13 Tribute Ideas for a Father who has Died
Paying tribute to a father who has passed away is a common gesture children and others want to make. You’ll often find tributes in books, art, film, poems, and other media, but these aren’t the only places to pay tribute to someone you’ve lost or to someone important to you. You can also pay tribute to a father who died through an event, honorary donation, and other ways. Here’s some ideas to get you started on paying tribute to a father (or father in law) who died.
How do I write or reference a tribute to my father?
Even if you end up hosting an event as a tribute to your father, it’s common to have some words prepared for the event. This is especially true if you’re looking for ways to pay tribute to your dad at a funeral.
You can include some of these quotes or pieces of these poems as a part of your eulogy, if you’re in charge of writing one. If you’re searching for other creative ways to include a tribute to your dad, consider selecting some of these quotes and weaving them into a toast you’d like to give to in honor of your dad.
Poems and quotes about losing a father
Poets have an excellent way with words and can be relied on as a beautiful way to pay tribute to your father. Consider reading one (or some) of these (or other) poems at the funeral or other event you choose to honor your father in. Funeral poems for dad usually include a reference to their importance in our lives and the impact they had on others as a father. You can find some examples below.
“Which is happier, man or boy? / The soul of the father is steeped in joy, / For he's finding out, to his heart's delight, / That his son is fit for the future fight.” - Edgar Guest
“So when a great man dies, / For years beyond our ken, / The light he leaves behind him lies / Upon the paths of men.” - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Your day is done? / It is not true. You know you left behind / a memory of courage which the years / can but increase. And we, your heirs, will find / that in good truth there's nothing here for tears.” - Stanley of Alderley
“That man is a success / who has lived well, / laughed often and loved much…” - Robert Louis Stevenson
“Dad, I am often told I am just like you. / I am honored beyond measure if that is true. / You were the best example of what a man should be. / I am overwhelmed that someone would say that of me.” - J. Allen Shaw
“If we have forgotten to show our / Gratitude enough for all the things you did, / We’re thanking you now. / And we are hoping you knew all along, / How much you meant to us.” - Unknown
Words to say at a funeral for your dad
Another great place to include a tribute to your dad is during the funeral, even if it’s not part of the eulogy. Following you’ll find some inspirational quotes about the death of a father and other funeral poems and tributes for a dad. You can weave these funeral quotes for dads into your eulogy or mention them during another part of the ceremony.
“To lose your father is to lose the one whose guidance and help you seek, who supports you like a tree trunk supports its branches.” -- Yann Martel
“...in losing him I lost my greatest blessing and comfort, for he was always that to me.” - Saint Teresa of Ávila
“Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.” - Gloria Naylor
“Let me tell you, he is the hole in my heart. His loss is my scar. But let me tell you something, his memory drives me forward every single day of my life.” - Michelle Obama
“You see, my father taught me that even our most profound losses are survivable. And that is -- it is what we do with that loss -- our ability to transform it into a positive event —that is one of my father's greatest lessons.” - Ted Kennedy Jr.
“The gift my father gave me every day of my life was he believed in me.” - Jim Valvano
““Many people long for a father's love. I had it. I have it still.” - Jennifer Grant
“The words that a father speaks to his children in the privacy of home are not heard by the world, but, as in whispering galleries, they are clearly heard at the end, and by posterity.” - Jean Paul
“My father was always there for me when I lost. But, then, I never really lost when my father was there.” - Laurie Beth Jones
““I am not ashamed to say that no man I ever met was my father's equal, and I never loved any other man as much.” - Hedy Lamarr
“He was a father. That's what a father does. Eases the burdens of those he loves.” - George Saunders
“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.” - Umberto Eco
Example of a tribute for the funeral of a father
If you’re specifically looking for words to say at a funeral for your father, you can find an example below. A funeral tribute to a dad doesn’t have to be incredibly long and it can be any combination of stories, quotes, poems, words, that you find meaningful. Some funeral tributes to a dad are a single quote, while others include a long story or section in the eulogy. The tribute is up to you and what you find important. Here are some suggested words to say at a funeral for a dad, if you’re stuck:
“Thank you all for coming out today to celebrate and honor the memory of our father, [Name]. It’s difficult for me to explain just how much my father meant to me and I don’t think I’d be able to put it into words, even if I wanted to. I do know that I miss my father more than anything and I will remember him for the rest of my life. He was the best father someone could ask for: [list some of his qualities]. I’d like to honor his memory by reading this passage from [Name of Text / Quotes / Poem]: [Quote]. I love you, dad.”
Tribute to a father who died
You may be thinking to yourself, “What’s a good tribute to my dad who passed away?” There are many ways to pay a tribute to someone who passed away. Below are some ideas on activities or events you can do to pay tribute to a father who has passed away.
Start a memorial website in his name
Memorial websites are excellent ways to pay tribute to someone who passed away. A memorial website on Ever Loved is free, stays up indefinitely, and has unlimited space for photos, memories, updates, and an obituary. You can share as many (or as few) details of your father’s life as you’d like to and invite others to do the same.
Host an annual ceremony
Invite your friends, family, and loved ones to spend a few hours celebrating the life of your father and all of his accomplishments. Consider hosting this event at one of his favorite bars, restaurants, or locations and encourage others to share their favorite moments and qualities about your father. You can theme the event around your father’s favorite activities or keep it simple and straightforward, the celebration is entirely up to you.
Host a barbecue
A family barbecue is an excellent way to gather those in your community for time well spent in remembering and honoring your dad. Bonus points if you cook up some of his favorite dishes or use one of his famous recipes for those attending.
Visit his burial spot, or a favorite location of his
Visiting the gravesite or a favorite location of your father’s is an excellent way to pay tribute and is a great option for those who’d like something a bit more private. (Although it’s entirely possible to bring others to visit the gravesite or favorite spot.) This is also a great time to read a letter you’ve written, read a passage or poem you’ve selected, or share another meaningful piece of work with him in spirit.
Make a donation in his name
Making a donation in someone else’s name not only honors their memory, but it also ensures their life continues to be of help to others even after they've passed away. If you’re making a donation in memory of your dad, it can also be a good idea to consider donating to an organization or charity that he was passionate about.
Do one of his favorite activities
Was your dad an avid fisherman? Golfer? Cook? Chess player? Outdoorsperson? Think of your father’s favorite activities and try engaging in one or two of them in memory of him. You can make this a bit more involved by choosing a different activity each year, or venturing into activities you know he loved but you have yet to experience. This can easily be done by yourself or by making it an annual family event where others are invited to remember your father by doing some of his favorite things.
Write a book or story about his life
Writing a book can seem like a massive undertaking, especially for those who aren’t very fond of writing. That being said, a book doesn’t have to be pages and pages of endless paragraphs! A book can be pictures, can have no words, or can have many words. It can include anything you’d like it to include and you don’t need to have experience in writing a book to get started.
Write to him
If writing privately is more your style, consider writing messages or letters to your father as a way to pay tribute to him. You can keep these letters to yourself, share them with your family, or even post them online through an online memorial website. If you decide to visit his grave or a favorite spot of his, you can also consider bringing a written letter along and reading it to him while you’re there.
Write him a song or poem
Using the words of others to express your feelings is a great way to pay tribute, but sometimes it’s better (and even easier) to simply write your own. Many have found comfort in writing their own poetry or songs about a loved one who passed away, and you can, too.
Make a short video or tribute movie
If film is a medium that appeals to you, consider creating a tribute video in your father’s memory for others (or just you) to see. You can collect photos, clips from your phone, songs, and other recordings and compile it all into one tribute video. Once you’re finished, upload the video on to a site like YouTube, post it to your memorial website (and other social media), and share the life of your father with others.
Create a cocktail named after him
Are you interested in mixed drinks? Was your father a fan of cocktails? Make a cocktail in his name! Creating a cocktail is a unique way to pay tribute to a dad who has died, especially if it has ingredients he would’ve enjoyed. You can keep this creation to yourself or share it with others during an event in his memory.
Share one of his recipes online
Was your dad a fan of cooking? Did he have a famous recipe? Consider uploading the recipe online for others to use. Sharing a favorite recipe of your dad’s helps keep his memory alive and shares his knowledge and skill with others. You never know, your dad’s recipe could end up becoming a treasured family recipe for other families for generations to come.
Purchase a bench or place a brick in a favorite park
A popular way to pay tribute is by purchasing a park bench or brick in a walkway of your father’s favorite park or outdoor area. You’ll want to get in touch with the city or the park owner to see what the process is (and whether or not it’s a possibility), but this is a great way to have a permanent space dedicated to your dad.
Considering hosting an event? Want to keep everyone in the loop? Start a memorial website to keep track of RSVPs and communicate with those in your community. Even if you’re not hosting an event, a memorial website is an excellent place to share your father’s memory with those around you. In addition, they’re easy to use, easy to set up, and entirely free.