Monday, October 6, 2014

A Son's Tribute

My brother Manny took it upon himself to write, and give Dad's eulogy during his Celebration Mass. He was determined to put Dad in the light he deserved, which was filled with laughter and a few tears. I asked Manny for permission to share his words and he kindly agreed. I hope everyone can leave a legacy like my father has done for each one of his children.

"Daniel Thomas Olin.  Some of us called him Babe, Daniel, Son, Brother, Dad, Grampy, Danny, Uncle Danny, Doobie or even Doofus.  There have been some great texts, emails, and postings where he has been called, Bigger than life, a cool guy, one of a kind or remarkably unforgettable.  It didn't matter what you called him because he made us all feel the same.  He handed out genuine love without demanding it in return. He truly cared about what each of us was doing in our lives and if it made us happy.  This is what made him happy.

I believe my Dad was a great man. Not great in the same manner required from a soldier, policeman, or firefighter.  But great all the same.   I remember in eighth grade I had to write a paper about someone famous who made a difference. A lot of people picked the president, people from history, or pop culture stars. I picked my Dad and titled my paper “My Dad the jack of all trades”. I wish I that paper today because writing this eulogy would have been a lot easier.....  I wrote about how he was strict but fair, protective but not smothering, and could do anything he set his mind to. I wrote about how he set an example of hard work, dedication and love.  We had to read our reports in front of the class.  When I started mine with the title most of the class laughed. I didn't care because of how my Dad made me feel and to me he was famous and made a huge difference in our lives. I went on to read the complete report and when I finished I got an awesome round of applause and an A+. I don’t share this to brag although Tom, Lisa, and Lori would beg to differ... but I share this to show you how most of us feel. It was how Dad made each of us feel that will be forever present.

One of the trades which I will call gifts he had was an ingrained work ethic. I believe he got this from his Father and his Mother, our Nana who we are very grateful could be present today. Thank you Uncle Eddie.... your brotherly love for each other was unmistakable. My Nana worked hard all her life from the time she had to collect firewood to sell as a young child in order to support her family in Madeira, Portugal... to her many hours working in the textile mills.  I remember my Dad working 12 hours a day, seven days a week, for weeks on end without complaining.  He would still find some time to hop on a skateboard, sled down the hill, take out the go carts or fix a broken bike. It showed his children that hard work is required to succeed in life and I believe that has been passed on to all of us. 

Dad was gifted with mechanical ability. He passed that on to all of us but Tom inherited the biggest share.  My sisters inherited it also because it is a trait they looked for in their spouses Duane and Markus. Two very talented individuals. My Dad seemed able to work on anything and get it fixed.  He loved working on cars from before the time he could drive.  We spent many hours handing Dad tools while he was under the car and if you handed him the wrong size... jumping out of the way when he tossed them back out.... .   My Dad worked as a Bindery operator for Courier for over thirty years. He was usually the guy who was assigned to the newest machine to work out the bugs and help get it up to speed.  I use to ride my bike to Hall St. sometimes to bring him his lunch.... or supper if he has putting in a long day. He would proudly show me all the machines that he worked on and how things flowed and operated.  I was always amazed.  
One of Dad’s greatest gifts was laughter. He loved to laugh or flash his mischievous grin but most of all he loved to make us laugh. It didn't matter if it was a wet willie, a pull my finger or a quick zinger.... Dad loved to make us laugh. He loved to be the one to make us smile.  He was happiest with visitors around him and a lot of laughter to go with them. I know all of his grand children loved getting together at Grammy’s and Grampy’s  to enjoy the food.... but most of all to watch us share old stories and laugh until our sides hurt.  Based on a lot of comments this past week his firm hand shake and his strong but gentle hugs will be missed just as much as his sense of humor.  He was a great hugger!! 

My Dad’s love for my Mom and hers for him was undeniable! It is an inspiration to all of his children.  My parents recently celebrated 50 years of marriage. It is truly a remarkable accomplishment. They made it through all the good times and bad times. They always persevered. Every night as a kid we would watch my Dad look into my Mom’s eyes and kiss her goodnight and say I love you.  It didn't matter if they had just finished an argument or had just finished a great day ...  it always ended the same. They showed us how to forgive , love, and live by their example.          

Dad I hope you are at peace and in the midst of all the loving relatives that have gone before you.  Nana and Grampy Keough, Grampy Olin and Aunt Barbara. I pray that you are looking down and are in awe at all the lives you have touched so deeply. You will be truly missed!! Bye Dad!!  We all Love you!! 

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