I had the distinct honor of writing my dad's obituary and eulogy (which we had a pastor read). While terrifying in the short amount of time given, I had so much fun learning things about him that I never thought much into or knew prior -- what a guy; star athlete, prankster, good human being.
For his obituary, I sprinkled in the humor he passed on to me. I hope it gives you a smile.
People who couldn't make the funeral have asked me to share the eulogy, and here it is (obituary is also attached). I am very proud of what I wrote. I love you Hollie -- thank you for being such an inspiring sister and reminding me that it's OK to hurt.
Gary Edward Whale, 65, left us on August 20, 2017, with his larger-than-life personality for an eternally joyous adventure in Heaven. Born on August 15, 1952, to Dolores and Guy Whale, Gary graduated from Kimball High School in 1971. Whale then went on to play football at Kilgore College as one of the team’s starting linebackers, a football position his son had to Google while writing this to verify what it was. Gary also served in the military at Fort Dix before co-raising two children and enjoying his favorite pastimes: watching The Dallas Cowboys and playing golf. He is survived by his unathletic son, Chase Whale; favorite daughter and her husband, Hollie (Whale) and Daniel Gullion. Gary is also survived by his little brother Larry and big brother Randy; and the only lady who could keep these three rambunctious brothers in line, his sweet and adoring mother Dolores; his granddaughter, Rylan Gullion, who affectionately called him PePaw; and a host of great relatives and friends. His love moved mountains. He will remain in our hearts forever.
EULOGY (the pastor read):
When you look back and remember the people God has placed in your life, there's an honorable peace of spiritual cleansing. Gary remains a significant reminder of how meaningful and important various people are in your life. He was a man of character and love. He dealt with difficult hardship with patience and resolve.
Many will agree, Gary gave so much joy and laughter to so many people throughout his life. Even though Gary battled difficult medical situations since his early-thirties, he was rarely caught without a smile on his face. He did his best to be an outstanding father, son, brother, grandpa, uncle, friend, and human.
After Gary’s surgery, he was not expected to live long, but he beat the odds and remained on this earth for over thirty more years. Now he is in Heaven with two beautiful blue eyes, seeing everything so vividly clear, again.
Yes, Gary had challenges, but that did not define him. He endured and persevered.
And despite the many obstacles he faced, Gary’s faith in the Lord never deflated. He was a devout Christian and loved spreading the word and cheer of God.
Gary loved a lot.
He loved watching The Cowboys. As a former Kimball all-city all-district linebacker, The Cowboys weren’t just his team; they were his way of life. He stuck with them from the beginning to the sometimes bitter end.
Gary loved watching full-contact sports. Gary made watching full-contact sports with his brothers Larry and Randy a full-contact sport.
Gary loved a lot.
Gary loved his two kids, Hollie and Chase. Chase a lot more, but only because Chase wrote this sentence into my notes.
His love for his two children ran very deep, and when they were born, he built his world around them. Children are a parent’s greatest joy, and his pride glowed when celebrating their lives. He went the distance to entertain them with his endearing and hilarious antics.
Gary loved a lot.
He had a deep affinity for his granddaughter, Rylan, who affectionally called him PePaw. Gary got a kick out of acting out silly things over and over to make her laugh.
Hollie and Chase wish to express their heartfelt thank you to all who have given their support, amazing stories about their dad, and love throughout this very difficult time. They both know in their hearts that Gary would not want everyone grieving for too long. Instead, he would want us all to remember the good times that we all shared with him.