June 9, 2010

Big Daddy Clyde

Three years ago this Friday my dad passed away after an 18 year battle with a rare cancer. He was a true Southern gentleman with a great sense of style. Below I have copied the words my sisters and I wrote about him that were read at his funeral.

Dad...I miss you and wish you could see my precious Camille and your name-sake, Clyde. I hope you are enjoying them from heaven.

We are proud to say our father was Clyde Blanton. He was our hero. He lived 18 years with a horrible disease, had to do so much to live day to day and he never complained. Recently, mom asked him “do you ever say why me” and his response was “why not me?” This is a reflection of how Dad chose to live his life. There is not a person he met who did not like him. He loved golfing on Sunday afternoons with the Clydesdales and was so proud that his friends named the group after him. We also can’t forget his love of clothes. His style was straight out of the preppy handbook…round tortoise shell glasses, madras sport coats, seersucker pants, argyle socks, bright colored belts, pants adorned with wreaths, dogs, lobsters, crabs and ducks and we cannot forget the latest addition to his closet – bright yellow crocs; a shocking purchase that came from his Saturday trip to Ukrops. He was always dressed to the nines even when just going to the grocery store. He extended his love to dress to his granddaughter, who he called Vail “baby” and was always purchasing dresses and pajamas for her. On her 1st birthday, he also bought her first car. That leads us to his love of cars, he had many cars over the years and loved to negotiate and buy them. After each of his surgeries, Mom had to contain his urge to go out and buy a new one. A few years ago, after our last golden retriever Winnie died, he was longing for another pet. We went with Mom and picked out a kitten for him from the SPCA and surprised him for his birthday. He was thrilled and he said it was the best birthday present he had ever gotten. Dad and his kitty Penelope spent hours on the sofa watching his flat screen television.

We have so many wonderful childhood memories of Dad that include our spring break vacations, trips to the beach and trips to the state fair. As we got older, we started new traditions and one of the best was dancing with Mom and Dad in the kitchen on Christmas Eve. The night was filled with Motown hits, and he could not resist putting his favorite tune Treat Her Like a Lady on repeat.

Dad was a great husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle and friend. He was our Big Guy and the Come Back Kid. He never let us down. He will live on in us and we are so grateful for all the amazing memories and years that we had with him. Being surrounded by women he lived by the words of his favorite song…Treat her like a lady.


  1. Alyson, that was so touching. I've got tears streaming down. He was such an amazing guy! Thanks for sharing this.

  2. I, too, had tears flowing. That was really sweet!

  3. Aly your tribute to your Dad was so sweet. I know you miss him so much. I feel like I need/want to love your kids for him too. I know Big Daddy Clyde is very proud of you as I am.