On Monday August 19, 2013 we laid my pop to rest at Liberty Chapel Cemetery in Williana, Louisiana. This cemetery sits off a single lane country road, surrounded on three sides by 30 foot pine trees, and is fronted by the Liberty Chapel Methodist Church.
The following is my eulogy for Pop.
Paul Malone wasn't perfect, famous, or a great man by societies terms. Not that he couldn't have been. Rather he chose to live an obscure life as a man of his word, a World War II Navy veteran, a husband of just short of 50 years, only stopped by the death of the love of his life, and a hard worker. He is only these things to a select few that had the privilege to know him in life.
He was a father. A loving father that wasn't always apparent except by the testimonials of his children. I, for one, will say Pop had his faults and wasn't a perfect dad. I'm not sure what a perfect dad is, but I took a lot of what he did and did the same things. I, also, saw some of what he did as a father and vowed to never do that. That isn't a bad thing or judgement of Pop, but rather it is called growth and he taught me that. In his life the most valuable gift Pop gave me was his work ethic. I thank him for that.
He was a grandfather. There were trials and tribulations with those eight gifts that his children bestowed upon him and Granny. But, without a doubt the most important one was India. I hold in my heart that if not for a 5 year old little girl, that needed watching over, he would have quit living almost 14 years ago.
My Pop made me, us, go to church as kids. When I argued and wanted to stay at home with him he used the, "I'm the Dad argument." However after Mom passed his attitude changed and while he never, as far as I know, publicly changed his views it was apparent to all he met that he had. He became more tolerant and accepting. He even spoke of God and an after life. My final conversation with him was when he told me, "I am dieing." I asked what he thought about that and he said, "I'm scared." I, we, all spoke to him about the joy of being reunited with Granny (Mom), MeMaw (Goldie), PoppaMan (Keener) and others who passed in the past.
No, Paul Malone wasn't a perfect man, but he WAS a good man.
Paul Malone was human and had human faults, but he WAS a good man.
Paul Malone wasn't a demonstrative man when it came to emotions or showing his love, but he WAS a good man.
Paul Malone wasn't always a religious man, but he WAS a good man.
I would offer today that there isn't anyone that could argue that Paul Malone wasn't a good man. As I stand here right now I can finally say Paul Malone was the perfect man. He was our Dad!