A Fathers Day Memorial

My dad was hilarious. He would make jokes in casual conversation that could make the whole room laugh. Even when the whole room didn’t laugh at the joke, I promise they would smile at the boisterous laugh my dad produced after telling said joke.

One joke he always told was when we would both be sitting in the living room, watching tv or whatever, and he’d look over and say, “Hey Tori, as long as you’re sitting there not doing anything. Can you get me some ice cream from the kitchen.” When he told this he was also not doing anything and generally closer to the kitchen.

He always loved spending time with his kids growing up. He didn’t mind listening to us talk about things he didn’t care about. He just liked to talks and spend time with us. I remember he had my brother convinced he was just as interested in Pokémon cards as my brother was.

When I was really young and not in school yet we would have “Daddy Tori Time” every Friday morning. It was my favorite day of the week. We usually would go out, just the two of us. We usually went to get doughnuts at our favorite place Marges Doughnuts. After we would do things my dad loved such as, go to Thrift Stores, Big Lots, Dollar Stores, and Garage Sales. It was my favorite time because he usually would let me buy a little something. It was so special.

You could always tell that we were related because we had a super similar taste in food. He passed on to me his love for peanut butter, all things cookies, and salt-on everything. He enjoyed life and passed that on to me. My favorite food he would make for me we called “Daddy’s Special”. Even in to adulthood I could count on him to make me the best Daddy’s special. All it was is buttered toast with peanut butter and apricot jam on top. It was simple but only my dad could make it just the way I liked it.

Dad loved to share stories from his childhood. If you got all the Torreson brothers in a room, I promise you could probably write a book using all the story’s they have from growing up on a farm in rural Iowa. From corn fights to big foot, you would find hours of entertainment.

One story my dad told I think captures his joking spirit. When he was a teenager he would work in the summer at some neighbors farm to make money. Well when he worked he would always borrow the owners work boots. One day, the end of the work day, he took off the boots and saw a couple of salamanders. He decided to put the salamanders in the boot to surprise his neighbor. The next day came and his boss told him that he was surprised when he put on the booths because he thought dad has left some wet socks in them. Apparently he didn’t mind though and continued working. When he took off the boots he was shocked to find the wet socks were salamanders.

I’ve probably never heard all the stories my dad could have shared. I am sad I’m starting to forget some of them too. His stories brought his personality to life. People who never sat and had a conversation with him missed out on so much joy and knowledge.

Much like in his story above he loved to pull pranks. Usually they were small, like taking your dinner plate and hiding it when you got up to get something to drink. He always laughed and laughed at your confusion when you came back. His face looked like that of a school boy when you walked in the room. You could always tell he was up to something.

My dad was one of the best people in the world and one of my best friends. When I was diagnosed with depression anxiety and bipolar disorder he was always understanding and loving. He could always listen and understand things I probably never would have felt comfortable telling anyone else. He understood when I shared with him terrible things I had done. He was able to relate with me. We shared a bond that was so deep because we understood each other in a way others didn’t. We were similar and that helped me. In my adult life I shared many heart to hearts with him over doughnuts at Marges.

My dad created these relationships with everyone he was close too. But probably the most noble quality was his commitment to our family. He worked every single day at a job he HATED. A job that drove him to depression, he would work hard at everyday to provide. He rarely complained. He held it in. In fact, I didn’t know just how much he hated his job until he was laid off 14 years later. He is a hero, a true hero.

I think my dad lived his best life. He loved us and his hobbies. He loved antique radios, lawnmowers, bikes, good food, and family. I can’t help but think he is doing all of those things and more in heaven.

I could write forever. I don’t think there is enough I could ever say that would come close to capturing how great my dad was. But with that, I beg those who knew him to share him. Help me keep him alive on earth with his memories and stories. One part of the COVID funeral that I really missed was the luncheon afterwards. You know, the one where people get up and talk about happy memories and share stories. I need that. Please comment here on my blog if you have anything you would like to share to keep his memories alive.

With the most broken heart and the hardest hurt I’ve ever felt, I wish my Dad, William Torreson, a happy Fathers Day, the first Fathers Day spent with our Heavenly Father. Love you Daddy.

2 Replies to “A Fathers Day Memorial”

  1. Tori, this is a beautiful tribute. Your dad would have loved it, he also would have been embarrassed, he was that humble. I remember when your parents came my first a Thanksgiving without Stan. We went to Cracker Barrel only to find there was a 2 hour wait! So we went to I HOP and decided to have thanksgiving that evening. But your dad discovered some antique shops in Fort Wayne, and being on the hunt for old radios, he couldn’t pass them up. Anyway, It was a very unusual Thanksgiving. I never knew there were so many antique shops in my town! I do believe he found a radio, actually.
    I love that you are putting in writing things you remember about him. You are inspiring me to do the same concerning Stan.

  2. I wanted to comment on your post, but I think I accidentally erased it. Here it goes again:

    Uncle Bill was a very special uncle to me. I have many fond memories of him from childhood. After he moved to Grand Rapids, we kids would love to go over to his apartment. We thought it was the coolest thing ever–even though he barely had any furniture. Bill would also come over to our house to eat, watch baseball or lift weights with my dad. We loved to hang out with them–as Uncle Bill would always show interest in us, ask us questions, tease us.

    I remember Uncle Bill would go on picnics with us and he would come over for holidays and every birthday. In fact, he gave me one of the best birthday presents I have ever received: my very first pair of roller skates. They were shiny metal skates with thick, rainbow-colored straps. I still remember how excited I was when I opened that present.

    Speaking of teasing, your dad was always fun to be around, because he could tell interesting stories and had a great sense of humor. Bill always teased us kids when we were little, and when we were older, we enjoyed teasing him. One of our favorite things to do was to get Bill do what we called “The Bill double-take”. Whenever you told Uncle Bill a story that surprised him (or a story that he wasn’t sure if he should believe), he would do a double-take. We would always laugh and tease him about it.

    A few funny stories about your dad: I remember how shocked he was when he accidentally set our porch ceiling on fire when grilling. You can probably imagine his expression. Also, I remember Grandpa and Grandma Torreson’s 40th anniversary celebration. We went to a restaurant in Spencer to celebrate and as soon as we got there, baby Timmy peed on him. The expression on his face was priceless. He had to drive all the way back to Graettinger to change his clothes.

    When your mom and dad got together, we were so happy to be gaining an aunt. Your mom was so kind and beautiful, and she and Bill seemed to be so much in love. I enjoyed teasing them about getting married. And very shortly after that, they were engaged.

    Even though our lives got busy as we all got older, we always looked forward to seeing your family. It was always fun to sit around the table together with you guys and listen to Bill and my dad tell stories of their childhood. I will miss Bill’s sense of humor, his laugh, and the way he was always so genuinely interested in other people and what they had to say. He was always so much fun to talk to.

    Uncle Bill was a great guy and a very special uncle.

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