Richard Lee Hall, 78, of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, passed away peacefully April 30, 2021, at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. Survived by Dianna Hall, and sons Brian Hall, Kristofer Hall, Jason Hall and step-son Keith Warner. Memorial to follow at a later date.
Dad passed away on April 30th – as the obit says –
I had the opportunity to sit by his side for his last four days here in this life – obviously, you don’t plan for this – you don’t know what to expect and you certainly hope for a different outcome. In his current condition… it was time – in those last four days I often thought of Matthew 11:28 “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Dad was weary – and I know I could say that much of his condition and labored life were due to his choices and his determination to live life his way – Many times when he hit the karaoke mic he often chose “Under the Boardwalk”, but I often thought “My Way” should have been the standard. He most definitely lived his way – and through various portions of my life, I have had the privilege to share in his journey. This may be an odd statement from Son to Father, but Dad moved to Florida when I was 17 so with nearly 1,000 miles between us for the last 34 years sharing the journey was harder than it sounds.
Dad was a worker – I can’t even recall all the times he rebirthed himself from one career into the next – from a bus driver, to a truck driver, car salesman, to owner-operator of Security Alarm Companies, Painting Company, Construction, Ministry Assistant with Jimmy Swaggart (pre hotel room incident) to scrapper and scavenger, marina manager, mechanic – I’m sure there is a list of positions that I am most likely unaware – he had a restless spirit, a creative mind, and a strong back – a combination that kept him moving. I do believe in all things he was a salesman – mostly of himself – he certainly convinced a lot of people over the years that he was the guy for the job.
As a son, as a young man, I learned a lot of things from Dad – how to fish, how to shoot, how to frame, how to roof, how to buy a car(I still remember sitting there for hours and Dad saying, “I can’t make money this fast” – we’ve been here two hours and saved $1000 – that’s $500 an hour”)-and in return, I have put car dealers through the same treatment – and my wife – who no longer comes with me when we buy a car – but “I can’t make money that fast!”
He had an easy-going manner and a great sense of humor – he also taught me that there is always more than one way – just tear it down and look at it again – he had an obsession with scrap – a habit that was often difficult to deal with – but he could see the good in things that were cast away – a repurposing, a rebuilding, a value in working with it – his ideas often got ahead of his hand's ability to follow through – but it brought him such joy to make something from someone’s nothing. I believe I have morphed that gift to see the good in things – to find the positive – to find and grow the silver lining – I have spent much of my adult life working in church and working with people feeling down or trying to feel a part of something larger than ourselves and I often think this ability is similar – look through all the rough spots, look through the challenges, look through the hardships to see the other side – who will we be – what will we make of this situation – let’s tear it down and build it again using what we know and what we’ve learned.
SO, I thank you for teaching me to work with my mind and my hands – for a love of music – for showing me that you can be down, but not defeated – keep getting up and rebuild no matter how many times life knocks you down.
I told him last week as we spent days together – you are the strongest most creative man I know – you didn’t always use those powers for good LOL – and if you know – you know – enough said.
He was a father in different ways to me, Kristofer, Jason, and Keith – husband to Di – who stood by his side – love you, Mom!
I will miss you Dad – there was such finality in knowing there would not be another phone call or a “See you later” as we closed the door on that hospital room for the last time.
– Psalm 90:12 “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom”
– Isaiah 40:31 ”…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
Love those close to you – talk more than you think you need to…
I found comfort on the 4-hour drive home from a song by Ryan Stevenson “When We Fall Apart”
I’ve had friends ask, will there be a service – where can we send flowers – and I know the funeral home site offers “plant a tree” etc… We will do something later in memory of Dad – Covid still makes it difficult – but for those who choose to honor a relationship with a gift I would choose
American Diabetes Association
Rest in Peace? – Not gonna happen! – Run, work, play, sing, live, eat, drink, and make a raucous – I’m sure heaven knows you’re there! I’ll see you again!
Love you – B.
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