August 14, 2011

Tribute

Posted in Uncategorized tagged at 12:29 am by a care in the world

Today I went to the memorial service of the most passionate, engaging teacher I’ve ever had. Though he died about 6 weeks ago, I haven’t been able to write about it because it was such a painful loss, but I wanted to honor him today. My husband and I drove to Atlanta for a service with his family, friends, and my high school community. A teacher of marine biology at my high school for 10 years, this man had a passion for all things aquatic that was so infectious that you couldn’t help but be excited about brain coral and seahorses and tank life. I’ll never forget him flopping into class the first day wearing goggles, fins and a cape, and carrying a trident. He LOVED what he did and he managed to convince everyone around him that ocean currents and marine animal research was essential to our education.

Aside from that, he was an amazing friend and supporter. He went to my family’s church for a time, and remained quite close to us for many years. He was a loving father and loyal friend. For the last 6 years, he fought a terrible battle with cancer, that left us scarred almost as much as it did him. Today at the service, we heard stories of this man praying for us, loving us, and trying to be the best man he could for us, not for himself. There were hundreds of people that came to recognize and honor his influence on our lives– a true testament to his legacy. Many of us felt his pain and suffering for years, and though we are grateful for the peace he has found, we mourn the loss of a man that touched our lives in a way few other people have. His enthusiasm and love of teaching are what inspired me to become a teacher, and I’m sure many of his other former students could say the same. He died way too young, leaving behind a young son and daughter, but he lived and loved more than enough for a lifetime. It is us who didn’t have enough time to love and live with him.

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: For thou are with me;
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou annointest my head with oil;
My cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

Amen.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] already written about my teacher, Dan Dalke. I think of him often, and try to bring the same excitement into my classroom every day that he […]


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