Yesterday at 8:30 in the morning my wife called me and informed me that my brother-in-law, Lyman Huntsman, had just passed away. 

Lyman was an amazing individual who faced many hard challenges through his life. His first wife passed away from an aneurism a few weeks after having their sixth child leaving Lyman with a newborn and a young family to raise. He met my sister-in-law Marie, also an amazing individual, such a pure, good heart and a determined, strong woman who was always committed to raise her children well and properly. She had the courage to exit a very difficult and abusive relationship. She and Lyman met and fell passionately in love. They had a child together, one that Lyman would affectionately refer to as their “Love Child”. You could tell every time their child walked through the door how his eyes would brighten and just glow. As a matter of fact I think all his children had that effect on him. Although he came across as gruff and grizzly at times everybody knew he was a huge teddy bear.

I remember talking to him last Thanksgiving. He was talking about his kids and tearing up, talking about another situation, and becoming emotional. We did not know then that Lyman would be diagnosed with a quickly spreading brain tumor. We only discovered this a month and a half ago. The situation worsened and two weeks ago we knew that this was going to be a very difficult situation. I felt strongly prompted to go down and say goodbye to Lyman and regretfully I didn’t get down there in time to do it. I was planning on going down this weekend to honor and respect Lyman, express my love to him and thank him for the man he was and for the courage he showed in how he raised a family of “Yours, Mine, and Ours”, coupled with how he treated and adored my sister-in-law.

Lyman, I couldn’t tell you face to face, but I do want to tell you publicly: Thank you for being the man that you were. Thank you for being strong. Thank you for having courage. There are not a lot of real men left that have the tenacity to stand up and to do the hard things and to do it with love and respect and to have the courage to really stand up. You treated my nieces and nephews as your own and raised them as such and I can do nothing but honor you. I hope I can be and show the attributes of being a real man as you did. I respect you in every way, Lyman. Thank you for all that you have done for me and my extended family.