My Dad, My Hero.

Originally posted on June 21, 2009.

My grandfather, Clarence Dugan, passed away on June 16, 2009 in California at 6:16am PST. He had suffered from a stroke a couple weeks ago, and was in hospice care receiving pain management until he passed away. He was a good man who lived a full life.

My dad has spent his time on Father’s Day that year preparing to bury his own father. It made me think of the day when I will have to attend my own father’s funeral, and I can’t help but think how wonderfully blessed I am to have Bruce W. Dugan as my father.

July 2013. Game night. Gotta talk to him about his
drinking habit…that big cup on the right.
I always thought of my dad as a great man, my hero. He could do math with lightening speed, and his hands were always a blur when he shuffled a deck of cards to play Solitaire. My father worked hard to provide for my brother and I.

Although a quiet, awkward, and simple man, there have been some surprising lessons I drew from my dad about the importance of having character as a man. Some of those lessons include the following:

1. Sacrificial love

When my parents divorced, my dad refused to speak poorly about my mom. In a time when many men will vilify their ex-wives, he praised her. He was always willing to help her if she ever needed it. I once asked him how he was able to keep a positive attitude towards my mom, he simply said it was because he loved his boys and could never hate the mother of his boys.

My dad once gave me the last $25 in his pocket so that I could sign up for high school football. He then worked a job that weekend for my grandfather’s business so our family could have the groceries that money was supposed to buy. He said he’d gladly do it again if it would keep me off the streets and active in school. (I talk about this in Episode 17 of Family Time Q&A.)

My dad was an example of Jesus’s sacrificial love before I ever really knew Jesus! When I think of Jesus on the cross, I think of my dad giving me everything he’s got to see me live.

2. Work ethic
He works hard. He works when he is tired. He works his best when everyone else is quitting, cheating, and cutting corners. My dad never finishes a job that he can’t put his name to.

3. Respect for others
The most powerful talk he had with me was right before I started high school about sex and respect towards women. He gave me the talk from a respect point of view. His point was simple, people will respect you more if you are the kind of guy who is respectful, loyal and does not sleep around with a lot of girls. “Don’t be one of ‘those guys’ who shames a girl by telling all your friends in school that you slept with her,” he said. I don’t have to prove anything to anybody.

4. Loyalty
He was always there for us. He was always true to my mom. He wasn’t the kind of guy who jumped from job-to-job. I can only imagine the pain he went through while raising us the best he could. He hardly ever showed it.

5. Genuine character
My dad never knew how to put on a face if he tried. He is a genuinely caring, open-minded, giving person. The real deal.

My dad is my hero. He has shaped my character, provided for me in tough times, and loves my family with the pride of a father. I thank God for my dad!

What are some memorable moments and lessons you have from your dad? Comment below.

2 thoughts on “My Dad, My Hero.

  1. Your Dad & my Dad would have a lot in common, I think, Jerry. I’m blessed to have had one of those Fathers too. A true example of the Lord’s love for us…
    This was a wonderful tribute to your Dad. I wish I’d written it!
    My condolences on the loss of your Grandpa, who also must have been a good man, as he taught your Dad the very things your Dad bestowed upon you.
    Blessings on this Father’s Day.


Leave a Comment