June 15, 2011

Father's Day tribute to Dave Beyel

Guest Sports Columnists

We would like to start by thanking all of the fathers out there who have touched our lives. We believe a father is not only defined by his relationship with his own family, but also by the relationships he has with other families within his community and among his peers. And to those other fathers who have touched our lives along the way; you have helped shape us into the people we are today and for that, we couldn’t be more appreciative. Thank you all.

And now on to our Father -- It’s difficult for us to express everything we want to say after all that our dad has taught us, so our appreciation for, and admiration of, our father is only slightly touched upon by what we have written below.

Dad -

We could not have been more fortunate to have a father like you. You have shown us so many things throughout our young lives and instilled in us values we strive to live by daily and truly honor: respect and compassion in our personal relationships, strength and confidence in a professional environment and dedication and honor in all of our endeavors both on and off the athletic playing field, to name just a few.

Athletics have been a very large part of our lives and we find it fitting that one of your most impressive traits as our father has been your devotion to us and our careers. Looking at what will be six years of having at least one of us playing a collegiate sport, we can count on two hands the number of games you have missed.

One of our most vivid memories happened to span a Friday night in Durham NC to a Saturday in southern Maine. You flew to Durham on Friday to watch Casey’s first Lacrosse game and returned just after the game to Philadelphia/Ocean City. Then the next morning, opened the business, drove back to Philadelphia, flew to Maine and drove to Dave Jr.’s final basketball game at 2:00pm. (An awesome effort over just 24 hours to attend two milestones in our lives, and just one of many citable instances when little stood between our careers and your devotion to what made us happy.)

Looking back, it probably would have been easier on you (and Mom) had we both attended the same university, but Dave wasn’t quite guaranteed a spot on the Duke Men’s Basketball team, and Casey didn’t dare apply to Tufts for fear of rejection (and probably wouldn’t have had a spot on the field hockey, basketball or lacrosse teams, either.)

As hinted at above, we both appreciate a light-hearted take on life and couldn’t enjoy your personality more. No matter what we were going through, or what challenges we faced, you always found ways to lighten our moods while still teaching us what truly mattered in life. It began at an early age as our coach. We always heard goofy things like, “don’t hang on the rim” in fourth grade basketball, or “kick a touchdown” as we left the dugout in little league baseball. Though these statements are far from logical, they always made sense to the both of us and the lesson we took away has been truly invaluable – go have fun in life. Do whatever it is that makes you happy. Do it well. And most of all, enjoy it. As our careers ventured to higher athletic and academic levels, we couldn’t have been luckier to have a father who taught us how to enjoy anything we took on in life.

Our “Superman-like” view of you as a person has even grown most recently as we both have come to get a small taste of the professional world. Reflecting on the number of different commitments you undertook in business and in roles in other community positions, it’s nothing short of incredible that we rarely found you inaccessible or absent from practices or events. Many life lessons and values are easily preached, but to have a father who raised us by being a living example of everything he hoped to instill in us, and everything we want to be, is a gift we are truly grateful for.

[Although, I (Dave Jr.) am not formally a "Jr." by my birth certificate, I could not feel more proud to be called "Junior" by you and many of your friends.] You have set an example for both of us with some very large shoes to fill, and although you expect even more of us as your children, we want you to know those shoes will always seem too vast to step into.

Dad, we thank you for everything you have sacrificed for us and for how much you have always supported us. We couldn’t be more fortunate and proud to have a father like you. We love you with all of our hearts,

Happy Father’s Day.
Love, Junior and Rock

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