Meet My Dad: John Landreth
Just like so many people today, I too am thinking of my dad, John Landreth, a man who was humble and loving, and who’s wisdom continues to be priceless.
He was a hard working man who had a passion for building things, his life long work in construction was one of his greatest joys. He came from humble beginnings, born with a form of Meningitis that resulted in him being crippled when he was a baby. Several prayers and body braces later, he eventually was able to walk, and break free of his restraints.
He also had a passion for music, and his rhythms that he pounded out on the drums, had him playing in a jazz band when he was young. Rumor is, after playing in a jazz band through much of his home state of Nebraska, a scout from the “Lawrence Welk Show,” was to come out and give my dad a listen. It was a dream that fell short, after my father was drafted into Word War II, something he would never think of stepping down from, even though there might have been a way for him to get out of his service, he wouldn’t think of it.
He served our country over in Burma, China and India, and was under the direction of General Stillwell through part of the war. After spending several months in the jungles of Africa, my father was stricken with Malaria, and was later told that he would never be able to have children as a result of this disease.
Years later, he met my mother, and immediately fell in love. He told my mother of his condition of not being able to have children, and she agreed with plans for adoption, something they didn’t have to do, since after a year of wedded bliss, my parents received the news that they never thought they would hear, that they were expecting a little bundle of joy, the first of five bundles of joy in all.
My father worked very hard to provide for our family, and always instilled a strong work ethic, encouraging we kids to go out and make something of ourselves. He was gentle, kind, had a wonderful sense of humor, and, when the situation called for it, was also stern.
My father’s attitude always amazed me, since he went through so much in his life, being crippled as a child, loosing two siblings from what would now be simple childhoods diseases, catching Malaria, through all of these trials, my dad always lived his life as “the glass is always half full” approach.
He taught us how to love others and to have respect for them, as well as ourselves. He and my mother taught us the love of Christ, and to love our fellow man. He served in both our church, and served in the community of my small town, proudly serving in the Lion’s Club, living their motto that “It’s Great To Be A Lion.”
I could go on and on about both of my parents, but when it all comes down to it, I am so thankful to GOD above, that I was so blessed to have such wonderful, loving extraordinary parents in my life, and I’m so truly thankful that we had such a family leader who brought joy to everyone he met.
My dad has been gone since 2004, but his spirit lives on in children, and I’m so proud to have had a father such as my dad, who will always continue to live in my heart. Happy Father’s Day John Landreth, we miss you dearly!