Last week, I had the high honor and privilege of being asked to deliver a eulogy for a man that represents the essence of leadership. That man was my father-in-law George C. Dicus. George was a giant of a man who was recognized as a Leader’s Leader by those he came across thoughout a remarkable life. His is truly a life and legacy to be celebrated, and forever will be. I am honored to share my comments from the service…Richard
If anyone ever felt more unworthy to be anyplace at any time than I do to be standing here today, I cannot imagine who it would be. Of all of the children, children-in-law, grandchildren, nieces and nephews that George had, I have been around the shortest length of time, having married into his wonderful family just over two years ago.
But even though I have been in the family for just a couple of years, I have been around George for about 25 years. You see, we went to church together at South Highland Baptist Church in Little Rock back then. Among the people at South Highland were George and Linda Dicus.I didn’t really know them, and they didn’t know me, but I certainly knew of them. Everybody did. They were known as good people…solid Christians…leaders in the church…part of its backbone. And it wasn’t because of what they said. It was because of how they lived.
Eventually, I left South Highland when I moved to Bryant and joined a church here. And lo and behold who walks across the church one morning but George and Linda Dicus. For some reason, I clearly recall seeing them that morning.
George was one of those people you notice. Maybe it was that thick gray hair of his. Gray hair on a man, so people reassuringly tell me more and more, looks so distinguished. It sure did on him!
And I recalled that they drove a maroon colored Lincoln Continental with a one of those specially-made license plates. George surprised Linda with it on her birthday years ago: “L J D”…Linda Jean Dicus. And she still has that license plate…and I suspect she always will.
George and Linda became active members of First Southern, but again our paths didn’t really cross. But people there, too, just knew that these were good people…who loved people…and were people of extraordinary faith, integrity and service.
Fast forward several years to Geyer Springs First Baptist Church. Here I am sitting in my spot in the balcony and I look over and who do I see…George and Linda Dicus across the way. Now I have to say that I also noticed a special someone else sitting with them, but we’ll leave that for another day. I will just say that she is the reason I have the blessing to be part of George’s family.
By this time, I have come across these special people three different times in three different churches. I’m not sure who was following who! But at each church…from the smallest to the largest…what everyone knew about George and Linda Dicus was the same: that they’re good people. People of substance…significance…and service. No one had to be told that. It was obvious. Their lives spoke for them.
Something else I noticed: In every place it wasn’t George Dicus…or Linda Dicus. It was always “George and Linda”…”George and Linda.” When you heard one name, you heard the other. “George and Linda.” They’re one. And they have been one when it comes to commitment to each other, their family, their family and community.
Faith, family and friends were always most important to George and Linda. That has been made even more clear over the last several months…the past few days…here last night…and by your presence, love and support today.
And that’s the way it should be. This family…George’s family…is the model for what a family should be.
In fact, the word “model” is fitting for George Dicus.
He is the model of what a husband should be.
He is the model of what a father should be.
He is the model of what a son – and son-in-law for that matter – should be.
He is the model of what a brother should be.
He is the model of what a Pappy should be.
He is the model of what an uncle should be.
He is the model of what a friend should be.
He is the model of what a neighbor should be.
And he is a model of what a Christian should be.
These are the things that matter the most. And they are the things that mattered most to George throughout his life here on earth.
While George…Dad…Pappy…is gone from us for today, he is forever with us…in the lives of those he loved…in the lives he will always influence…and in his commitment to the Savior he served.
Let me say a word to the grandchildren. You will forever have the blessing when facing a difficult decision about most anything to be able to ask yourselves “What would Pappy do?” In that sense, he will always be with you and you with him.
This is the legacy George Dicus leaves to all of us. Since George was an accomplished athlete, I think it is fitting in George’s case, to borrow from the motto of one of the most respected, successful franchises in all of sports over the course of his life to speak to his legacy.
It is a motto that is directly over the door of the locker room from where the players enter the field of play. As they leave the locker
room, each player reaches up and touches the motto as they pass under the door. The players regard the motto as being words spoken to them by their predecessors on this legendary team. And it’s almost as though George is speaking
to us today. Those words are
To you from failing hands we pass the torch. Be it yours to forever hold high.
So maybe today, as you pay your final respects, you can pass by George one final time and touch his casket and, like the players, acknowledge, accept and advance the responsibility to maintain the legacy he leaves.
That legacy is that he fought the good fight…he has finished the race…he has kept the faith.
George is hearing us say these words about him and I am sure he is more than just a little bit embarrassed by them.
But he is also hearing the words we all long to hear one day…and the words that matter most…from The One who matters most…
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