In Memory of Robert Eldon Canright, Sr.
Robert Eldon Canright, Jr.
[As a Christian and a Confucian my father's death was an especially important event.
Filial piety is improtant to Confucians. Christians are taught to honor their parents. I
publish my father's eulogy to honor my father and follow the precepts of Christianity and
Robert Eldon Canright, Sr., was born September 20, 1927, and died
January 25, 2009. Robert was the son of Eldon Jerome Canright, born
January 14, 1893, died February 28, 1963. Two other members of the
extended Canright family had heart attacks within a week of Robert’s heart
attack. January and February seem to be bad months for Canright men.
But we all die and it is how we live and how we are remembered that matters.
I remember my father quoting poetry as he walked through the house. Just
this week I read Milton’s sonnet On His Blindness, saw the line, “They also
serve who only stand and wait,” and thought to myself, “My father used to
say that! He was quoting Milton.” My father also quoted lines from
Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Tennyson’s The Eagle. I love poetry.
I purchased poetry books for my children and for many of their cousins. My
daughter loves Shakespeare. The love of poetry is part of my father’s legacy,
a legacy I pass on to my children.
One day my father brought home a copy of Modern Chess Openings. The
book was filled with columns of chess moves, but almost no text. It had
fascinating names like Sicilian Defense, Ruy Lopez, and Giuoco Piano. In
high school I found in chess the only organized body of knowledge that I
could study on my own with limitless challenge. I have a very analytical
mind and chess was the only substantive food that could feed my hungry
mind. I learned how to self-study, analyze, and problem solve through the
game of chess that my father brought into my life. The problem solving
skills I learned from chess were instrumental in key successes in my work
career, another legacy from my father.
The greatest legacy from my father was the fine mother he provided his
children: Julieta Rubio of Chihuahua, Mexico. I learned morality and a love
of God from my mother. I learned to respect philosophy and education from
Julieta. She recently gave me her copy of The Enchiridion of Epictetus, the
Stoic philosopher. I remember listening to “Un bel di” from the opera
Madam Butterfly at my Abuelita’s house in Chihuahua. I listened to that
song over and over again, I was so touched by it as a child, and I am still
moved by it today. I learned to love opera from my mother. I take my
daughter to the opera and she loves it, so the legacy continues.
In World War II my father joined the 82nd Airborne, “The All American
Division.” It takes a bold spirit to jump out of an airplane and be prepared
to fight behind enemy lines. It takes an adventuresome spirit to travel to a
foreign country and take a foreign bride, as my father did.
I continue your legacy, Father, by rearing my children in a home with poetry
and culture, under the care of a good, loving mother. I hope to continue
your legacy, Father, by living my life with boldness and an adventurous spirit.
Farewell, Father. I honor you by passing along to my children all the best
influences you and your lovely bride had on my life. Lasting positive influence
is the best legacy.
Eulogy for Robert Canright, Senior
Achieve Lasting Happiness
Copyright © 2009-2013 Robert E. Canright, Jr.