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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mentor, Role Model, Father

Friday, March 27, 2009

Here is the conclusion of the eulogy begun last week. Cameron Kranig continued,"Growing up with Bob for a father was like growing up with John Wayne or any tough guy you can think of. Bib was the definition of tough.

In his sixties he was difficult to keep up with, when he was younger, it was impossible. Through searing heat or bitter cold he worked. Nothing slowed him down.

"His toughness was only matched by his sternness. His voice commanded obedience, even in tender moments. He said things in a way that made you want to do your best for him. He did have a tender side as well. I remember him stifling words when you deserved a harsh one or holding back blows when I deserved a beating.

"Unlike many men, my father got more tender as he got older. He said that he loved me, only rarely, but he showed it every day, rarely missing a chance to teach me how to be a man.

"My youngest brother remembers Bob's philosophy that it is better to be owed a favor than to owe one. He remembers too, that he could always scare away what lurks in the night whether it be a coyote, a dog or an active imagination.

"Dad always called our only sister "Babe," who remembers his card-playing rules, his lessons in carpentry and his drill-sergeant diction as well as never being too old to be called "Babe." She loved going on snowmobiling trips with her husband, because Bob would go over to her house and do all the repairs she couldn't get her husband to do.

"His second grandchild remembers sitting in Bob's recliner watching Disney cartoons. Her Grandad was a closet "Jungle Book" fan. Once when she and her sister were little and had been fighting he told her to get a stick from outside to spank them with. She returned with a leaf stem! Bob often took her in the combine with him where she usually fell asleep by his lunch cooler, watching corn feed into the head.

"A bachelor friend of my Dad's recalls hours spent in his shop learning so many of his skills, with breaks for eating peanuts, drinking Cokes and listening to his stories. After a long week-end of fishing or hunting jackrabbits near the farm place at Wagner there would be fresh asparagus, mushrooms, potatoes and catfish on a Sunday afternoon. Bob's shop will never be the same for that friend.

"The world is definitely at a loss without him. For me, losing my Dad isn't so much a goodbye or a so long, but a see you later. He asked me to pray with him shortly before he died and I know he will be in heaven waiting for us.

"The only value our life has is the example we make for others and what we impart to those around us. I only hope my own life can be as well-led as Bob's."

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Thank you for letting me share this remarkable tribute by a son to his Dad. I thought it deserved to be repeated and I hope you agree.