Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dad's Funeral Recap

I am so proud of my family! The funeral for dad was one that was so beautiful, and so filled with love and laughter. My dad would have been so very happy with it.


  • Fr. Kevin McDonough presided over a beautiful service, and gave a remembrance of dad that made us all so proud. Fr. Kevin is such an incredible man, and we were so blessed that he did us this honor.
  • My brother did the readings, and the whole time all I kept thinking of was how professional he was - his reading was graceful, dignified, and heartfelt. It is easy to go through the motions in that role, but the last thing my brother ever does is go through the motions. I admire and respect Kevin so much.
  • My brother-in-law Artie wrote and delivered some incredibly beautiful and personal intentions. Like my brother, his delivery was impeccable, and his messages ones that dad would have loved. Moment of the funeral - Artie speaks about sharing times with friends and loved ones over a good steak and glass of whiskey, and Fr. Kevin utters an impromptu "Amen!" in the middle. Artie has been such a huge help to my mom, and also my family. His humor, kindness, and love are a blessing to my family, and I cannot thank him enough for all he does.
  • My sister and my wife brought up the gifts, and you could not find two more beautiful women to conduct those honors. Their outer beauty is only surpassed by who they are inside, and that came out time and again in this process. Their support for mom has been tremendous, and mom would have struggled without their loving contributions.
  • The music at the service was gorgeous, and the Tenor's rendition of "The Unclouded Day" had lumps in throats throughout the church.

After the service, many folks joined us at Jake O'Connor's for an Irish wake in honor of my dad. The place was absolutely packed, and drinks and stories of my dad flowed easily. Here are some photos:

A sample of the crowd after it had thinned out later in the evening- cousins at right and my brother in the middle of the photo

My loving aunt and cousins

Dear friends Margaret and Jonathan, with my wife

Me and my cuz.

A shot of whiskey was kept on top of the bar in honor of my dad. As my brother and I closed the place down, I had it with one final toast to him.

Buddies from high school, and my cousin who came all the way up from Louisiana. It is safe to say, that given the guys in this photo and our proximity to the bar, the BS meter was likely in the red.

The day after we lay dad to rest at a beautiful new mausoleum in Excelsior at a beautiful private service.

Overall, this has been a hard process filled with a lot of emotion and a lot of work, but it has also been one of laughter and celebration, just as my dad would have wanted it. And at the end of the day, that's what makes me proud. This beautiful family of gifted individuals closed ranks, rolled up their sleeves, and executed a celebration for my dad that he would have loved. It was so wonderful to see how it came off.

And through it all stood my mom - a beacon of love, strength, courage, dignity, and beauty. Words cannot express my admiration and love for this incredible woman. She's given her family yet another example of how we should express our love and our loss. Despite my middle age, she still teaches me so much. My love and respect for her is immeasurable.

Sincere thanks for all who prayed for us and supported us. This process has showed us how much we are loved, and we are indebted to return that love to all of you. God bless and keep you all.


  1. Mike, Just wanted to say how glad I was able to be there for the funeral and the party after, I don't drink very much as I have a towing company and on call 24 hours with local police depts. But I tried my best to do my part to send your dad/my uncle off with a great party. There was talk of trying to get all the family members togeather next year for a family reunion under a happier times. I hope it does happen, and I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to spend more time with you. Our prayers are with your mom and the rest of your family, hope to see you soon, Your cousin, Jim Jr.

  2. Mikey, it was great. Not only a chance to honor your dad, but also an opportunity to renew old acquantances. Thanks, Jim Tuller

  3. Thanks to both of you Jims. My family and I really appreciated so much you being there.

    Hope to see you both soon.


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