Hey there folks!
I was looking through some things the other day and I came across something that I though I had lost, the eulogy I wrote for my Dad’s funeral. I had always intended to do something nice with these words for display in tandem with the flag he received for being a veteran. Obviously I was very happy to find them and I have decided to share them here partially so I have the words saved in multiple places and partially because this is just what I do.
Whether you knew him as a father, a husband, an uncle, or just opa, Stephen Marteny many things to many different people. He was a baseball coach, a soldier, a co worker, and a friend but above all else he was a great man. I say this because he possessed the one trait that all great men must possess and that was the humility to not even realize it. My father was a man who never hesitated to put the needs of those he loved before his own, and I know that he would send his deepest thanks to all of you for supporting my mother, my brother, and myself in our time of loss. He may not have found the words to express it but that is because he was a man of action. Whenever you needed anything all you had to do was turn around and he would be right there behind you to help in anyway that he could.
His love and compassion for those around him knew no bounds, and his strength and patience was limitless when those he loved were in need. My father was a man of strong passion, conviction, and also great courage. He also knew the importance of not taking himself too seriously and was always there to disarm you with a smile and a joke. I remember him proudly wearing his hat that proclaimed “Why Be Normal”. He would also never hesitate to show everyone he knew his membership card to the official bullshitters club. In fact, I remember on time coming inside from playing because I had hurt my arm. Dad looked me dead in the eye and acted like he was going to stomp on my foot. I jumped back and yelled, “hey what did you go and do that for?”. He just smiled and looked back at me, “I bet you forgot all about your arm now didn’t you?”.
That was just the kind of man that Dad was. One saying of his that I will never forget is the rule of mind over matter, because if you don’t mind it don’t matter. He taught me what it meant to be a man and for that I will be forever thankful.
But on this day of remembrance, let us not mourn the loss of my father, but instead celebrate the life he led. I ask all of you that knew him to remember the good times you had with him and carry that with you. Remember the man that he was and that is the greatest honor you can ever pay him.
In parting I want to share a quote from one of my favorite American poets, Walt Whitman.
“I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun,
I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.
I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your boot soles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be of good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.”