The Eulogy

This is the Eulogy I would have read at my Father’s funeral had I not been so heartbroken:

“The word “Hero” is defined: 1. A person of great courage, spirit, etc., especially one who has undergone great danger or difficulty. 2. Any admirable or highly regarded man. In my family the words “hero” and “dad” can be used interchangeably.

John R. Kyler, dad, is also synonymous with the words loving, caring, compassionate, selfless, humble, honest, wise, witty, bright – last but not least – greatly loved. He was an exemplary son, brother, soldier, husband, father, grandfather and friend. He loved his family so much and it showed in his actions and deeds. He loved his country and was always concerned about the state of the world. He was a great kidder, which could sometimes get him into trouble. You could always trust that he was telling the truth even when the truth sometimes hurt. For example, I don’t think it was a good idea to ask “do I look fat in this?” if by chance you may have gained a few pounds and perhaps you did. He could put the fear of God into his daughter’s boyfriends with just a look. He was his children’s and grandchildren’s strongest advocate and their number one fan when attending their soccer, softball, basketball, volleyball games, wrestling matches, band concerts, plays, dance recitals, and graduations. He aided all that needed assistance. He knew so much about so many things. What he didn’t know he learned. He was proficient at shooting clay targets. He taught himself to type and it was not unusual to find him at his computer. He loved watching and feeding the birds. He knew a zillion different routes to get to a certain destination. He was great at doing dishes or whatever mom needed help with around the house. He took wonderful care of her.

My father enriched his family and all who knew him. The world was a better place with him in it. He served his country as a ball turret gunner in the Army Air Corps and his B-17 was shot down during World War II on his fourth mission at the age of 20. He was a prisoner of war for 15 months. It was him and those like him that have made it possible for us to live our lives as we do today. We are a product of the greatest generation ever. He was and will always be our hero – forever loved by his family.

My dad never talked about being a POW. He never felt like he was anyone special. That is what made him so wonderful. Everyone loved him for the way he lived his life without ever knowing about his wartime experience. He was such a quiet and honorable man. I am so proud of my father and the person that he was. I am certain that I have become a better person by watching my father live.”