S: Benjamin Thacker Walkingstick
FC: Benjamin Thacker Walkingstick The Cherished Leader of our Tribe
1: Dear Ben, Beeb, B-Ben, Thacker and Big Chief, Words cannot express the gratitude that we, your family, have for everything you have done for us. You have selflessly benefited each and every one of us throughout our lives and continue to do so today. Therefore, on this, your 80th birthday celebration, we have put together some of our favorite memories and stories as well as some messages of appreciation. We can only hope that it conveys all the feelings of love and admiration we have for you. We wish you the happiest of birthdays and are thankful to be able to share it with you. With Love, The Walkingsticks, Gotwals, Alsips, Collins, Dowdys, Bernsons, Mays, Austins, Smiths, Nicholsons, Hurts, & Prices
2: To Our Fearless Leader - The Elder The Elder is someone who is not Just old and feeble. They are the keepers of our stories of the old people. They are the guiding forces in our daily walk. When we need strength and wisdom, they are the ones with whom we talk. You may think that Elders are just old, or in your way. But without them being there in our lives, we would be in dismay. When we fall and don’t know where to go or what to do They are the one who’s help we need to get up, and get through. The Elders believe that if you fall 100x, but you get up 101x, you have already won. They’ll always be there holding our hands from the rising to the setting of the sun. You may think that Elders are just a member in the family But what you don’t know is that they had the biggest part of your destiny. There is nothing you can say or do that they haven’t gone through or heard, But they’ll always forgive, and be there with open arms without saying a word. You need to stop and look at yourself through their eyes, they see a child of gold that shines When you don’t respect or show love to the Elders, you are missing out. They are there for you countless times. One thing they have taught me is to never give up when the prize is in sight. Even if you can’t see them, they are always near us......still the guiding light.
3: Ben, you are a man of many passions;
4: You are honored, respected, and adored by your Tribe and many others . . .
5: We admire you so; You are influential - you impact others in your community, state, and nation.
6: You are an amazing son;
7: and treasured friend . . .
8: Time spent with you is not forgotten;
9: But treasured, enjoyed, and remembered!
10: You have so many stories about great time spent with your friends;
11: You have helped us learn to appreciate the value of a good friend!
12: We celebrate your friendship;
13: And look forward to more experiences with you and more stories!
14: Your smile and laughter are contagious! | You have embraced this life;
15: You live every day to the fullest and inspire your tribe to do the same . . .
16: You have many passions - and you share those with family and friends;
17: Ben, based on your actions, you have taught us that family comes first;
18: We have so enjoyed experiencing the love of OU Football with you; | b boomer sooner
19: BOOMER SOONER | Looking forward to many more years!
20: With you, Ben, we have seen the most beautiful sunsets and other amazing wonders! | Because of you, we have had so many wonderful and fun moments! We have seen such beauty in both family and our surroundings!
21: We have truly lived because your spirit is contagious!
22: What an amazing partnership;
23: And love of a lifetime!
24: What Makes A Dad A Dad is a person who is loving and kind, And often he knows what you have on your mind. He's someone who listens, suggests, and defends. A dad can be one of your very best friends! He's proud of your triumphs, but when things go wrong, A dad can be patient and helpful and strong In all that you do, a dad's love plays a part. There's always a place for him deep in your heart. And each year that passes, you're even more glad, More grateful and proud just to call him your dad! Thank you, Dad... for listening and caring, for giving and sharing, but, especially, for just being you!
25: "My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." -- Clarence Budington Kelland
31: "Any man can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad." -- Anne Geddes
32: Our Grandfather Few can bring the warmth We can find in your embrace; And little more is needed to bring love Than the smile on your face; You are a supple of precious stories, Yet you have time to wipe a tear; Or give us reasons to make us laugh You grow more precious through the years; We believe God sent us Grandparents- As our legacy from above; To share the moments of our life As extra measures of His love
38: Happy Birthday Ben! I couldn't ask for a more caring, loving, or generous grandfather. You are truly someone to look up to and I thank God everyday for the family he has blessed me with. You have always been so kind and thoughtful. Thank you so much for my hunters safety lifetime license. I can't wait to come out with you. Love Always, John
40: Dear B-Ben, Since we are celebrating you I guess I shouldn't mention anything about the time you ran over my foot in Cabo, how you sometimes cheat at Yahtzee, or how our deep sea fishing experience made me want to shoot myself. Oh, & also that time you bit me (apparently I bit you first but I was too little to know any better). So, I'll stick to the best things. Those blue eyes, that twinkling smile & easy laugh come to mind. How sweet & loving you are. I'll never forget how we all 3 started tearing up when Bonnie told us about someone she helped out with groceries, a ride, or something - can't quite remember what but remember the sentiment.
41: I so admire your work ethic and motivation. Remember when you came to speak to my class for career day and gave everyone $1 & told them to come open a savings account? Your success, dedication, hard work, and generosity have enabled me (and so many others) to experience countless wonderful things. Fabulous vacations, sooo much good food and wine, OU traditions, tons of laughter and good conversation, a support system, a large, crazy, wonderful, loving extended family that I feel so grateful to call mine! Happy Birthday B-Ben, I love you! Jen
42: Beeb, I want to thank you for being there for me while Marc was in Iraq, it was the hardest thing I have been through. I have so many wonderful memories of you as a kid and later when I worked at the bank. My favorite memory happened just a few years ago. We had just finished a big dinner at your house and you were in your chair at the table with everyone standing around talking. I looked over at you and the way you were looking at everyone, the pride and love you have for us was obvious. We are so lucky to have you as our Beeb. I will love and remember you always Happy 80th Birthday! Love Jessica
46: Dear Ben: I looked at Churchill, my books of prophets and poems to help me with words of celebration on the event of your 80th birthday. But, I turned to my favorite song by Bob Dylan that expresses best my wish for you this special day. "May God bless and keep you always; May your wishes all come true; May you always do for others; And let others do for you; May you build a ladder to the stars, and climb on every rung; May you stay forever young" Happy Birthday! Love, June
47: Ben, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Thanks for everything. I can't tell you how much you've helped me out. I love you man! Mark Austin | Believing, hear what you deserve to hear; Your birthday as my own to me is dear; Blessed and distinguished days that we should prize! The First, the kindest of the skies. But yours gives most; for mine did only lend Me to the world; yours gave to me a friend. | Thank you Ben for being so wonderful! And thanks for all of the great advice (most of which I have been stupid enough to ignore). Love you always! Kim
48: Things happen in life that cause changes to our family structure. Thank you Ben for welcoming the newcomers, as well as continuing to love and cherish those who aren't with us as much.
50: Ben, You have so many wonderful qualities, where do we begin? We love and appreciate the way you have accepted all newcomers into your family - you have a way of making everyone feel welcome. | We appreciate your advice, warmth, wit and generosity. We have so many fond memories of special times with you - from dinners to vacations and discussions always needing your advice! You have touched all of our lives in ways you may not even understand! We are honored to celebrate your 80th Birthday with you - and very blessed to call you family and friend! With lot's of love! Smitty & Michelle
51: Happy Birthday from the Smith/Nicholson Gang!!!!
52: Happiest of Birthdays Ben, I wanted to share with you a memory of a summer many years ago when you and Bonnie treated Kim, Bruce, Johnny, Ruby, Smitty, and I to a weekend on your houseboat. It was decided, after cruising the lake one evening, we would stop at a lakeside club for a nightcap. There were very few customers inside the small dark bar. No music was playing and someone decided to plug the juke box. When the song Kansas City started playing, you and Bonnie jumped up to show us how a truly cool couple can dance. Oh boy, could you two cut a rug. We all felt like fools dancing next to you. What fun we all had drinking and dancing and most of all sharing each other’s company. I suppose you found your crazy little woman in Bonnie so I’ve printed the lyrics to that song for you (although you probably know them by heart). I must tell you that every time I have heard Kansas City over the years I think of you, smile, and wish I was as smooth as you.
53: I'm going to Kansas City Kansas City here I come I'm going to Kansas City Kansas City here I come They got some crazy little women there And I'm gonna get me one I'm gonna be standing on the corner Twelfth Street and Vine I'm gonna be standing on the corner Twelfth Street and Vine With my Kansas City baby And a bottle of Kansas City wine Well I might take a train I might take a plane But if I have to walk I'm goin' just the same I'm going to Kansas City Kansas City here I come They got some crazy little women there And I'm gonna get me one Now if I stay with that woman I know I'm gonna die Gotta find a brand new baby That's the reason why I'm going to Kansas City Kansas City here I come They got some crazy little women there And I'm gonna get me one They got some crazy little women there And I'm gonna get me one They got some crazy little women there And I'm gonna get me one | Ben, you have been someone for whom I have tremendous respect, the fondest of memories, and the deepest love. Wishing you continued good health and a vigorous wit. With much affection, Michelle Hurt
55: Dear Ben, We are so thankful that we are able to be a part of this major milestone in your life. You have always been and continue to be an amazing example of how work ethic and drive can take you to places unimaginable. We personally thank you for the encouragement you have given to us as we are taking this journey through college and supporting us through our struggles. You’ve proven that having a big heart will enrich the lives of your friends and family. From manners at the dinner table to patience on the golf course, you have been a wonderful mentor to many. And we’ve learned to never take this life for granted and to live each day as if it was a gift. You are a gentleman, a leader, and a true inspiration for others to model themselves after. The many doors you have opened for others have laid the foundation for success and we can only hope that our choices will lead us to the same happiness you have found. Words cannot match your kindness. Somehow, thank you by itself does not seem to be enough. And yet, for all that you have done, you require no thanks. You only keep giving. So from those of us lucky enough to receive so much from you, we want to give you all of the love and admiration that you deserve. Happy 80th Birthday Ben! We will always have a special place in our hearts for you. Love, Kylie and Lucas
57: Ben, We've had too many interesting stories over the years for me to highlight just one, so I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you some things I don't say enough. I'm the first to realize that you didn't have to treat me and my family as well as you have over the last 20-25 years. You obviously already had a large family and it would have been easy to keep your distance, but you jumped right in and accepted us for the crazy, dysfunctional group that we are. You are the only grandfather I've ever known, and I don't think Nanny could've picked a better one. To me, you're just my grandpa . . . No qualifiers, no explanations. I want you to know that I truly appreciate everything you've done for me from the early-morning fishing outings to the football tickets; career advice to vacations: business contacts to a new car. Nothing that you and Nanny do for me is ever taken for granted. You are a great man and I'm so thankful to have you in my life. I hope you enjoy this celebration and I look forward to many more to come. Happy 80th! Love, Cal Class of 2004 - 1771 - Dikaia Upotheke Justice, Our Foundation
58: Happy Birthday!!
59: Ben, I feel like such a lucky girl to have known you for the last 4 years. I have enjoyed every moment we have gotten to spend together probably more than you have ever realized! From the day I met you for the first time on Lindsey Street before an OU game, to calling you in excitement to tell you my big news about a teaching job, I love sharing in these times. The weekend spent last year at OU Texas was so much fun; cheering together in the stands and even throwing out a few bad words on an ugly play. I enjoyed so much the weekend we got to come down to Chandler; the four of us trying to track down some bar-b-q and sharing stories about life. These times are my favorite! I can't believe how quickly you have made me feel like one of the family. For all of the small and significant moments in my life, I am blessed to have been able to share them with you. Now I am honored to share your 80th birthday with you! I hope this special day is everything you have hoped it would be, and more. I can't wait to celebrate in many more with you! Happy Birthday, Love, Jessica
60: Dear Ben, We were really young when we joined your family. Thank you so very much for accepting us! We have fond memories of eating the wonderful food that always accompanies a visit (duck breasts and your amazing Caesar salad are some of our favorites!) We want to thank you for including us in the 2008 Cabo trip - we will never forget that trip; and the fun and fellowship we experienced with you. We love your smile, laughter; the way you tease but in such a loving way; your energy, zest for living, love of your ancestry and community. You are a role model for all of us - and we are so blessed to get to celebrate your birthday with you! We look forward to many more duck breasts with orange sauce, Caesar salad, holidays, and any other excuse we have to hang out with you! Love and hugs! Maegan & Randi
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71: Happy Birthday to a loved, respected and honorable husband, father, grandfather and friend. How special it is to celebrate this birthday with you and we look forward to many more! With love, Your family and friends