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A Father's Day Tribute

My name is Noelle Orr, and this morning I would like to honor my dad, John Orr, for being an outstanding father. Others of renown in this category include the father of our country, George Washington; Monsieur Jean Valjean, the father of Cosette; Abraham, the father of many nations; Mr. Incredible, the super dad from The Incredibles; and The Lion King’s Mufasa. So my dad stands among legends. He is a man of the highest character who has loved me beyond measure. I know him as a man of kindness and charisma, humor and intelligence, devotion and understanding, patience and humility.

My father cultivated a close relationship with me from infancy. At age five, he made a memory that shines among a lifetime of memories. That year, the musical Cinderella came to town. On opening night, it was preceded by a special event—a reception and ball for parents and children. So my daddy took me on a date. He bought me a corsage, he wore his tux, and I just happen to have a picture of us. Noelle and John OrrI intended to dance with daddy, but then the play’s Prince Charming invited me to dance, lifting me high in the air. My daddy just watched and waited patiently all evening. How sad I felt when the evening ended and I realized that I had not danced with him. I resolved never to miss another opportunity. So whenever daddy came home and heard music playing, I would run to him, and he would sweep me into his arms. How I cherished those moments!

Of course, daddy read me the Bible. He rejoiced when I accepted Christ at age seven, and we share another wonderful memory of when he baptized me. He also read me bedtime stories. Some of our favorite tales were The White Pony, Fritz and the Beautiful Horses, The Princess and the Kiss, and The Elephant’s Child. He read each book dramatically, making the characters come alive in my mind. There was nothing I would rather do than read with him. As I grew older, so did the books. When dad read me The Hobbit, I cheered for Bilbo and dreaded Smaug. Dad’s favorite saying about the book was, “Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.” For us, love and laughter go hand and hand, as did we wherever we went.

Life progressed. Dad held me when I cried and showed me the meaning of compassion. He taught me math and how to ride a bike. And relying on his nerves of steel, he even taught me how to drive a car. In every possible way, he has worked to equip me for life and my calling, mentoring me in my faith and modeling perseverance and courage. Even now, he selflessly tutors me in chemistry and physics with kindness and encouragement, even after a long day at work.

But the greatest lesson dad has lived each and every day is love. And because he has loved me, I understand the love of God. I am the recipient of his legacy of love, a gift of limitless worth from a man who has no equal. Thus it is with great love and tremendous respect that I honor my dad, John Philip Orr. He is outstanding among fathers, and to me he is the best of all.

~Noelle Orr


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