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Heart swells with pride when thinking of dad

He is the greatest man I have ever known. No one else even comes close. He is patient, kind, nonjudgmental, very smart and very generous, having given selflessly throughout his entire life. He doesn't complain, and he doesn't focus on what is imperfect or incorrect in the world or in other people. He is an optimist. He quietly observes and reflects, pragmatically, over both the comedy and tragedy of life.

He always knew he wanted to be a doctor, right out of the gate. How wonderful to know what you want to do so young in life! His platform has, and always will be, that of a healer. He, like a number of doctors from a bygone era, always brought a comforting bedside manner to his patients. His calm, gentle and methodical manner always reassured those who were frightened, unsure and vulnerable.

Even though he has been retired for a number of years, his patients and their families still rave to me about how esteemed he is. I can't tell you how many times throughout my life I have heard these words: "Oh, your father is a wonderful man. He took care of my mother."

His picture graces the gallery at Sisters Hospital along with all the other former chiefs of medicine. He devoted 47 years of his life to Sisters and his legend lingers long there. Every time I stop by, I pop over to admire his picture, swelling with pride and thinking, yes, all you passers-by, that's my Dad!

He is fiscally conservative and stoic by nature, not given to outward displays of affection; his way of saying I love you is to ask questions like: "Were you warm enough last night? Did you get enough to eat? How is your cough? How is your car holding up?"

He is a voracious reader, burning through two or three novels a week. I attribute this as a major factor in his mental acuity and razor-sharp recall.

He enjoys filet mignon, Coors Light and dark chocolate. Not to mention a good laugh! He has always been an avid golfer, and consistently beats me and my brothers when we pop out to the links for 18 holes. He doesn't hit far, but he always hits straight -- straight up the middle, while I'm off in the woods looking for the ball that I either sliced or hooked to the left or to the right of the fairway.

He may be annoyed and embarrassed that I mention this, but he is a very big fan of wrestling. Yes, the WWE style of wrestling. I think he enjoys the steroid-fueled vaudevillian nature of Jim McMahon's over-the-top pay-per-view events. However, we both agree that the Undertaker -- the menacing 7-foot-plus black-clad behemoth -- is fun to watch. For the record, we think the appeal of the Undertaker is due to the fact that he is a cross between Clint Eastwood's Josey Wales and Boris Karloff's Frankenstein.

His advice and wisdom are sought by his children now more than ever; having grown up in the shadow of the Great Depression, he has known the depths of financial lack as well as the harvest of opportunity and good fortune.

He is beloved by his wife, his children, grandchildren and great-grand children, his friends, not to mention his patients and their families.

He is Dr. Daniel J. McCue and I am delighted to report that he is hale and hearty and sharp as a tack. And on this Father's Day, I, er, we -- all of the McCues -- salute him, for he is and always will remain our father, our physician, and our dearest friend!

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