Wilfred J Aubut, May 3, 1924 - February 6, 2012
Below is the eulogy read by my husband to honor his dad at his funeral. There were 600 people that attended his wake, the church was packed the following day, followed by a luncheon. There wasn't a dry eye in the house!
"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~
Is it possible that Ralph Waldo Emerson knew my dad?
Lets see why I think he did;
First: To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; Dad was a great listener, soft spoken and respected the opinion of others, whether he agreed or not. To be right all the time had no place in his gentle soul. His children, grand-children and great grand-children adored him. Hugs and kisses in abundance, he was always genuinely interested in what they were doing and loved that they were successful, great kids. As my little Sophia said, “I only had him for 10 years, PaPa, you're so lucky you had him longer, I miss him already.”
Second: To earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends; What is an honest critic? Someone who believes in you and only criticizes to instill growth he was always man enough to understand the difference and offered his opinion only to inspire. Was dad ever betrayed and if he was you never knew. False friends had no place in his life.
Third: To appreciate beauty; My dad loved life! He found beauty in everything, especially food! A breakfast at times could consist of cereal swimming in real cream, followed by several honey dip donuts a few strips of bacon and possibly an egg fried in butter just to top it all off. To watch him eat always a jaw dropping experience! Let’s discuss ice cream here! Always a bowl of many different varieties to be enjoyed. There was no loyalty to any one brand. What a way to end everyday! Life is just a bowl of ice cream!
You always knew where to find him at a family barbecue, he loved to stand by the grill, while son-in-law Michael prepared the food. Actually it made no difference whose grill it was!
He loved to travel and was always ready for a new adventure. He so appreciated his trips to Europe with Rick and Jo-Ann and Helene and Mark. He loved his home in Florida, his friends, the Men’s Coral, karaoke his computer, gadgets, the sunshine and most of all a great bargain, free was his favorite word. Most anything made dad happy especially his family. Dad was a husband, father, grand-father, great-grand-father, brother and your best friend. He had a way of making you feel special, and always had wise words no matter your situation.
Fourth: To find the best in others; A-l-w-a-y-s! He married the love of his life and together they were a dynamic team of happiness!
They lived best by setting Good Christian example! Such a sweet man, are the words I have have heard the most to describe my dad! I never heard him curse or use foul language! He believed in people and all of which they were capable. He was a man of God! A devout Catholic he said two rosaries daily at 5:00AM, one in English and one in French while listening to Catholic radio. He prayed to his mother asking that she protect his family and friends. A selfish bone he never possessed.
Fifth: To leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; Dad and mom raised four successful, good and productive human beings. Married sixty five years themselves three of their children have been married thirty years plus and myself over forty to my wife Rose. His eldest grand-daughter twenty years this year. Quite a feat in this day and age. Once again they lived by example. Has life always been perfect, no, but each situation was always met with dignity and grace. Learn from your mistakes he would always say and move forward.
I asked my brother and sisters what they learned most from dad or how best he had influenced their lives: Gloria answered instantly by saying that dad told her that God never intended for any of us to be unhappy, you have a choice to be happy or not. Helene remembers not wanting to go to school as a young teen, dad told her that the next 24 hours are yours to do as you please angel.
The only day that is not a good day is the day you don’t get out of bed. Baby Jesus gave you these 24 hours and you will never get them back.
My self as a young married man I was struggling to make ends meet. “Dad can you get me on the railroad I asked, “I’ve been waiting for you,” he said! He put me in the best department securing a steady income to support my family well, an early retirement and a great pension thus living my dream in Florida.
My brother Rick said, “well, dad and I talked the stock market,” Dad would say take no prisoners! My wonderful and successful baby brother!
It would take volumes to describe the admiration he had for mom. She was his partner and best friend, her devotion to him like no other. To the very end she stood by his side hearing his last breath. What a blessing! Mom kept him on track to take his medications seeing that he had a healthy diet at least when she was around. Dad was known to sneak in a few goodies from time to time. Mom gave one hundred and ten percent every day of their married lives. We love you mom! You are his angel!
Sixth: To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded;
He kept our country safe during the war and received a Purple Heart. An experience he barely spoke of. He was offered a promotion and refused it so that he could come home to his beloved and his family.
We have all breathed easier because of you dad it was my honor to have called you dad you were my father my hero and my friend. The true measure of a man your success will live on in each and everyone of us! A standard you have set high!
Are we not each and everyone our own temple before the alter of God to live and walk the word of the Lord? You did that dad and of you we are so proud!
The world has lost an angel and heaven has gained a saint!