Its funny how you can see yourself in your parents. As I think about the death of my father today I find myself grateful for the role model he was, what I learned and what I am still learning...I can only hope, when my time comes, that my children have as much to share about me.
At an early age I learned that it was okay for boys to cry when their dog was run over, because my dad did too.
I learned that it was good to work with your hands to build a garage, remodel a house or fix something broken by adding a screw or bending some aluminum bar to make it sturdy again.
I learned that it was actually cool to stay in Boy Scouts and get my Eagle Scout Award. He did it before me. I learned to persevere.
I learned that it is good to do unexpected things for your kids when they need help - like when he drove high-schoolers - Sue and me all the way from Moorhead to Williams Arena to see the Spuds play in the State Championships then drove home the same night so Sue and I could ride back on the bus with our friends.
I learned to love music by watching him build our first Hi-Fi record player, and then listened until I fell asleep to The Dukes of Dixieland, the Peer Gynt Suite and Louie Armstrong.
I learned to love the out of doors and the smell of an old tackle box with an extra salted nut roll inside.
I learned to eat spaghetti in Dilworth when I was one year old.
He told me to support bringing pro hockey to downtown St. Paul when I was Council President and generally contrary to anything the Mayor proposed.
He gave me courage to introduce a smoking ban in as I watched him struggle with emphysema.
I learned from my parents that discrimination was wrong, that art was good, that it was expected that we should volunteer.
Finally, today I learned that in death there can be dignity, joy in the friends and family who surround you, and peace when you've completed a good life and taught your final lesson.
Rest in peace Dad.
Ward 2, St. Paul
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Thune family during this difficult time.