Family members relate their stories
The transcription consists of various people sharing their memories and thoughts about their father or uncle, Don. They talk about how he made them feel special, his love for his family, his talents, his sense of humor, and his strong faith. They express gratitude for the impact he had on their lives and the importance of living a life that would make him proud. I've got some thoughts and some memories that people have of Dad. And what we'll do is we'll read what some of them have said. We maybe ought to have Donna read hers. Who forgot to bring the tape recorder? Nobody. Wonderful. She comes to your park a lot. I'm trying to live up to her. Let's give her the copy. My most precious memories of Dad was when I was nine and ten and we lived in Toronto, California. My dad belonged to the rock hound club and we, Dad would take me with him. We'd go on hunts with the club for semi-precious stones or rocks. Then we would find these. We would show and share with everyone. Then we would bring our finds home, cut them and polish them. Oh, what fun we had. Oh, what fun we would have together. My dad gave me a love for this earth and its rare beauties. But more than that, I grew closer to my father and shared one of his love. I love and appreciate him so much. And I thank my father in heaven that I was privileged to be born into this wonderful family. Colleen Lancaster Kidd. There is not one particular memory that I want to share, but a general feeling about my Uncle Don, no matter how many nieces and nephews there were. He always made me feel like I was his special one. He told me often how he used to hold me and love me when I was a sickly little baby and that we were bonded in a special way. No matter if they were true or not, that's how he made me feel. I can't wait to see him again and feel like he's my Uncle Don. Next is from Diane May Kidd. The thing I remember most about Uncle Don was how glad he always seemed to be when he came to visit. Even though there were ten of us at times, he was always kind to me. I always enjoyed hearing him tell about the time he and Dad spent together. Next is from Gloria Kidd. When I visited Uncle Don and knelt, Uncle Don didn't always sit and visit. Often he was busy with some project in his shop and sort of visited on his passes through the room as he was in and out of the shop. I always felt welcome in their home. However, there was always a warm feeling there that could only come from the spirit brought there by Uncle Don and Aunt Nelda. From Amy McPherson. Grandpa McPherson has always been my favorite grandpa. He always wanted to play with his grandchildren and he had a great sense of humor. I remember when he was in the hospital with cancer, he was always upbeat. He didn't even look like he was sick. When he died, I expected him to jump out of the casket saying, Hey, I fooled you. But when he didn't and he was buried, I was in shock realizing he was really dead. I didn't get over it for three years. Last Memorial Day, I wrote a poem for him called Beyond the Grave. If you want it, contact me. Next is from Jane McPherson. Dad was very special to me. Maybe, Jane, we ought to have you read this. Dad was very special to me and he made me feel special to him. He would put me on his arm. He would put his arm around me and let me cry on his shoulder. He made me feel loved. Jack McPherson, a man of many talents. Dad could repair, rebuild, make anything. His heart was made of gold and never would do anything of dishonorable nature. He taught by love and kindness. I remember when I had done something wrong, I wanted him to whip me to no end, seeing how bad I felt and knowing how disappointed he was. Rather than beating me, he put his arms around me and helped me. We cried together. I love him. I miss him. From Terry Kidd. I think the thing I remember most about Uncle Don was his quiet way. Yet when it was also required, I remember his power. I also remember singing with him in a barbershop quartet, or rather chorus, across from the old Logan House at Logan High. I also remember him and an engineer struggling to learn the new math. He handled with humility and humor. He was a great man and a great example. This is from Adam. Is that real? Yes. It would be nice to have you on. Really appreciate it. Hello, I'm Terry. My big thought tonight is to try to put it all together. Many times I see his face. Many times I hear his voice. Yet I do not remember it. He's become part of my life in everything that I do. I remember the way that he worked and the way that he touched my heart. Although I don't know if he's still around, he's still with me every day, everywhere I go. He brings peace to me. I know my grandpa. He would be a proud father, and that he is. I, Adam McPherson, share his heart. When I think of Uncle Don, I see him scooping me into his arms, asking, How are you doing, honey? I sure love you. And giving me a soft, prickly kiss. What was his mustache? I remember him rescuing me from the rat in the stairwell, tossing the cat in to kill the rat. The cat jumped right back out. And eventually smashing it with a broom handle. He was my hero. I remember him showing me his model ships on the mantel and telling me about them. I remember riding up Logan Canyon in his things like pink Cadillac with the air conditioner that we had to fill with ice cubes. I got to sit in the center front, and I remember that we got hive-centered and had to have some help getting out of that predicament. He and Aunt Nelda took me to Steve's Dairy Bar, where I had my first footlong hot dog, and I spent hours and hours, days in their home. He showed me the pantry in his shop and talked to me about building a bomb shelter. I remember riding across the winter desert at night with Debbie and Uncle Don and Aunt Nelda, eating crackers and the canned cheese that you squeeze onto in the dark, curling under a blanket with Deb in the shell as the truck as it traveled towards Roswell and scraping frosty ice off the window. He was always gentle and quiet, strong and comforting, and always, always loving. He left a part of himself to be a part of my heart forever. I sure love him. On the way up, some of my kids were talking about the memories that they had, and if they want to share them, I think Jenny had one. So, good stuff. Take care. Good job. It's hard to think of specific things that are specific memories of Grandpa, but I do remember one time when he took us off fishing. All the grandkids, or as many as were there, I think it was up in Provo somewhere, and he'd hook up each, you know, just a little stick and a little line and he'd tell us where, you know, this hole, this is, you gotta watch, and he showed us what to look for and how to do it, because I don't remember doing it before. And he'd hook up cheese on the little line for us and take care of all the ones we caught because they were so gross after we brought it up that we couldn't do it. But, um... He always came across as a very strong and silent type. I don't remember him ever raising his voice. He never said it to anybody. I remember going down and talking with him as he was finishing the kitchen or whatever. He was always working. And I remember the rocks he showed us all the time, and every time I saw Grandpa's ceiling, his little sparkly rocks, I'd always think of him. Um... He had a very strong testimony. I remember going to see him at the hospital before he died. But I didn't recognize him until we went in and talked with him. Um... I sit and wonder, um... Is that the thing that I do in life? And I wonder if he's up there just watching me and just keeping an eye on me and making sure I'm okay. I wonder how I'm living my life, and if it keeps you proud of me, don't blame it on me. Is that the kind of example that I want to be to people? I'm not putting my passion on the other side, but I hope I can. Chad, I think you're next. Okay. What? I don't remember much. But... I do remember all the stories that he'd tell. And... I remember... I remember... Being up at... At Grandma Grappa's house. When... When him and a bunch of his buddies had come home in their little truck that they had. And before I thought, you know, I didn't really ask what it was for, but I just remember driving home all the time and always being happy. And... I remember... I remember... Just sitting on his lap and holding him. And just being with him. He was always fun to be around. And... I remember... Not really understanding... When he was sick. What actually was happening. But I always thought that he'd be all right. And... And I always thought that... He'd always be there and that... He'd get better. But it kind of... Hit me really hard. When... When he died. I didn't get to say goodbye or... Or I didn't... Remember saying anything really nice or anything like that. But... The few memories that I've had with him, I'll always remember. And... And I'll be able to... Do things again... When we all come together. And... And that's something that I really look forward to. Mike... Mike... You know... I'm sitting here and I'm listening to things that... Have touched our hearts. But we're missing some things. As I was sitting, listening, I thought... There was a side of Dad that was so subtle... And so... Precious to us all. That... Even when we thought we were in trouble... He caught us off guard with something that brought us to laugh, too. I remember... That day... When he passed away. And... You know, Dad brought us up to be serious about the gospel. He brought us up to... To know our testimonies. And to live them. That was the honorable part of Dad. That is the honorable part of Dad. I think the one thing that... I look back on now and I think... Of how embarrassed I felt... That it was Dad's way of saying... You don't give up. Even when it's all over and done with, you don't give up. We started singing a song. And Dad said... Knock it off, I'm not dead yet. He loved that song. He just didn't want to hear it. He was in and out a lot... During that time. And the one thing that he said to me I thought... Was going to... Rip me apart. Because I didn't know how to take it. But I understand now why... He said it. He said... Just get something done and stick to it. Stick to it. I think Dad knew me better than anybody else. Because he knew that if he... Made me feel... Like he was somewhat disappointed... That I would work all that much harder... To show him that I could do it. I grew up in a time where... It was hard to get through school because of my dyslexia. And even though Dad and I... We couldn't seem to match... As far as our... Interests were... He seemed to know how to make me go. This was a very... Special father. There are three things that he loved more than anything in the world. The gospel... His family... And his country. There is no greater... Example than those things that he left as a... A heritage for us. We need to be grateful for what he's given us. And we need to... Become the example that he was. When things would go bad... Or somebody would do him wrong... Things that he would say and I'll never forget... I don't need to put myself on their level. I need to let it go. I'm proud to be his son. And I'm proud for the opportunity that I've had to grow under his tutelage. He's what you call a silent giant. And everything that he did and everything that he said... Had a purpose and a meaning. And it gave us... A good path forward. And it gave us... A good path to follow. I'm thankful for a father in heaven who... Allowed me to grow. With a mother and father who loved the gospel. And a father who held the... Teachings of the Savior up. This should be more of a... Time of gratitude. The greatest blessing that we can give dad right now is... Our thanks. And just try to live the way he would want us to live. I think that's what he would say. And I think that... He would not want us to be sad at his passing. He would want us to be sad... If we're not doing everything that we can... To live the way that he would want us to live. So... When we go home... And we think back on this... I think the one thing that we should remember... Is what he would want us to remember. And that is give everything that you've got... To following the teachings of Jesus. And then be the example. Be the exception to the example. I really am grateful for my dad. And the family that he has given us. Dad... Kurt... It's like asking me to read the encyclopedia. Dad was... I mean, I was his shadow. I just don't remember... You know, you bring up a memory... It's so hard to bring up one without a million clogging my brain. I just... I know when he was gone... It was like I lost half my brain. Because every time I was doing something... It was always... Dad... Okay, now what about this? How about that? I need to know this. Okay, great. Well, what about this? And... You name it. How does a gyro work? How come the space shuttle's got that many pounds per square inch on its thrust? He knew it. He knew it all. He was just a total walking computer for me. And I feel so fortunate that I... I was under his... His wing. To be able to go through all of the things that I could pull from him. And when he left... He left me with maybe 5% of what he knew. That was a rip-off. I wasn't done yet. When you've got an Einstein there... And you're trying to be an Einstein... It's nice to find out what E equals MC squared is before he dies. That's what I learned a lot from. It was just wonderful being with him. All the time. I was in the car. He's driving. I have my lap on... Or my head on his lap. In his sleep. Just remember his soft touch all the time. Up in the mountains. Chopping wood. Hoping we get to go down to the girls' camp soon. Oh, it's quite the interesting sand on the beach. Really? I didn't know it could turn to glass. How does that work? It has to be hit with a million volts of lightning and then you have this big glob of glass? You saw it. In New Guinea. Huh. When he calls me up one day and he says, Kurt... He's in tears. You gotta come home. I said, what's wrong? He said, it's terrible. What's terrible? He says, come home. Well, tell me. He says, the cat just died. I was sitting there on the couch. And the poor kitty looked at me. And just rolled over his head. See... I guess it kind of hit him hard right then because he and that cat became buddies and he had cancer and the cat had cancer. So it was kind of like, hey, there goes the cat. Guess who's next? So he told me about the cat and how he felt. Then he told me about Brother Tuttle and... How his passing away was just kind of... He wasn't ready to go. He really loved life. He loved us all so much. You know, I never felt closer to the Savior than when I was with Dad. One day he called us all and me, Doug and Brad. He wanted to see us in his room. I thought, oh, what have I done? What have we all done? Something must have gone wrong. He's calling us all in at the same time. This has got to be... And then he said, you know, I just want you all to know how precious you are to me. And he put his arms around all three of us. And I never felt such a close bonding then that I ever have. Between all three of us. Just... No. What a wet sight we all were. Well, I could go on for hours and hours and hours. I could write a book on him because I was there most of the time. So, there's not enough room on a tape or not enough light in the day to keep going. But he gave to me what I am. And I'm glad I've got a part of it. He just kept giving and giving. He wouldn't even stop after he died. I had this dream that I just had to go get some bullets for my gun and get prepared for the last days. So, I'm walking down the street and his truck pulls up and I look over and it's my dad and he's already gone, but here he is. And he says, get in the truck. I said, Dad, what are you doing here? He gave me a big hug. And he says, you've got to come with me. And he drove me around the corner. And he says, let's get out and go in here. And we went in and he says, don't worry about the bullets. Get your food and your water. Do it now. You don't know how important it is. So, I started loading the truck and I turned around and he was gone. He was kind of always there to give you advice. Because before he died, whatever you do, don't marry Wendy. Good dad. Thanks. Good dad. Thanks. I got rid of her anyway. Well, I love him and I'm glad he was here to guide me through this life. Show me how to fish even though I hated fishing. Make my car the fastest one even though it never won. All those kinds of fun things. Maybe I'll sit down someday and tell a long story. Anyway, I really love my dad. And I feel his presence quite often. This is going to... Sometimes we don't think that we make a difference as a single person. But because he has faith in every footstep and joined the church, there are 34 and a half that are in the church because of him, mom. I too have often felt his presence. Then I have this thing going where there's a certain song that comes on and I know that something's wrong and I'll call and check up on mom. And one time in particular was a very precious time because we had to overlook something. And the song came on and Jenny was sitting in the chair and I was in tears and she was in tears. I said, what's the matter? She didn't know about the song. I've just been thinking about Grandpa so much. I said, me too. And I thought I've got to call mom. I've got to go see if she's okay because that was her signal. I said he wanted me to check up on her and I couldn't decide. And I went outside and I was working in the garden when the phone rings. And I walked in and it was mom. I said, mom, I've been... you've been on my mind so much and I was just going to call you. I said, there's a reason. I feel like dad wanted me to check up on you and she was very touched because it was her anniversary. And so I know that even though we are so far apart, we are so close, and the mail is still there. And he does love each one of us and he wants us to live right. He wants us to live so that we can return it to the presence of our father in heaven and be a united family. And I am so grateful that he had faith in everything that he did. The one thing that stands out in my mind very much was one time that he wanted to go out and shoot arrows with Mildred Cruz. And so he said, hey, I'll come and join you. And Bethany said, okay. And he went in, got his bow and arrow, and came out and Mildred had gone inside and it hurt me so bad. And I was so upset. I was just furious. I'm gonna go tell him how bad he is. And dad said, let it go. It's not important. And I have used that throughout my life. What is important? Stop. Take a look at the whole picture and let it go. I am so grateful for parents that love the gospel and love our Father in heaven and have brought us up the way they have. And we'd like to honor him tonight with this plaque with faith in every step, he being the first one in his family to join the church. I'm truly honored. Thank you. My love is for you. My love is for you. I thank you. I thank you. I thank you. I thank you. I thank you. 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