TRIBUTE TO MY FATHER, RICHARD PECKOVER
I’m so thankful to my wonderful husband, Tim, who lovingly took my dad’s funeral on April 1, 2014. I praise God for his loving and tender mercies toward our family in the midst of our grief. If you’d like to listen to the funeral service, click here: Richard Peckover’s Funeral 4-1-2014 without music. Please note that I’ve edited out the music for sake of file size. I pray that the ministry of the Word will bless you as it did our family and friends who attended to honor the memory of my dad, and to seek God’s amazing comfort and remember his promises. John 11:25 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live’! Amen
To say I will miss my dad is a tremendous understatement! He was always there for me with a listening ear and an abundance of love. He passed along to me his love for animals and nature, which is why I love this picture of him as “Dr. Doolittle”. I don’t think he met an animal that didn’t love him back! 🙂 In one of our last conversations he said to Tim and me, “I will love you forever, and ever, and ever.” And I know he meant it! I, too, will love you dad forever, and ever, and ever! Because of the wonderful gift of Christ, we will meet again; but I will miss you and always thank God for blessing me with such a dad as you!
In the following link is a glimpse of his story: http://www.lifestorynet.com/memories/98375.
The tribute below was written, and delivered at the funeral, by my brother, Bruce:
When kids are growing up, it’s not unusual to think of their Dad as a Superhero or someone who is larger than life. Well, I was no exception. Although I didn’t think my Dad could leap tall buildings, or shoot spider webs from his wrists, I had seen him lift a truck off from a friend’s leg when the jack… that was holding up the car slipped and pinned his friend underneath. Unlike the last few years, when our Dad was handicapped by strokes and cancer, the way I remember him was as that strong man who built tall buildings and took care of those around him. I have to admit that there was one time I questioned whether he could leap tall buildings though. He was way up on the roof of our family cottage, putting the finishing touches on the shingling job, when I heard a loud call that echoed through the woods. I went running around the back side of our cottage just in time to see my Dad sliding fast down the steep A-frame roof, go flying off the end with his arms and legs out like Superman, and land with a loud thud in the muck next to the creek, narrowly missing cutoff stumps that could have impaled him. As he laid there gasping for breath, I exclaimed, “That was a neat Tarzan call Dad, can you do it again? It never occurred to me that Dad could actually be mortal.You see, he was always there to catch us when we needed him. There was a time when we were visiting our Dad’s Mom, our Grandma, where she worked at the jewelry counter right next to an escalator at JC Penney in Woodland Mall. Being kids, we were playing around while our Mom and Dad tried to visit. My brother, Rich had other ideas for fun. There was a store display with a fan suspending a beach ball about 20 feet up in the air. Rich, who was about five at the time, wanted that ball, so he grabbed on to the handrail of the escalator—from the outside. All of a sudden, Mindy, Brenda and I all jumped because we heard my Mom shriek, “Diiiiiiiick!” While we were growing up, my Dad heard that call…… at least a couple of different times…..so he responded with his characteristic, “Whaaaat?” My Mom couldn’t speak, she just pointed up as Rich flew up the outside of the escalator. Just before Rich smacked into the wall at the top, Rich reached out for the beach ball, missed, and started plummeting to the floor. My Dad ran, faster than a speeding bullet, and caught Rich before he splattered. Dad WAS always there to catch us…..sometimes literally!Our Dad was always finding treasures in things that other people had overlooked. Some might think that it was because there was not a lot of material wealth around so he had to get creative with the things he could find and repurpose. But those who really know our Dad know that it wasn’t so much going to flea markets and garage sales to find the antiques, the knick knacks, or the old cars that thrilled him. No, it was the thrill of collecting the discarded and seeing value where others didn’t. During his adventures, Dad would take us along, often kicking and screaming, while he visited with new people and along the way developed a vast array of lasting friendships. That was his true talent, and his blessing!Looking around the barns and buildings of our family home, you would think that our Dad simply collected “stuff”. But Dad didn’t just collect material things, his true treasures were the people he found who needed a helping hand, a home, or simply a meal. I was one of the first he rescued. Thank God he fell in love with my Mom while I was a baby, or who knows where I would be today! Our Dad continued to gather those he loved when he welcomed my brother Barry and sisters, Shari and Terri into his home. Dad’s concern didn’t end with family. Whether it was a lost or mishandled puppy, a cat, or a pony…..yes, a pony…. that needed rescuing, or one of our friends down on their luck, everyone was always welcomed at the Peckover home. Even though at times things were tight, through the grace of God, and the kindness of friends and family, we always found a way to take care of each other. Our Dad’s willingness to volunteer to help others was his most valuable currency…..and we learned from him that helping and serving others is his lasting treasure.Although many friends and family members have helped our Mom care for our Dad over the last several years, the daily and weekly demand of caring for him rested heavily on our Mom, and often Mindy, and Brenda. During one of our last visits, my Dad shared with me that he was worried about his girls. He said he appreciated that you cared for him.Just before I had to say goodbye to Dad and head back to work in Texas, I was sitting by his bed while he was sleeping. He woke up and asked me for Jo. Mom, who everyone knows as Mary Jo, was out in the kitchen preparing dinner. I called for her saying, Mom, Dad’s asking for you. My Dad reached out and tapped my arm. Where’s my Jo? I hustled to the kitchen and told Mom Dad was asking for his Jo. Mom rushed to Dad’s side, got down near him, stroked his head, and said caringly, here I am Dick. Dad looked up at her and said. I’m glad you’re here, but I said, “Where’s my JELLO!!!!” We all burst out laughing and my Dad gave us a goofy smile.I can’t help but imagine my Dad arriving in Heaven and having the opportunity to meet Jesus. I can almost hear Jesus saying to Dad, “Dick!……….You’re late!……….We’ve been waiting for you!!! I’m confident that my Dad is now pain free, hanging out with the Dodge Brothers and talking about old cars with them and his Dad, Hotrod Harry– and still looking over us. He would want us all to be happy, taking care of each other, and when we see him again, don’t forget the Jello! Rest in Peace Dad! We love you!