By Linda Van Treese
My Dad was my hero.
His collective family and many of his friends knew him as Ma and my mom as Ga. They got the monikers when their oldest granddaughter Stacie was born and when she tried to say Grandpa or Grandma, it came out Ma & Ga. For awhile it wasn't clear which was which, but Dad adopted 'Ma' as his new name and that's what we all called him from then on. He was so proud of that name that he even got a vanity license plate for his car that read, MaGa.
I have so many good memories of him that it's hard for me to pick one that stands out above the others. More than any other characteristic, I remember how sweet he was and his ability to retain his almost childlike innocence in his absolute love of life. Everyday was an adventure for him. I was so proud of him and his many accomplishments and especially later in life when I would hear something of his early life and how he grew up.
His was not a happy childhood and I don't believe he knew much love as he was growing up except from his brothers and sisters. But, for someone who wasn't shown much love, he somehow knew how to give love everyday of his life. It would have been easy for him to become a bitter and angry person, but instead, he chose a different path to trod. He loved our mother more than anything and the two of them together gave all of us an example to emmulate on how to have a happy marriage that lasted 60 years. His family was the most important thing to him.
I was remembering the other day all the things he taught me... how to grow things
how to swim
how to fish
how to ride a bike
how to ride a horse
how to waterski
how to build things
how to always be kind to and love animals
The list goes on and on... But, above all, he taught me how to have a positive and cheerful outlook on life, to be honest and to always try to do my best at whatever I did. The only thing he didn't teach me was bad habits...he didn't have any. I developed mine entirely on my own.
I never heard him say anything unkind to, or about anyone. He liked everyone and everyone who knew or met him liked him. He also had a wonderful sense of humor.
A few days after his surgery, Jeff the physical therapist, stopped by while Dad was having lunch. As you know, everything is pureed the first couple of days. Jeff gave Dad a spoonful of the pureed meat and said, "Mr. Pascoe, can you tell me what that is?" Dad looked at him and said, "Pate, French, goose."
He told me once that as a young man he had a temper. I never witnessed it or heard him raise his voice in anger. He was never judgmental. He had no vices, except for maybe his 'sweet tooth' and love of Polka music. He didn't smoke or drink and I never heard him use a swear word.
There is so much more I could say about my Dad. I will miss him everyday for the rest of my life. I'll also do my best to live up to his example of how to live life. He is going to be a hard act to follow. I'll feel him beside me just like when he taught me to ride my bike...running along side with a guiding hand.
The above remarks were given in eulogy at my Dad's memorial service 3/21/2009. I wanted to post in honor of all the great Dads out there and to thank them for the hard work they do and the love they give.