Below is my brother, Joseph’s tribute to my Dad, who died November 21, 2016. (My own tribute to my Dad appeared November 27, 2016. My brother Chris’s tribute appeared December 11, 2016.) Joseph is a big contributor to this blog behind the scenes with his discerning eye for interesting articles to flag here.
Here are Joseph’s words:
My father grew up in a home that had a well used dictionary by the table, and continued that practice in his own home. We used that dictionary often to look up definitions and pronunciations. He used language in his professional life making lessons for law students and writing books about law. He used language in his church service. He had a file full of talks he had written through the years on many different topics, and could pull one out and adapt it to whatever needed to be said in a meeting. He also spent time writing biographies and other works on church topics.
I remember him working on the Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball book. He had typed up all the quotes he was going to use, and cut each one out so he could shuffle them around on the pages as he worked out which went where. This was in the days before word processing was normal, so there were an awful lot of little slips of paper. He was willing to talk to me about many of the quotes.
After he completed his large biography about his father, he wrote a biography of his grandfather, Andrew Kimball, which his father asked him to do when the presidency meant he no longer had time to do it. I was very pleased that my father let me take a draft of the biography and make comments and editing suggestions. He listened to what I had to say, and I believe he used a number of my ideas in the book.
When he was in charge of punishing me, his method was to use reason and come to a mutually agreed arrangement to minimize the probability of future transgressions with self administered consequences if that failed. He controlled his temper exceptionally well--I only saw him lose his cool a very few times.
His use of language wasn’t all serious though. His sense of humor came through in his word choices. He was very fond of word play, and particularly puns. My own children have learned to endure puns from me since I learned them at my father’s knee. He also liked to do crossword puzzles, and regularly completed them until his eyesight got bad enough he was unable to read.
I will miss his reasoned and kind words that helped me many times in my life.