A Tribute

Today is the birthday of my father, Paul D. Swedberg. If he were alive, he would be 78 years old.

A hard-working, generous man, my dad would snow-blow the sidewalks of everybody on the block and lend his tools as if they were library books. I got the feeling that he sometimes bought tools just so the neighbors across the street could borrow them someday. He was a good father who usually expressed his love by what he did rather than what he said. He never let his poor health keep him from attending my brother’s and my sporting events or concerts.

My dad died 13 and a half years ago, after suffering from his fifth heart attack. I still miss him.

Here are a few pictures of his younger days. Note the pocket protector in the third photo. Now you know where I got my geekiness.

Dad as a young man
Dad's family portrait
Dad with a camera

Thanks to cousin Josh Byers for the photos.

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8 Responses to A Tribute

  1. Dad says:

    As pleased as I am to be your “Dad”, I am even more pleased that you did this tribute, Karl, because I like seeing your value system in action. I think your Dad is pleased, too.
    Keep passing it on to your kids, Karl.

  2. nicole says:

    Hi Karl…
    This was supremely sweet. Sure, the pocket protector alerts us to the geekiness floating in your gene pool, but the words you wrote about him alerts us to the generosity of spirit he has also passed down. I heart you!

  3. michelle says:

    Lovely tribute, Karl.

  4. Cynthia DeBoer says:

    Pocket protector AND camera – great photos, dear geek. Thanks for posting them.
    It’s our loss that we never really got to know your dad well. Interesting to learn, after you’ve been a member of our family for nearly 14 years, that he and I shared February as a birthday month.
    One thing you can be certain of, Karl – your dad would be proud of the man you’ve become.

  5. dean says:

    Wow you don’t look like dad that much at all in his young years, maybe that is why I got the good looks and you got the brains. He would have been proud of your accomplishments in your life so far if he were still alive today. Especailly his grand kids.

  6. Aunt Ginny and Uncle Fred says:

    What a wonderful way to remember him! Sounds like he was a very generous guy. We enjoyed spending time with him at your wedding (13 years ago?) very much. I’m sorry Ben and Luci won’t know him or vice versa, but he would certainly be very proud of your parenting and memories like this will make him real for them.

  7. Dennis Holtrop says:

    Karl, what a great tribute to your dad. I still remember talking to him at your wedding rehearsal dinner and again at the reception, and the shock of learning so soon after that he’d died.
    It was obvious that he was very proud of you. I’m sure you do miss him. This was a beautiful way of keeping his memory vital.

  8. Thanks, everyone, for the warm fuzzies. I’m constantly amazed that I have such cool AND loving friends and family.
    Dean, I especially appreciate your words of kindness, even if they were accompanied by such brutal honesty about my freakish looks. :)

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