‘A gift for Dave’: Linda Butler’s letter to her stepfather

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(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following letter was written by Linda Butler to express her appreciation for her stepfather, Dave Maurer, of Somers. The letter is the topic of Carol Marino’s “Good News” column in the Sunday, Feb. 12, Daily Inter Lake. We are publishing the full letter online only.)


What do you give a wonderful man who needs or wants for nothing?

Thanksgiving weekend my mom and stepfather traveled to Ohio for a family visit. They rarely get to come down, so Mom and I decided we’d celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love Christmas. I love giving presents. My mom is my best friend, which makes it easy to choose her gifts. I also wanted to give my stepdad something special. A gift that would reflect how much he means to me. There in lay the problem. What do you give a wonderful man who needs or wants for nothing?

My stepfather is Dave Maurer. A resident of Somers for many years, he’s been very active in the community. For those who are fortunate enough to know him, you’re nodding in agreement, saying, “Oh my goodness … Dave’s a wonderful man!” He and my mother will have been married six years this Valentine’s Day. They were youngsters in their 70s when they not only reconnected, but rekindled embers from when they dated right after Dave completed his first year at West Point (crazy kids!). It’s an amazing story worth listening to if you ever get the opportunity to hear it! I remember what I call “Dave stories” that my mom told me growing up ... But back to the Christmas gift.

Dave genuinely had nothing on his “want” list (may we all be so content). After much consideration I decided that a public declaration of my love and admiration for him was “the gift.” I love to write, so it seemed perfect. Understand I rarely have trouble expressing myself, especially in writing. I never dreamed how difficult my gift would turn out to be. I have been working on this since December. I think I finally have it.

I started by writing down words, many words, that I felt described Dave: kind, caring, considerate, loving, honest, authentic, reliable, etc. The list was long and if you know him, you’re again nodding in agreement. Dave is just a good man. However, there was one word that came up again and again. That word is integrity.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines integrity as:

1:  firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: incorruptibility.

2:  an unimpaired condition: soundness.

3:  the quality or state of being complete or undivided: completeness.

Integrity is the word that best describes Dave Maurer. That’s a huge deal to me. I believe true integrity is the rarest, most valuable quality you can find in a person. When Dave makes a commitment, you can rest assured not only will he fulfill that commitment, he will do it to the very best of his ability. Whether it’s a committee he’s on, working 14 hours at the polls this past election or the vows he made before God and family to love and cherish my mother, he does it all to the very best of his ability.

Yet, even with all of that said, I’m a firm believer that words are only worth the paper they’re written on; proof is in the pudding. Indulge me if you would and allow me to share the best example I have of Dave Maurer “pudding,” my mother.

Martha (Richardson) Maurer, even with her human flaws, is simply the best person I’ve ever known. She’s naturally amazing and the most authentic picture of love here on earth I that I have seen. She’s a really good mom and a really good wife. She and my dad were married over 50 years. How could anything possibly improve her? The answer — Dave Maurer. Talk about an example of God’s love and perfect plans. Somehow, what was already wonderful about my mother is more wonderful now. You could have never convinced me that she could be more loving or kind, but she is. Qualities I always hoped she’d embrace, she has. Mom has this new sense of confidence and inner peace that I can’t put words to. But I know that she’s happier now than she has ever been. Talk about some pretty significant “pudding.”

So Dave Maurer, I want to tell you that I love you. I respect you. Most of all I am so very proud to be your stepdaughter ,and I thank God he brought you back into my mother’s life.

Merry Christmas!

Happy anniversary!

Happy birthday!

Happy forever!

With all my heart ...



Linda Butler is a resident of Columbus, Ohio. Her stepfather Dave Maurer lives in Somers.

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