Tribute to my Dad on Father’s Day

Dad's gravestone

Tribute to my Dad on Father’s Day

With Father’s Day around the corner, I wanted to give tribute to my dad, Joseph Robert Nagy. I figured it was only fair since both my mom, Charlotte, and step mom, Nancy get so much attention on this blog normally.

Quote of the day: “Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble. When you’re perfect in every way.” Mac Davis song

My dad used to LOVE this song. I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard it, but this was basically my dad’s motto. I only wished I’d asked him how he heard it. It’s not like I remember him listening to music much and especially not country music.

When we were at Littleton Cemetary to take the photos for our theme of what to wear to a funeral, of course we had to find my dad’s tombstone. The significance of the Apple Computer on it was the fact that he was ahead of his time in the technology field.

Once my dad discovered Apple computers in the early 1980’s, he was addicted. He beta tested many of the software programs including MacWrite, Excel and Paint. He spent SO much time on his computer that Nancy thought it was appropriate to put this graphic on his tombstone.

And trust me….he loved Apples and thought they were better than sliced bread. In fact, we joke that he’s rolling over in his grave because I have a HP now.

The Nagy name

Dad’s History

Not that you want to hear all the history. But let me share with you some of the fun facts I know. He was originally from Toledo, Ohio, which is where I grew up.

First this photo below is when my dad went off to military school for high school. Why? The story I’ve heard is to keep him out of trouble. Maybe you think he looks too young to be in high school here? Let’s just say that he wasn’t the biggest guy around.

And then he went off to Purdue University where he met my mom. He wanted to study business in college, but his dad talked him into going into engineering. Thus he became a civil engineer.

One place he worked was at the Denver Mint when I was in college. In fact, I even was a tour guide at the Mint for a couple of summers.

Dad in military school

When I Was Growing Up

My dad moved out to Colorado because of a job with Johns Manville back in the late 1970’s. I would come out and visit for a month in the summer, and he would always put me to work. Now you have to understand. I didn’t know my dad that well. He and my mom divorced when I was only 3. Sure, I’d see him on weekends and such, but I didn’t really grow up with him.

So when I say, he put me to work, he really put me to work. I’m the reason the garage was painted…including the ceiling. Along with weeding and yard work. Seriously, his neighbors used to give him a hard time about child labor. Yet because I wasn’t really comfortable with him, I couldn’t say “no.” Some neighbors would “kidnap” me to give me a break and take me shopping.

He just didn’t get that I wanted to sit around, sunbathe and read books all day. But he did suggest that I come out to University of Colorado for college, and I did just that. So I always say that the first part of my growing up was with my mom, and the second part with my dad.

Funny story is that my dad always looked so young for his age. The first time I was out visiting, the mailman asked if I was out visiting my brother. Of course my dad never let me forget that.

Another good one was the time we were at the grocery store checking out. And the bag boy told my dad he looked like Roger Daltrey. My dad said, “who?”. And the bagger was like, “yeah, him”. It was hilarious. But doesn’t he look like the lead singer from the Who?

To my dad on Father's day
This photo is from 1986. Obviously I was a Madonna fan at the time.

Dad and Nancy

Do you recognize Nancy?? They met a couple of different ways. They both went to the same church, along with the fact that they both square danced. Nancy will tell you that she wasn’t too hip on my dad at first. Remember the quote of the day? Well, he wasn’t too humble and had a different kind of humor. But he really was a nice guy, and finally wore her down.

They started dating in 1989 and married in 1994. As you can read in the behind the scenes of our relationship on the blog post, my dad made sure everyone still got along. When my mom moved out to Colorado in 1996, we would all do things together as a family. It certainly made my life easier and taught me so much about adult behavior.

Considering my dad was such a healthy guy and his parents both lived into their 90’s, it was a shock when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1999. While he’s not with us in the flesh anymore, I certainly have some great memories that we relive from time to time. So to my dad this Father’s day, I’ll sing your favorite song!

To my dad with Nancy

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