A Good Man

Today marks the one-year anniversary of my father’s death.  He was a good man, the kind of man every child should have for a father. He was as intelligent, hard-working, sensible, gentle, and honest as any person I’ve ever known.  He was born in 1925, the son of farmers.  And a farmer he was, til his last day, even though he could no longer drive a tractor or combine.  A man of the land.  I was always proud of him!

I went through a short time when I was in my early 20s during which I made needlepoint projects for my parents and my sister.  This was what I made Dad.  It wasn’t a kit – it was from an advertisement in a farm magazine!  I made it from the photo in the magazine.  It seemed so perfect for him – corn, wheat, soybeans, and a combine!  It’s still hanging in Mom’s kitchen.


This is a picture of Dad from 1938, when he was thirteen.  He is sitting on the fender of the tractor, and his older brother is driving.

Marvin and Robert 1938

This has always been one of my favorite pictures of him.  It’s from 1970, and it is so much how I remember him.  Notice the combine behind him, and the seed corn cap! 🙂

Dad 1970

Finally, when I started quilting and was notified that my quilt (the first quilt I ever entered!) had won a prize at Houston, I asked if he and Mom wanted to go with me, in their motor home, to the show.  One of the first things he said at that first show was, “My mother would have loved this!”  He didn’t spend much time on the show floor – the long hours of standing were hard on his ever-painful back, and the noise of the crowds was difficult for him to handle with his hearing aids.  We went every year to Houston and Paducah, eighteen quilt shows in all.  This picture is the last quilt show we attended, Paducah in April 2013, where he saw me win Best Machine Workmanship.  I had always hoped that he would be able to see me win Best of Show someday, but that didn’t happen.  It doesn’t matter.  He was proud of me whether I won anything or not.  A lot of me comes from him, including the attitude of striving for excellence.  I love you, Dad!


14 thoughts on “A Good Man

  1. I’ve always been one who loved the wid ares of cacti, rocks, and rattlesnakes, and Marvin one who tamed the land, and he was one of the finest most gentle, strong men I have ever known. He taught me so much regarding the stewardship and trusteeship of the land, and he was perhaps the most brilliant man in regard to the weather, ever!!! I consider it one of my best privileges to have known him. Mark.

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  2. I didn’t know you made that needlepoint! I’ve always liked it, but didn’t know it was your handiwork. We were all lucky to have been blessed with him in our lives. Through you, and his life, he showed me what it meant to be a good, honest, hard-working, and kind person. I love you, Mom, Nana, and Paw!

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  3. You feel about your father the way I feel about mine. He was also a farmer but moved to the city when I was around 10; I think he always missed the place of his birth. The land was taken by the state for a water/lake project so there was little choice but to move on. I don’t think I was the easiest daughter to raise but he never gave up on me. We are both so blessed to have had such great fathers.

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  4. Couldn’t remember the exact day but I have been thinking about your dad a lot. Truly one of the good guys. I have always considered him a wonderful friend. When I was sick a few years ago he was the first one to show up at my door. He had walked to my house. That was a good little walk for an eighty year old. Your mom came and picked him up then a little while later. I remember going to the fair in Illinois with your family (I think that was when Cathy was into horses) & the party you had at the little cemetary on your property, attempting to climb the elevator leg during the flood in 73. That was when Cathy had back surgery. So many fun times at your house. You were the first one to get your license so we went everywhere in that little pinto. I remember Denny & Cletie playing that trick on everyone at the old house before it was torn down with that fake money. So many good times and your dad was always in the middle of it. He is dearly missed.

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  5. It is so great that you have such wonderful memories of your father and that he was so supportive of you. I know that my father had always been the same, proud of whatever his children achieved in their lives and willing to tell them so which is so important. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and photos.

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  6. Wonderful entry honoring your dad. Isn’t it wonderful that even if our parents didn’t do the same things we do(fancy work sewing and quilting for instance) the strong values they instilled in us were the foundations for all we do.

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  7. Pingback: Teeny, Tiny Squares | SusanStewartDesigns

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