This page is dedicated to saying "Thank You Father" to those fathers who have made a lasting impact on our lives. Feel free to say "Thank You" to a father whether he is still alive or now deceased. We look forward to your kind words that will grace this page. Please submit your "Thank You" tributes by clicking here and sending your tribute in the message box. Be sure to also submit your request and let us know that you want to submit a "Thank You" tribute to your father, or a man who has been like a father to you. Thank you in advance for your contribution to this page.
The following tribute has been submitted by Rosita P. Antonio and is dedicated to her father, Mr. Thomas A. Henry-Phipps:
By Rosita P. Antonio
The world is a better place when fathers are positively involved in the lives of their families.
An era ended with the passing of my father, Thomas A. Henry-Phipps, who was born on April 20, 1915, and passed on Friday November 6, 2009, due to a massive stroke. My father was born on a British Caribbean Island by the name of St. Christopher—better known as St. Kitts. As a babe in arms, his mother whisked him away to the Dominican Republic, seeking a better life. Because of this decision, my father was never really fully acquainted with the Phipps side of his family tree!
As a small child growing up in the Dominican Republic, he told me that a very kind, spiritual, man, who was also a teacher, would go to his area, gather some of the young children there and teach them about Jesus, and help them with elementary school lessons. From that early exposure to the Holy Scriptures, and God, my father was determined to one day become a Christian and to marry a beautiful young lady of the same Faith as this kind gentleman!
My father served in the Second World War, in the Navy, and he told me that one day in the belly of a submarine, he wondered when he would find a wife and rear a family of his own. He was lonely and longed for a better life. He told me that when he got home, there, in his house, was a beautiful girl, who was ambitious, and looking for a better future. This beautiful girl agreed to marry him, and so the marriage was arranged, the date set, and my mother married my father on May 2, 1939. She was 16 years old! Today, at the writing of this tribute, they would have been married for 70 years!!! Yes, they had their ups and downs, but they stayed together and reared ten children.
My father was very supportive of me as a child growing up in England. He attended my athletic matches to watch me compete, he took me to a medical specialist when conventional doctors couldn’t find the reason for a problem I had with my right hand—which I eventually grew out of—defended me when a cousin attacked me—she was having severe problems at home at the time—and was there to hear me sing as a child singing evangelist, and much more. He took his family on yearly trips to the seaside, bought fish and chips—similar to American fish and fries but SO much better—which was something us younger children of the Henry-Phipps family looked forward to on a weekly basis.
Even though he wasn’t a Christian while I was growing up, bit by bit, he helped prepare for the Sabbath on a Friday, by cleaning, cooking and even baking goodies! Then after a while, he would be present at family worship, then started coming to church with us, and would support my mother in her church endeavors. Then, after all ten children had left the nest, he said he went down to the pub to tell his drinking buddies that that would be the last drink he’d have with them, because he was finally going to join his wife and become a Christian. He said they didn’t believe him, perhaps because they were so used to seeing many of their buddies return after a while; but my father never returned to his old lifestyle from since getting baptized in the 1980s!
When my mother passed in April, 1999, my father lost his desire to live, and I was surprised that he had lasted as long as he did. He actually was diagnosed with cancer before my mother passed and waited to be treated after she was funeralized.
Here’s a few of my father’s family values:
Please keep in mind that these were some of my father’s values before he became a Christian!
Am I saying that my father was a perfect father and family man? Absolutely not! But the point I want to make in this tribute, is that my father loved and stayed with his family, and I can tell you that I love and appreciate my father, and thank God that he believed in marriage and family, even though he was not a Christian while I was a child growing up in our family unit. He was a very stable man—worked in one job until retirement—never did he “job-hop!” He was a man of great physical strength, but little education. However, his values surpass many men’s values of today who have much education and many letters after their names! He was reliable, dependable and always believed in getting a job done AND doing it properly! He was funny—a real big comedian—a great salsa dancer, supportive, and lived life to the full, and I miss him.
I salute my father who married a beautiful, godly woman--my mother--who was of the same Faith as the kind gentleman who first introduced him to Jesus as a child. He lived a long life, and was a great example in many ways to the men his life touched. I hope to see him again soon, when Jesus comes to reward those who lived for Him, with eternal life. May we all endeavor to live exemplary lives and leave behind a legacy to be proud of.
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