knowing that so many people are sending love and good thoughts your way helps a little bit. Thinking of you and thank you for sharing your dad with us. He was certainly an incredible person and I can truly feel both your love and sadness. Sending lots of love and healing thoughts your way,
    Sue and the crew

  8. Dr. Liz on June 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    I’ve been way behind on things, and just saw this. I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your Dad. He sounds like he was a great role model, and a downright wonderful guy. This was a great tribute. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    -Dr. Liz and Family

  9. Eva on June 19, 2011 at 11:56 am

    I try to catch up with your blog once a week, and just saw this note about your father’s passing. He certainly raised someone with great compassion, humor, and the ability to reach many other people. I’m sure he was very proud of you. I know you must miss him greatly, esp today on Father’s Day. Murphy (spaniel mix) and I mourn with the Herd.

  10. Clive on June 18, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    We were very sorry to hear about the passing of your Dad. He sounded like a very special man.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    – Clive and all the family

  11. Suka on June 17, 2011 at 1:46 am

    What a beautiful, touching, and heartwarming tribute to your Dad. I am so deeply sorry for your loss, and my heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to you and your Family. Your Dad sounds like he was an amazing father and a truly inspiring man. May he rest in peace.

    My heartfelt condolences to all of you during this difficult time.

    KrisAnne and Suka

  12. Teddy Bear on June 17, 2011 at 1:20 am

    We are so very sorry to hear about your Dad. We’re sending prayers and hugs during this difficult time.

    Love,
    Teddy Bear & Sierra’s pawrents

  13. Lexi and Jasper the Danes on June 17, 2011 at 12:33 am

    We are sorry to hear about your loss 🙁 Your dad sounds like a great man!

    Licks and lots of slobber,
    Lexi and Jasper the Danes

  14. Ann on June 16, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    What a wonderful tribute. God bless your Dad and may he rest in peace.

  15. Pink Daisy on June 16, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Deepest condolences to you. ((hug))

  16. Amy@GoPetFriendly on June 16, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    What a beautiful tribute. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time. Take care.

  17. Pup Fan on June 16, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    My thoughts are with you… I’m so sorry for your loss and I hope that you are able to find comfort and peace during this difficult time. Sending big hugs to you.

  18. Holly & Khady on June 16, 2011 at 12:39 am

    Oh no, we are so very sorry to hear this. Please accept our most sincere condolences on your loss. We are sending lots of Siber hugs to you and your family. Please pass on our thoughts to your mom from all of us.

    Holly & Khady and their mom too.

  19. diane on June 16, 2011 at 12:07 am

    I’m sorry for your loss. Your dad sounds like a wonderful man.

  20. Carol from Down Under on June 15, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Sincere condolences on the loss of your father. To have a father who gives you unconditional love and support, no matter what age you are, is a treasure indeed. Your tribute to your Dad was beautiful. Take care, love Carol.

  21. Libby and Jim Carter on June 15, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    We are so sorry to read about your great loss. You will miss your dad but just remember how blessed you were to have such a wonderful man in your life. Please accept our deepest condolences.

  22. Kasha the Dainty Great Dane on June 15, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. He sounded like a wonderful man and if we would have known him I’m sure hubby and I would have liked him very much being fellow veterans. Hubby was also sent to defense language school small world isn’t it. We are sending you and your family a big hug.

    Denise & Kasha the Dainty Great Dane

  23. Lisa alias Sitka's Mom on June 15, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    That is the most wonderful tribute I have ever read about anyone! What a legacy he leaves behind in you.
    He sounds like a wonderful person and I want to thank you for sharing him with all of us.
    I lost my Dad, the most important person in my life, when I was much younger and I still miss him. My heart aches for you!
    A very bright star shines in the sky and it will be forever watching over you & your family(that includes all The Herd members, past & present).
    Lisa

  24. Kess & Her Mama on June 15, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    I am sorry for your loss. Seems to me your life is a tribute to your dad. I’m sure he was proud of you.

  25. Elmo & Mouse on June 15, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    We are sorry to hear about your loss.

    Lucy with Elmo & Mouse

  26. MIchy on June 15, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    We are so very sorry to hear of your great loss. We hope you can find comfort in remembering the happy things about the wonderful man you’ve lost, and knowing that you must make him extremely proud. We will keep you and yours in our thoughts.

  27. Ice 'n Ayla on June 15, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    From Ice, Ayla, and their two hu-parents, our sincere condolences in the loss of your father. He sounds like he was a great, wise, and wonderful parent. I’m sure the Lord decided it was time to go Home, where he can still look down and watch over you and The Thundering Herd.

  28. Laura Kendrick on June 15, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    A Great Man Indeed……….just received a phone call at work from my friend Kriss and all she had to say was “it’s me I am sad.” and I said “Don Wall” She said ” Yes, I needed to find someone who would understand my sadness.” I do understand her sadness. We both agree that Pat was able to do all of the great things for our girls, because she had the support of a wonderful husband. Don always had her back. They gave a great number of hours to our community. Don was there, hauling sets & costumes, welcoming us into his home for production meetings, wearing many hats. He was so kind, even to the little brothers who tagged along (my son Roy remembers him well, he was only 7 when we met the Walls). Our prayers go out the Wall family. Kirk, Todd, Tawny & Pat ~

    Sincerely,

  29. RADINKA on June 15, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Oh that made me cry big ol tears. I could feel the love and the respect you have for your father. He sounds like an amazing man and I am so sorry for your loss, best wishes to you and your family in this difficult time. Big hugs from Radinka, Smokey & the Bandit

  30. carolyn on June 15, 2011 at 11:50 am

    I am so sorry for your loss, but what a beautiful tribute!!! Your dad sounds like he was an awesome awesome guy, touching lives until the very last. THat is a beautiful legacy to have.

  31. HoundDogMom (Sherri) on June 15, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved Dad. We will be sending your hugs and drools to your family during this difficult time. He sounds like he was an awesome Dad and your post was a great tribute to him. Sniffs, The HoundDogs and Mom

  32. Barbara Ling, MamaBear on June 15, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Hugs to your family and much condolences for the loss of your father! He sounds like he was one awesome individual indeed.

    Lots of good thoughts flying to you from NJ!

  33. Kathye Shuman on June 15, 2011 at 9:59 am

    So sorry for your loss. Thanks for the great tribute to your dad.

  34. The Army of Four on June 15, 2011 at 9:58 am

    We’re so deeply sorry for your loss. Your dad sounds like a great man who left a great legacy. …”the honor of a life well lived.” That is priceless.
    Godspeed to your dad – and may God bless and comfort you and your family.
    KZK and the boys

  35. Jen Bare on June 15, 2011 at 8:05 am

    I don’t know you aside from what I see on the computer in front of me, but my heart truly hurts for you. My deepest sympathies from Tampa.

    *hug*

  36. Becky on June 15, 2011 at 8:02 am

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  37. Zoe on June 15, 2011 at 7:23 am

    So sorry for your loss. You loved him deeply, and that love is what you’ll always remember.

  38. 24 Paws of Love on June 15, 2011 at 3:22 am

    So sorry to hear about your dad. Sounds like he was a great man and that you were very blessed by him. Our condolences to you and your family.

  39. Siku marie and family on June 15, 2011 at 1:20 am

    Peace to your dad and your family. May you find comfort in your memories and loving connection and take some solace in knowing that your dad will live forever in the hearts of every person he touched. We send soft woos and understanding.

  40. Lorenza on June 15, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful tribute for your Dad.
    Our thoughts are with you.
    Take care
    Lorenza

  41. Stella on June 14, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    What a excellent and beautiful tribute you have written to your Dad, DK. You, your Mom and your sibs all have my deepest and heartfelt sympathies in this loss.

    Jo and Stella

  42. Amanda @ Click. The Good News on June 14, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your father. He sounds like a wonderful man who left a great mark on this world through those lives he touched. A beautiful tribute & I wish your family peace.

  43. houndstooth on June 14, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Your tribute to him is beautiful, and a true testament to the kind of wonderful man he was. I am truly sorry for your loss! As much as I admire you through your words and gentle humor, I am sure that the man who helped to mold you was one heck of a guy! We’ll be thinking of you.

  44. Bella on June 14, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  45. Team Husky on June 14, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    We are so sorry for your loss, your father sounds like a wonderful man! You wrote a beautiful tribute to him.

    Team Husky

  46. KB on June 14, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    What a beautiful tribute – it brought tears to my eyes. Now we know where you came from and how you became the thoughtful, educated, and caring person that you are.

    I will be thinking of you, your siblings, and your mother. You have my deepest sympathy.

  47. Terri Jacobson on June 14, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    I am sorry for your loss, he does sound like a wonderful person.

    I would like to leave you an inspiration award, perhaps in memory of your father. No worry to do nothing more than to know that you too are an inpiration to many.

    You have been given an Inspiration Award!

    Stop by my blog to pick it up:

    http://greyhoundgardens.blogspot.com/

  48. Sibesrock on June 14, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    Our condolences at your great loss. You’re written a beautiful farewell that brought tears to my eyes. Who was luckier in your situation, the man who watched a son grow to be a man, or the son who loved and learned how to be a man?

    Thanks for sharing so much of your life. Take the time to grieve with your family. We’ll be thinking of you.

    Rose and sad woos from Daiq & Timba

  49. Pamela on June 14, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear you lost your Dad. It sounds like he was a wonderful person and you were very, very lucky to be loved by him so much.

  50. Sam on June 14, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    We are so sorry. We are sending you hugs – what a heartfelt tribute to your dad.

    Sam

  51. Allyson Gary on June 14, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Mr. Wall,
    My heartfelt condolences. I lost my father 9 years ago to Parkinson’s. He spent his last 6 years in a nursing home. I know understand that the world just lost another great unrecognized man.

    p.s. I really enjoy your blog- I am a 6 month Sibe mom with a brother & sister that would have probably ended up in a shelter. Your experiences help us newbies understand our new children without scaring us off of the breed. Yes, they are challenging, but what a great reward! Thank you for your efforts!

    -Allyson Gary

  52. Elizabeth on June 14, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    So sorry to read about your loss!!!

  53. Ricky on June 14, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. This was a beautiful tribute post to him and thank you for sharing it. My thoughts are with you and hugs to you too.

  54. NCMountainwoman on June 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Beautiful tribute. I’ll be thinking of you in days to come.

  55. Huffle Mawson on June 14, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    DK, so sorry to hear about your dad. There’s no doubt you made him a proud man.

    Tracey

  56. Mimi & Cabana on June 14, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    Your love and respect for your dad are apparent in each word you wrote. What a great gift to have such a bond. I’m sure he was very proud of you as well. Wishing you a peaceful, healing time with your family members as you all gather to remember your father.

  57. Sychoberians on June 14, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    So sorry for your loss, your Dad sounds like a great Man.

  58. Khyra and Her Mom on June 14, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    All we can paw is WOW –

    That post will live on as one of the best posts ever –

    How fitting is that as it honours a one of a kind special HU-DAD –

    Loyalty like that is a rare commodity these days –

    Please know we’ll light a candle in his honour at dusk tonight –

    H&K,
    Phyll and Khyra Too

  59. Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara on June 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    You are such an amazing man and son!!! We are very sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing and we send our deepest sympathies to you, your sister, and your Mom. Your Dad is smiling down at you with great pride.

    Hugs from all of us here ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara and Mom too

  60. brooke & Darwin on June 14, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Our condolences for your loss.
    Big hugs and giant Dane kisses to all of you during this time.

  61. Rocky on June 14, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    sad woofs, sooo sorry on the loss of your dad…Dad’s are very special, lost mine almost 15years ago, and miss him everyday…your in my thoughts and prayers…

    Peace,
    claudette and the hudson furkids..

  62. Emma Rose and the Duchess on June 14, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Very, very sorry.

  63. Sheila & Bob on June 14, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Please accept our deepest sympathy on the loss of your Dad. He obviously was a great man who raised a wonderful family.
    What a wonderful tribute you made.
    God Bless your entire family.

  64. Ms Diva on June 14, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful tribute!! I will be keeping in my thoughts and prayers!!

  65. Steve & Kat on June 14, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    We are very sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. What a wonderful tribute you wrote and what a wonderful man you have lost.

    Steve, Kat, and family

  66. HUSKYS RULE on June 14, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    So sorry about your dad. Our thoughts & prayers are with you & your family. Your dad would be so proud of that beautiful tribute. A big cyber hug from our hu-parents & licks from us.
    Licks & Nibbles,
    Kody & Nia

  67. rottrover on June 14, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    A beautiful tribute, Mr. Wall. I’m sure you made our father proud many times over. Take the time you need to grieve, and enjoy all those furry children of yours. They are a great comfort.

    -Lisa and Gizmo, Bart and Ruby (who cheer me daily)

  68. Michelle on June 14, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    So sorry for your loss! Thank you for sharing you feelings. They truly touch the heart. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  69. Sage on June 14, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Words cannot express how much I know the loss you are feeling. What a beautiful tribute you wrote about your Dad–he sounds like he was a wonderful person and father. Our thoughts are with you in the up-coming days.

  70. HuskyHaveninMD on June 14, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. He did a great job raising you with your love of animals. God bless you and your family during this difficult time. Kodi and Molly send their Husky Hugs.

  71. el'bow & hauwii on June 14, 2011 at 10:59 am

    a very big hug!!!

    Kissslobbers
    El’bow & Hauwii

  72. hisqueen on June 14, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad. He sounds like he was a wonderful man, one of the ones from my own grandfathers generation. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Also with Cheoah, who will wonder where he is, if and when you go back to the nursing home to visit Cheoah’s other nursing home friends.

  73. jen on June 14, 2011 at 10:55 am

    What a beautiful tribute to a great man.
    I’m so sorry for your loss.

  74. Tea on June 14, 2011 at 10:22 am

    I am so very sorry for your loss and please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. You take as much time as you need all of us here in blogville totally understand.
    He sounded the most amazing Dad and I tell my son he can be what ever he wants to be and I will support him in his dreams the same as your Dad did you. I am sure he will be watching over you now and encouraging you from on high.

    Much Love and Hugs to you at this difficult time

    Tea
    xxx

  75. Ina in Alaska on June 14, 2011 at 10:20 am

    There is nothing I can say that will send the grief away other than to say I care and so sorry your Dad has left us. What a beautiful tribute to a life very well lived. (((( Hugs )))) from me, Mr. O and the Alaskan Pack. So sorry.

  76. Wimsey on June 14, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I am so sorry to hear that. Take care of yourself first, we’ll all be here waiting when you get back.

    Much love,

    Maria and Wimsey

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