A Life Well-Lived: In Honor of My Outdoors Dad

my dad in the woods

Something incredibly significant happened in my life recently…my Dad finished his course in this world, and was welcomed into the Celestial City (as it’s called in Pilgrim’s Progress).

One of the ways my dad, Ivan, lived his life was in loving and enjoying the outdoors. He passed on that love to all five of his children, including me. We were blessed to have parents who took us kids camping, hiking, swimming, and on road trips to beautiful places.

When we started collecting pictures of Dad for his Celebration of Life service, we found quite a few of him adventuring in the outdoors…

  • Honeymooning with Mom in the Canadian Rockies when in his 20s…
  • Camping with the family when in his 30s and 40s, including a family road trip back to the Canadian Rockies and Montana…
  • Dog sledding in northern Minnesota when in his 50s…
  • Summitting 14,065-foot Mt. Bierstadt in Colorado with my brother when in his 60s…
  • Careening down a 200-foot water slide in Mexico when in his 70s.

In his 80s he developed dementia and signs of Alzheimer’s. As long as he still had the physical strength—up until just last spring—one of his favorite things to do was to go for walks through the woods in a local park with us (shown in the photo below).

ivan in the woods

My dad wasn’t a perfect man, or a perfect husband, or a perfect dad. He struggled with depression all his life. He had faults like the rest of us. But he lived his life fully. He impacted so many people—people we’ve been hearing from the past few weeks.

He had a deep, lasting faith in his God and a deep commitment to his family, his church, his friends and causes he believed in.

For a long time now it’s been one of my desires to live my life well, too. I’m honored to have had such a good example of that in my father.

Several of us kids put up Facebook posts about him after he passed away. I love this one posted by my youngest sister, Katy:

tribute to the journey

May you continue to find ways to live your life well, too!

8 thoughts on “A Life Well-Lived: In Honor of My Outdoors Dad

  1. Thanks Sharon for that wonderful tribute to my brother whom I will miss but he is in his next home.
    Thanks, Aunt Lorna

  2. Thank you dear niece, for sharing this insight into your Dad’s journey in this life and what it means to you and all of us who knew him. Well done! Aunt Sharon

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