He stood 6′ 3″ with thick, salt and pepper hair. His face was rugged from years of sun despite the shade his cowboy hat offered.

He was a cattle rancher, well respected, well liked and hard working. He came from humble means, but believed education provided opportunities, so he became a scholar and worked his way up to a PhD. Over the years he was on bank boards, school boards, and even the former regent of a state college. Twice a year he’d lobby in Washington D.C. for the future of agriculture.

He carried himself with a quiet confidence, never seeking out praise. Long winded stories were never his style. He spoke with purpose and intention. He loved his wife and daughters, the Texas Rangers, War World II books and old movies. He preferred the countryside to the city life, five dollar Walmart shirts to Ralph Lauren, and Ford pickups over Chevrolet. He made others laugh with his light hearted nature and dry sense of humor. He looked for the good in others and always fought for the underdog.

His name was John, and he was my father.