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My Dad-My Hero

Updated on September 9, 2014

Lessons I Learned From My Father

There is so much in life that I have learned from my Dad. He was in many ways a very simple man, but yet he had strong values that he passed down by example to his children.

Dad has been gone for nine years now, and I really miss him.

As I prepared for writing this lens I could really see how he taught, not by lecturing or preaching (although he did some of that too), but by his example.

The lessons learned from my Dad will live on with me as long as I live and I hope that I will pass them on to my children and grandchildren.

photos from my personal files

Growing up on the Farm

My Dad grew up on a farm in Port Hudson Missouri. When he was 9 years old his father passed away and after a short time his mother decided she needed to move to town with her four children. They moved to Washington Missouri where my Dad attended Immanuel Lutheran School until he finished the 8th grade. After that he went to work to help support the family. His first job was at Stumpeys Auto Repair shop.

The photo here shows my Dad and his three siblings. His older brother Melvin and two younger sisters Alice and Mildred.

Love and Loyalty in Marriage

Marriage was important to my Dad

my Mom was his best friend

Mom and Dad were best friends in life and love. They married at age 19 and were married nearly 60 years when Dad died.

They survived a lot of struggles through life but they always did it together. Dad was always the healthy one and he helped Mom through her struggles with polio and deafness. His loyalty to her was evident.

They worked hard together through life, sharing all of the good times and bad. They loved to reward their hard work with vacations. First with the family and later, when we were all grown with each other.

Even when they argued, and they did do that, it was clear that they loved each other.

The Love of Family

Children and Grandchildren were important to Dad - Four Children-Nine Grandchildren

This is a photo of Dad and Mom with their four children. The photo was taken at the farm on their 50th wedding anniversary.

Mom and Dad and their nine Grandchildren

Photo taken at 50th Wedding Anniversary party at Grandpa Ervs Christmas Tree Farm.

Pride in Country

A Proud Navy Man

World War II Veteran

Dad was always proud of the time he served in the military. He was one of those brave young men who served his country in World War II. When the war broke out he was anxious to serve. At age 17, with his mother's permission, he signed up to join the navy.

Dad was in on the end of WWII and spent much of his time in the Pacific. He also was able to go to Europe with the Navy immediately after the war. He kept a journal and I have read about his stops in Venice and Rome, Italy.

He loved to talk about those years with his children and grandchildren.

Read more about the Navy in World War II - a favorite subject of my Dad's

My Dad loved to talk about World War II history. He could sit and talk for hours with his children and grandchildren telling them about the war and the ships on which he served.

Dad wanted to make sure that we all understood the importance of the lessons learned from history. For special occasions one of Dad's favorite gifts would be books about the World War II era.

A Strong Work Ethic

Working Hard was a Way of Life

Mom and Dad started their own business in 1958, a home improvement business and they worked in that business until they passed it on to my brother when they were nearing retirement age. Some might think they would then take it easy, but not Mom and Dad, they retired ?? to a farm and began a christmas tree farm.

They worked to build Grandpa Ervs' Christmas Tree Farm for another 15 years until health issues forced them to move back to the city and closer to family.

As I look back on it the christmas tree farm seems to bring together so many of my fathers' values. The tree farm brought together family to work together each Christmas when children and grandchildren would all gather at the farm each weekend to help customers cut down the trees. Members of Mom and Dad's church were able to work on the farm. They were hired to make wreaths, serve hot chocolate, and trim trees. Since the farm was seasonal, it also gave Mom and Dad free time to enjoy their love of travel.

A Zest for Travel

Travel was my parents' favorite form of relaxation

My parents loved to travel. When we were small every summer we would go on a new adventure. I can remember loading the station wagon with our bags and we would all six head out on vacation. We lived in St.Louis, Missouri, so Florida seemed to be a favorite place to vacation. Dad would always turn the vacation into a learning experience. I was the oldest and I can remember at a young age Dad handing me the map and telling me I needed to learn how to follow the map.

Our vacations covered the continental United States, each year heading out in a new direction. We enjoyed the beaches in Florida, drove in the car up to Pikes Peak, visited the White House in Washington D. C., took a boat on the lake in Wisconsin Dells and enjoyed Branson, Missouri before it was crowded!

Once their children were all out of the house, my parents began to go on tours and cruises. My daughter, their oldest grandchild, was able to go with them on a guided tour of Israel when she was 10. My parents also visited Germany on a tour and then went off on their own to look for the places where their ancestors were born in Germany and Austria.

In later life, cruises became an easier way for my parents to travel. They cruised to Alaska on two occasions, through the Panama Canal, and on their last cruise they went with my husband and me on a cruise to the North Atlantic. In this photo, Dad and I are in Cobh, Ireland.

A Quest for Knowledge

Learning was Important to Dad

My father gained knowledge from everything he did. He was always curious about how things worked and why they worked that way. He did take some classroom courses while in the service and when he was first working as a machinist, but mostly he learned by asking questions and watching people.

Dad read the newspaper from one end to the other, and always watched the evening news. He always asked us questions and wanted to make sure his children knew what was going on in the world.

On vacations he would ask what we were learning, and if we fell asleep in the car he would complain that we were missing important things.

I remember when Mom and Dad started the christmas tree farm they searched for information on the best ways to do business and joined a christmas tree association to learn from others.

Dad was always proud of the educational accomplishments of his children and grandchildren.

A love for God

My father's faith was shown by example

My father was not a man to talk about his religion or belief in God, but rather one to show it by the way he lived.

When Mom and Dad were first married they belonged to different churches. Dad let Mom know how important his religion was to him by attending church each Sunday. Eventually, Mom too joined the church. Dad made sure all of his children went to Sunday School each Sunday and we attended Lutheran schools.

Dad did a lot of work for the church by helping with repairs around the church. He never, however, wanted any recognition for his work and many times went about doing the repairs without anyone's knowledge.

Dad had a strong sense of fairness. In his business he would go out of his way to make sure that he treated each customer fairly. He believed strongly in always doing your best work...even when it cut into your profits.

I believe friends, neighbors, and customers alike would say that my father was someone you could always depend on to help you in time of need.

Kenny Rogers - slow dance more

This song has always reminded me of my father. I hope you enjoy it.

Stop by and Drop me a Line - I'd love to hear from You

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    • asereht1970 profile image


      4 years ago

      Great lens about your Dad. I lost my Dad 7 years ago but I still miss him up to now. Love him so much.

    • writerkath profile image


      4 years ago

      I love my dad so much... I'm very fortunate that he is still with us, even though I don't see or speak to him much. It doesn't seem to matter, because I will always be Daddy's little girl. I mention him a lot in my "music" lenses. Thank you so much for sharing such lovely memories and stories about your own dad. Just wonderful!!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      That is so awesome that you have such great memories of your dad.

    • VioletteRose LM profile image

      VioletteRose LM 

      4 years ago

      What a wonderful tribute to your Dad! Great lens and photographs, thanks for sharing!

    • soniabaad lm profile image

      soniabaad lm 

      4 years ago

      Touched! This is a wonderful tribute to your dad.

      I lost my dad when I was 5 and so there are no much memories I have of him. But, yet there are times when I miss him.

      Thanks for sharing this post..

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      What a great lens about your Dad! It inspires me to write a lens for both of my parents. I have one already for my Dad and his recipes we used for his May 5th birthday. My Dad was similar to your Dad in that he worked always starting when he was 8 and also went into the military for WWII, He did not graduate HS but he did learn and picked up a lot of knowledge along the way the same as your Dad.

    • Vortrek Grafix profile image

      Vortrek Grafix 

      4 years ago

      Honor thy father indeed! Loved the Kenny Rogers song. Nice to see wholesome family values on Squidoo. Thank you

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      This is a beautiful lens, thank you for sharing. My Dad passed away and I miss him so much.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Photos and story of your family life are really nice like it a lot.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      It's so wonderful that you have many photos and know your Dad's history so well. Beautiful tribute.

    • Aladdins Cave profile image

      Aladdins Cave 

      5 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      With tears in my eyes I say, well done.

      Can not add more

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      A beautiful and touching history.

      You have inherited your dad's smile.

    • Old Navy Guy profile image

      Old Navy Guy 

      5 years ago

      An excellent tribute to your Father. Thank you for taking the time to write it all down and share it.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thanks so much for sharing your Dad, your family, in this tribute. Your Dad's love and loyalty is apparent and is obviously worthy of this display of your love for him.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      A fine tribute to a fine man. I'm glad you got a Purple Star for this lens.

    • lesliesinclair profile image


      5 years ago

      Your family is lucky to have you write this lovely documentation of how you dad affected your life and the lives of others in your happy family.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      This is an awesome lens about your Dad. Your feeling, respect and admiration for him are evident in every word. Congratulations on your purple star and LOTD. Both are well-deserved!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      @Lensmaster...This Lens is definitely a Purple Star moment! My World War II veteran Dad had very similar qualities and loved his family and our Mom, as did yours. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      What a wonderful lens about your dad. There are so many people who wish they had a great dad to look up to, it looks like you hit the jackpot! :)

    • pbrandon65 profile image


      5 years ago

      A great and moving read, thank you for sharing this with everyone

    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 

      5 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      What a lovely tribute to your father. I really enjoyed reading it, and seeing your photo's. thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      How fortunate you have been to have had such a father. It was a privilege to read this story of his life.

    • anne mohanraj profile image

      anne mohanraj 

      5 years ago

      A wonderful tribute to your father! A great lens!

    • h4v0c6 profile image


      5 years ago

      I lost my father a couple of years ago at the young age of 60. He truly was a hero to me and I learned so much from him. I wish I could have had more time to learn more! Great lens!

    • coolaunt profile image


      6 years ago

      A beautiful lens and touching. I am a daddy's girl myself.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      A lovely tribute - very heartwarming.

    • amandascloset0 profile image


      6 years ago

      Very nice lens! Very much enjoyed reading it! Beautiful tribute!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      MYy Dad was my Hero. But Unfunately I missed him. I love your lens too much. Thanks.!!!

    • Mamabyrd profile image


      6 years ago

      I really enjoyed reading this lens. Your father sounded like a wonderful man.

    • vinodkpillai lm profile image

      vinodkpillai lm 

      6 years ago

      Wonderful lens that I enjoyed reading. Thanks for sharing.

    • MrMojo01 profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens, I really enjoyed it.

    • barberrela profile image


      6 years ago

      I enjoyed reading about your Dad.

    • Craftypicks profile image

      Lori Green 

      6 years ago from Las Vegas

      Beautiful lens to your dad. I have a good one too.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank you for publishing this tribute to your dad.

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      Beautiful lens-he'd be proud! Well deserving of the purple star!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very nice and beautiful lens, thanks for sharing with us!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It just seems so right to return here to bless this tribute honoring your Dad for the 4th of July as we celebrate the freedom he was dedicated to.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very nice.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 

      6 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Love tributes to Dads... Thanks for sharing! ;-)

    • Teapixie LM profile image

      Tea Pixie 

      6 years ago

      This is magical. You have brought your Dad to life for the rest of us - I really love that you have included the old photos. Thank you for sharing.

    • savateuse profile image


      6 years ago

      Very touching tribute to your father.

    • kristalulabelle profile image


      6 years ago from Wisconsin

      Great lens! Being a self proclaimed Daddy's Girl, I loved it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Special story. Nice lens, thanks

    • piarejuden profile image


      6 years ago

      Such a touching lens.. I guess every girl's first hero is their father.. I can feel the love you have for him through this lens.. you have beautiful parents!! :) God bless!

    • VeseliDan profile image


      6 years ago

      beautiful story! *blessed*

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very touching lens. Reminded me of my own wonderful Dad who was also in the Navy. Blessed!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      This is a lovely tribute to your dad. Thanks for sharing.

    • GlendaStringer profile image


      6 years ago

      I read the lense about your mom first. It seems like you truly had wonderful parents. I enjoyed reading your lenses very much.

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 

      6 years ago

      Very nice len. One of the best :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Your very blessed to have such an awesome father figure. Sadly this generation is missing out on good dads or any dad (Me included). God bless your parents.

    • wheresthekarma profile image


      6 years ago

      What a great tribute to your Dad. I love how he stuck by and helped your mom when she got ill. I am going to share this on my facebook Lyme Disease support group. Everyone needs to know that its possible for someone to stick by someone even through sickness. Bless you and you father <3

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      What a nice tribute to your dad. You are fortunate to have had him as a father. Wouldn't the world be great if all fathers passed on values to their children? All the best.

    • profile image


      6 years ago



    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      6 years ago from Canada

      I love to read the family stories that are written here at Squidoo. Your dad sounds like an amazing person. You are so very lucky to have had him in your world.

    • TripleTK LM profile image

      TripleTK LM 

      6 years ago

      Beautiful tribute. It is such a blessing to have men who are a real example to those around them and leave a positive legacy of love.

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 

      6 years ago

      This story about your father warmed my heart. Reading about his values made me nostalgic for times past when more people held these values dear.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wonderful tribute. Thank you.

    • canoz profile image

      Heather Bradford 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Thank you for sharing such a personal account. The time and love you have poured into this lens is very evident and a testament to the devotion you have to your dad.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Well deserved purple star. A wonderful story of your father. Thanks for sharing it.

    • julescorriere profile image

      Jules Corriere 

      7 years ago from Jonesborough TN

      What a beautiful story and memory. In your very personal glimpse into your life, I found a universal message. Thank you for sharing. Congratulations on your purple star. Well deserved.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      7 years ago from Colorado

      A lovely tribute to a lovely man. I had never heard that Kenny Rogers song. Wonderful... all of this. Congrats on your Purple Star. :-)

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 

      7 years ago

      It's really lovely that you had such a great, loving dad. I enjoyed the Kenny Rogers song.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      A wonderful tribute to your dad. Made me think of my own father. Thanks for sharing this.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What a great tribute to your dad. Though I didn't know him, through this lense, I can tell he was a great man.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      simply beautiful. thank you so much for sharing.

    • DuaneJ profile image


      7 years ago

      This is a wonderful tribute..Excellent!

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image


      7 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Congrats on your Purple Star! What a wonderful dad!

    • blessedmomto7 profile image


      7 years ago

      What a wonderful tribute to your dad.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Really beautiful story and tribute to your Dad. I love the old photos.

    • IlanaMoore LM profile image

      IlanaMoore LM 

      7 years ago

      This was really beautiful, it made me cry. A father is truly a special gift, and you've only helped me to appreciate mine even more. Thank you.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What a beautiful tribute to your Dad.

      ~ Blessed by a Squidoo Angel ~

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image


      7 years ago from McLaughlin

      What a wonderful tribute to your dad and your family. Your love and respect shines through!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What a lovely lens about a wonderful father! I can feel the love in every line. I really enjoyed seeing their wedding photo, followed by their 50th anniversary photos. Wonderful lens! I've been thinking of doing a lens on my Dad for Father's Day, but obviously, I'm not going to get it done by then....

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      very beautiful!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks so much for sharing this - absolutely beautiful.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Being a Dad myself, and looking back on my Dad and his influence on my life, I can't help but LOVE this LENS!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is a Great tribute to a Great Father, and also I love Kenny Rogers, Mame Congratulations to have a awesome men as a father. For my perceptive this one of the best lens an ever read.

    • AbsoluteJeanius1 profile image


      7 years ago

      Beautiful tribute!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Kiss Me, I'm Irish! Lucky Leprechaun Blessings by a Squidoo Angel for Dad

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 

      7 years ago

      An angel blessing for your dad.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 

      7 years ago from Virginia

      Your father has a strong legacy. Keep it alive!

    • Philippians468 profile image


      7 years ago

      thank you for sharing such a heartfelt lens. cheers

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You are very lucky! I didn't grow up with a Dad beside me. He left us for another woman and Mama struglled alone. I have a great Mama though. :-)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What a beautiful tribute to your Dad. My father was in the Navy too. And he and my mother were best friends who loved traveling, with us as kids, and as a couple after we left the nest. What a wonderful gift, parents. My father died suddenly this year, but he will always be with us. Thank you for this lens.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Your dad sounds like he was quite a guy....the kind that silently does the important things in life and makes a difference. It's amazing the things we learn without even realizing we're learning.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      awww...i m sorry but as i kept on reading your lens it made me a bit emotional, long live our parents.thank you much for sharing about your dad, this will make many children realize the value of their dad, i agree with Glenn.

    • Glenn619 profile image


      7 years ago

      Really touchy lens made me realize how important my dad is in my life, i am just twenty one and at times think my dad is really annoying but with your lens am really moved.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Love this tribute to your Dad - came back to bless it.

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 

      7 years ago

      **Blessed** and featured on My Time as a Squid Angel :)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very touching lens.

    • Senora M profile image

      Senora M 

      7 years ago

      This is a great lens! So awesome! I love my dad too! Glad to see that your dad is your hero! He sounds like an awesome man!

      Blessed by a Squid Angel

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 

      7 years ago from New York City

      A sweet, lovely post. It's made me decide to write a lens about my own father.

      He seems like one of the great generation that, through the 1950s, built the America I grew in in the next generation. They were amazing men and women. Thanks for this. It brought back some memories and delivered some inspiration.

    • javr profile image


      7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @javr: I had to return to give your lens a Squid Angel blessing.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great lens, you've shown your love for your father.

    • javr profile image


      8 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      What a great fellow!

    • LouisaDembul profile image


      8 years ago

      What a beautiful lens. well prepared and a fine tribute to a good man!

    • Darla Dixon profile image

      Darla Dixon 

      8 years ago

      Your lens is so very well done. I would LOVE to read the travel letters your dad wrote - maybe make another lens for them and link from here to there?

    • jlshernandez profile image


      8 years ago

      What a loving tribute about your dad. It is so nice to get to know him through your lens. Thank you for sharing such a great lens.

    • ssuthep profile image


      8 years ago

      I really enjoyed reading this lens and learning more about you and your family. My dad is also my hero.

    • KOrazem profile image

      Seeking Pearls 

      8 years ago from Pueblo West

      What a beautiful and loving tribute. It is very apparent that you loved and were loved a great deal by your father. Fabulous Job!


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