Remembering Rick

An excerpt from The Wit and Wisdom of Rick DuFour and How He Stood Up To Cancer
Author: Hannah Treadway

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Rick DuFour has been many things to many different people: a friend, husband, father, son, brother, boss, colleague, mentor, role model…the list could go on for pages. As I think about the impact that Rick has had on my life, the most obvious answer is that he has been a second father to me. From almost the moment he decided to love and commit to my mom, he also made the conscious decision to love and commit to me. As a father, he has positively impacted my life in countless ways. There is, however, another role that he plays in my life – one that is as significant as his role of father. Rick has been one of the greatest teachers in my life. 

When I think of the qualities and gifts of a truly great teacher, I can’t help but recognize these in Rick. For instance, the best teachers lead and guide with love and through building meaningful relationships. Rick has done this in my life. He became one of my parents during the most difficult time imaginable: my teens. But with the right mix of patience, understanding, and tough love, he managed to become someone I could trust, respect, admire, and love. Slowly, but surely, I began to accept his help and advice regarding issues ranging from schoolwork to relationships. Now as an adult, I still look to him and his examples to guide me in my work, marriage, and motherhood. 

Another hallmark of a great teacher is the ability to instill a true love and appreciation for knowledge in others. Anyone who knows Rick could attest to the fact that he constantly seeks knowledge and deeper understandings. This is evidenced by his incredible Jeopardy skills! Not only is he a storehouse of facts and trivia, but he also puts his wisdom into action. One mantra that I’ve learned from Rick is, ‘When you know better, do better.’ This concept has not only helped me in my professional roles, but also in my personal relationships. Through his example, he has taught me to look to facts and research when forming ideas and making decisions as a professional, a wife, and a mother. 

Great teachers change lives, and Rick has certainly changed mine for the better. His presence in my life opened my world and my heart to dreams and possibilities that I had never considered before him. He instilled in me a love of travel. He has shown me the merits of open-mindedness. Along with my mother, he has set an example for what it means to truly honor and cherish one’s spouse. 

In the almost eighteen years that I’ve known him, Rick has become a voice in my head. I look to his advice and example in most every aspect of my life. I am so blessed that my second dad is also a great teacher, and that one of my greatest teachers is also my second dad.