Saturday, May 27, 2017


My father died on May 4th and I haven't been able to write about it. Although he was 97 years old, his death was sudden and unexpected: he hadn't been ill. I was not, and still am not, prepared for the aftermath, which has left me completely alone in the world, in a very real sense. 

When I can get it together, perhaps when his house has been emptied and sold and it is completely over, I will try to write more.

In the meantime, here is the obituary I wrote for the local newspaper:

Robert F. Dakin, age 97, died Thursday, May 4, 2017 at O’Bleness Hospital. Born April 10, 1920 in Mansfield, Ohio, he was the son of Charles R. and Lois Armstrong Dakin.

Robert was a graduate of Cadillac (Michigan) High School, where he and his future wife Elizabeth A. Burch Dakin were members of the graduating class of 1937. Robert and Elizabeth were married in December, 1945, after Robert, who had served as a combat medic in the Pacific Theatre during WWII, received his discharge and returned to Michigan.

Robert then attended Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, where their son, Robert F., Jr. was born in 1947. Robert next taught in an elementary school in Midland, Michigan prior to moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1952, where he completed his doctoral studies at the University of Michigan.

The Dakins resided in Ann Arbor until 1967, when they moved to Athens, Ohio. There, Robert became the founding director of the Ohio Program of Intensive English (OPIE), serving until his retirement, after which he was an active member of the Ohio University Emeriti Association. Both Robert and his wife, Elizabeth, were active members of Christ Lutheran Church.

Robert is survived by his son, Robert F., Jr. and his wife Theresa; their two daughters, Alana E. and Laura A. Dakin; and a sister, Mary Pattison, as well as a number of nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by a brother, Richard Dakin; a sister, Helen Dakin Blackman; and his wife of 65 years, Elizabeth.

A memorial service will be held on a future date at Christ Lutheran Church. His ashes will be interred next to those of Elizabeth in Maple Hill Cemetery, Cadillac, Michigan.


My father was well loved by all who knew him. This world will miss him. But not more than I do. I love you, Daddy.