In his book, The Forgotten Commandment, Dennis Rainey encourages readers to write a formal tribute to their parents and present it to them during a special occasion (birthday, anniversary, holiday, etc.).  Following is an example of a tribute.  Click here for more information on honoring your parents and for more tribute examples.

Allen Kurtz wrote this tribute to his parents for their 50th wedding anniversary on August 30, 2003. He read it to them at a gathering of friends and family and included it in a memory book that was assembled by their children and grandchildren.

In the tribute to his parents, Allen mentions his first wife, Kim Teeter. They were married on Kim’s 21st birthday, July 28, 1979. Just three months later, Kim was killed in an automobile crash. Allen says his parents were a great source of encouragement and support for him after Kim’s death.

Tribute to Don and Carol Kurtz from their son, Allen:

Congratulations on 50 years of marriage. I am writing this to let you know how much I appreciate all you have done for me.

Some people have a hard time finding something to be thankful for when it comes to their parents. I am definitely not in that category. I have much to be thankful for. You have set a very good example for me to follow.

Family has always been very important to you and there are many things that prove that to be true. One thing that comes to mind is the fact that we always attended family reunions, birthday parties and gatherings when it was at all possible. I remember not really looking forward to going to some of the family reunions, but always being glad we went after being there and getting acquainted with family members. We have gone from having a celebration each time someone had a birthday, to celebrating several birthdays at a time because of our busy schedules, but I am glad we still make the effort, even if we are not all able to be there every time. Because of your commitment to family, I know much more about my family and am acquainted with more family members than many people are.

Besides time with other parts of our family, we spent time together as well. I remember the vacations and camping trips we took when I was small, as well as the trip we took to Seattle just a few years ago. We got to enjoy seeing a lot of places together and had a fun time along the way.

Another aspect of our family was to have fun together. There were a lot of things we did to spend time together and to have fun. Besides the camping and vacation trips, we had a lot of fun at home, too. We spent time fishing, hunting, exploring, finding new litters of kittens, playing basketball, volleyball, baseball and soccer, flying kites, making and using button spinners, shooting clay pigeons, throwing horseshoes, seining minnows and crawdads, planting and harvesting garden crops, caring for our animals, climbing trees, killing snakes, going to card parties, shooting off rockets, putting puzzles together, butchering and processing animals, watching TV, ice skating on the pond and sledding behind the tractor. It seems that whatever we were doing, you tried to make it fun. I remember the time during a storm that Dad put a gasoline funnel at the end of the sidewalk and then went in the house and excitedly told Mom to, “Come and look at the funnel!” He knew she would be thinking about funnel clouds, and we all had a good laugh when Mom saw what it was. (It worked pretty well on Tammye once, too!)

Dad, you showed us how to make do with what we had by being creative and usually inventing something that would work. Some examples of this are: the “automatic” lawn mower, a sled to haul wood and hay bales in the winter, the floating bicycle (that may have been my idea), a boat with inner tubes to hold it up, the open window between the pickup and the camper, so we could go between the two without stopping and the flag pole that could be folded down. I am grateful to have a sense of ingenuity that is mainly from your example.

Mom, thank you for all you taught us about making a house a home. Baking chocolate chip cookies has been one of my favorite things to do as a child, and as a father making cookies with the boys when they were young. I get a lot of compliments about my chocolate chip cookies even now, and I learned it all from you. Thank you for loving me. Even in the toughest of times I know you are there to help me. Each time I was sick as a child, you were there to hold my head with a wet cloth. When Kim was killed and I went through the toughest time in my life, I always knew there was a place I could go even if it was just to have a good cry. After several months of suffering, you were the one that helped me to see that I needed to quit looking back and get on with my life. Thank you for helping me keep the right perspective. I am not the only one you show that consistent care and concern to, but I want you to know how much it means to me even now.

Both of you have always supported me in what I was doing, whether it was sports, 4-H projects, school activities, youth group meetings, friends, going to college, choosing a career, choosing a wife, or anything else I did, you were there helping where you could, and encouraging me along the way. Many people I have met have not had parents that have shown them the support that I have enjoyed from you. For that I am very thankful.

You provided for our family even during difficult times. I know there were times when there was not enough money to do the things we would have liked to do, but I never felt neglected. In fact, as I look back, I am amazed at the things you provided for us through the years. We never went hungry and always had our basic needs met. We learned how to be thrifty and to spend money wisely.

Thank you for your commitment to each other. Your perseverance through the years is an example not only to me, but also to everyone who knows you. Many people do not stay married to each other for 50 years. You have shown by your actions how important it is to live out the promises you made to each other. If you had not provided a good example of perseverance, I don’t think Tammye and I would be working at FamilyLife today. If we had been shown a poor example, we may have given up long ago. You are leaving a Godly legacy not only to me, but also to all your children, grandchildren and more generations to follow.

The thing I am most thankful for is your faith in God and that you provided the means for me to learn about and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. Because of this, I know we will spend eternity together with Him. Thank you for faithfully taking me to church and allowing me to be involved in the youth group when I was growing up.

While writing this letter, I have struggled to find the words that would adequately show you how much I admire and appreciate you both.

Thank you for all you have done for me. I love you very much. I hope the years to come will continue to be a blessing to you as you serve Christ and continue to love the people God puts in your path.

May God Richly Bless You.

I Love You,


Copyright © 2004 by Allen Kurtz. All rights reserved. Used with permission.