Three generations of the Roth family: Roy D. Roth, David F. Roth, and Luke S. Roth

From my experience, there has been no greater gift than fatherhood. It’s been the most important responsibility I’ve ever taken on, and the most rewarding. It’s a job that never ends, no matter the age of my children.

I had a great model in my dad, whose generosity, integrity, and love were boundless. He provided me with opportunities to learn, to grow, to explore, to excel, and to make mistakes. He fostered in me a love for music and for literature. He taught me humility and basic kindness. He lived his faith. He loved beauty of all kinds, from a symphonic orchestra performance, to natural landscapes, to flower gardens.

Dad gave me many opportunities to travel. He showed me that there was a world beyond our borders. When I was ten, he took me to Germany and we lived with a family there while he studied with a University of Oregon graduate music program. I went to a German school, learned the language and made new friends. He pushed me to be independent, while living away from my mother and siblings.

He picked me up when I was down. When I was 16, driving a 1960 red Chevy, I had a single-car accident that totaled the car. It went into a ditch, overturned, and I was shaken, but very fortunate to be unhurt. What I remember most was that he didn’t get angry or blame me for my inexperienced driving that caused the wreck. Instead, he made me drive home.

He was very often a whirling dervish of energy, and he expected people to follow along. He loved to sing and to share his music. He loved to direct singing and he had a passion for it. I know my love for music was passed down from him.

His support and unconditional love provided nurturing and comfort. I learned that material possessions and money by themselves were empty and void of satisfaction. We were never rich, but I learned that happiness didn’t require wealth.

On this Father’s Day, I remember Dad.