The service for my father-in-law was full of people who loved him, and us. It was wonderful to see that outpouring of support when the family really needed it.
Below is the speech that Bryan’s sister, Mary Beth gave:
My Dad loved a good steak, steamed crabs and a cold beer. He loved dogs, he loved camping, the outdoors, grilling and nice fire. He loved all sports and playing games like cards, yahtzee and dominoes. He loved gardening and making crab soup with my mom with vegetables that he grew. He loved to tell stories and learning new jokes. He loved water, whether it be in his jacuzzi, in a pool or in the ocean.
But most of all he loved people.
One of my Dad’s favorite things to do was to sit on a bench on the Boardwalk and watch the crowds of people. People fascinated him, they made him smile or laugh. He was in awe of physical feats of strength and endurance, he sympathized with their weaknesses.
My Dad never met a stranger, just people he hadn’t talked to yet.
And he didn’t care what age color, shape or size you were. He loved tiny babies and the old and frail and everyone in between. When I had to put his special gift into words, I could only think of what my Dad had said so many times, “I am so lucky.” He would tell my Mom, “Baby, I’m so lucky that I married you.” A neighbor would do a kind favor and he would say, “I’m so lucky to have such good neighbors.” And, of course, every day of his life, he felt lucky to have so many friends. We children and grandchildren made him feel rich, and his son-in-law and daughter-in-law were like his own.
My Dad felt lucky to the core of his being. And today he would tell you, “You all were so important to me and I wanted to make sure you knew it before I was gone.” And I know by the amount of people in this room that his mission was accomplished.
And if the truth be told, we were the lucky ones.