A Eulogy for my Father, Carl
Kenneth J. Pearce
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Ken, Carl’s son. Before I say a few kind words about my father, I’d first like to thank everyone for braving the cold weather and coming to the service today. It’s nice to know my dad had such good friends and family that he could count on to pay their final respects.
Now I’d like to say a few words that describe my dad, from my perspective. I think everyone who knew hi, would agree he was a loving, jovial, good-natured and social man. He was also frugal, a good listener and an even better talker who was never afraid to speak his mind. Forever the optimist, Dad thought that whatever he put his mind to, he could do. He believed no project was too small: “He made do with what he had, or he made what he had—do.”
Mechanically inclined, my dad, I believe, missed his calling to become a mechanical engineer. He often said, “I got my education from the school of hard knocks.” Engineering would have suited him well as he was constantly tinkering with whatever he could get his hands on. Some things he could fix. Others he just set aside for a rainy day. Just take a look at his garage and you’ll see what I mean.
He had an eye for seeking out projects. His vision could analyze any situation and determine a course of action. He was not someone to act impulsively. He would often consult anyone who would listen to receive the best advise before starting. Sometimes his lavish planning was mistaken for procrastination, but I always knew better.
I will always remember my dad as the project guy! Some of the projects we worked on together when I was growing up include getting an old mini-bike to run, shoveling gravel around the house and driveway, and repairing the car after my first and only accident. After I grew up and left home, the projects dropped dramatically because of the distance in miles I put between us. Still, Dad found the time to come to my home [in Cleveland] and help with my 30-foot bridge over our creek and help construct my backyard shed from scratch.
Through all these events, there were two lessons Dad taught me:
1. “If you’re going to do something, do it right,” and
2., and perhaps the cardinal rule of carpentry, “Measure twice, cut once.”
But somehow it appeared that Dad always seemed to get that one backwards as we did a LOT of cutting and re-cutting and very little measuring!
In a tribute to my dad this year, I decided to erect his infamous “Merry Christmas” sign in the front yard of his house. While setting it up, I realized just how much this “work of art” epitomized who he was. Everything was significant, from the simplicity of the design, to the materials he used, to the craftsmanship of the work, and to the spiritual message it conveys, It all truly defined him.
Being sick the past few years prohibited Dad from enjoying his grandchildren the way he wanted to. He could no longer play games or hold them the way he once did. He only missed one of my kids’ birthdays over the years and that was due to distance. I know this illness frustrated him beyond belief. I now share a symptom of the pain he endured; it’s that of a broken heart. Like many of you, I loved and miss my dad dearly. He truly made a difference for me.
In closing, I ask that all of you, please, take a deep breath for Carl, my dad, and remember him each time you perform this simple task.
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