Thank you Dad, for everything…

From Christina Engelbart, Daughter #3, Executive Director, The Doug Engelbart Institute

Dear Dad, teacher, mentor, ring leader, long time business partner, and granddad to my kids:

Thank you for everything. You encouraged me to wonder and explore. You shared your love of nature and the outdoors, and your passions for folk dancing, raising earthworms and ducks, physical fitness. You taught me to take the stairs instead of the elevator if it’s just a few flights, park the car a bit further away because the exercise never hurt. You taught me to ride a bike, and later taught us some of your trick riding stunts. You played fun outdoor games with us kids, and told us imaginative bedtime stories that carried us to dreamland in miniature spaceships on wild adventures. Sometimes you fell asleep before we did, usually one of us would wake you up to find out how the story ended. For birthday parties you would sometimes create treasure hunts with the greatest clues, we all had so much fun.

You were the first in our world to bring home a Pluto Platter, and a skateboard. You took us bike riding, sailing, canoeing, camping, backpacking. I remember when your ducks got out and started following me to school. I remember coming home from a friend’s one Saturday and you were sitting on the family room floor with a bucket of filmy liquid and some wire frames you were bending into shape making — bubbles!? and proceeded to tell me about how the surface tension and shapes that formed could be so intriguing you wanted to study them. You wondered about alot of things, full of questions and quiet tenacity. You really cared about society and the world and what kind of shape it was all in. You were as good as your word, upstanding. I was proud of that in you. You insisted on family meetings, surfacing the issues, talking things through, collaborating, reaching consensus. You helped me with my math homework, taught me to re-wire a lamp, change a flat tire. You taught me to waltz and hambo. You sent me to college, walked me down the aisle, you were there to welcome my kids into the world and our growing Engelbart clan which delighted you so. You were a family man at heart, even as your research agenda took on a life of its own, demanded your undivided attention, you still enjoyed any excuse for a family get together.

And for all that, how lucky I was to have also had the chance to work alongside you on something that could make a huge difference to society, to think deep thoughts with you, and just to have had the extra quality time with you all those years.

You did so much for us, and for the world.

Thank you for everything, Dad.

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