I didn’t know him first or last, and I didn’t know him best.
But I watched the life he lived, and I must say…I was impressed.
I mostly watched from a short distance, sometimes from close by,
And I saw with my own eyes the legacy he left behind.
He wasn’t well-versed or well-read.
He wasn’t a great orator, not well-traveled or well-bred.
There were no fancy titles at the end of his name.
There will be no great public records of his fame.
Some say there is no legacy of mention in Tommy’s name,
But I must object to such a swift dismissal.
He was a caring son. A faithful husband. A loving father.
A proud grandfather. And a generous friend.
His work ethic was strong, and he frequently
Worked his hands to the bone to provide for his family.
His giving nature and great compassion led him to reach beyond his own,
Extending to the church and to all he met.
He knew more than his fair share of grief and difficulty,
Yet he effortlessly lightened the hearts of others with a corny joke and a grin.
The first to admit his own faulty humanity, he was slow to take credit
For the good he accomplished, and quick to praise others.
Those are the blocks with which Tommy built his life.
A life that, now finished, stands as a humbling memorial
Of what is truly valuable in life.
Very few in this room can say they were not blessed by him in some way.
And I am proud…
That I am the girl his son married, his grandchildren’s mother.
And I am thankful that they had no other, for their “Papa Tommy.”
You see, his legacy lies not in the places he went,
Great speeches he made, or the books he read.
His legacy lies in the home he made, the lives he touched,
The faith he held, and the love he gave.
His life cannot be defined by a simple list of academic or professional conquests.
Tommy’s life was steeped with what really counts in life and death,
The things valued not by man, but by God.
So when I tell Ahava and Isaac about their grandfather,
I have a deep well from which to draw.
And they’ll be taught to work hard,
To be honest and humble, to love God.
Taught to care and share, to laugh and love,
Just as Tommy taught Doug.
They will be Tommy’s legacy,
and I thank God that I get to be a part of that.