Father of Mary Carol Melton.
The saint in my life is my father, Tom Conlan. Although he passed away in 1984, his wisdom, courage, and guidance are with me every day. Dad was a humble man, from humble beginnings. Dad worked hard every day of his life to provide a secure home and educational opportunities for his seven children. Dad also struggled with alcoholism just as his father did. As the child of an alcoholic parent, I was one of the lucky ones because I got to see my Dad get sober when I was a young adult. Dad was a well established corporate lawyer who also found time to attend our school events, recitals, and remember birthdays. Dad was a champion of civil rights and saw the value in everyone with whom he came in contact. Strangers have come up to me to say that it was because of Dad’s influence they are sober today. Dad was wise, a man of integrity, a good listener and worked for justice. He was not afraid to do the right thing and help those in need even when it wasn’t popular. He stood with the homeless community to assist in their legal battles to open the Drop Inn Center and he helped open the first residential home in Cincinnati for adults with developmental disabilities.
Dad didn’t just talk about doing the right thing, he showed up to do it. He also had an uncanny way of making everyone feel important and special. Dad instilled in me the belief that to whom much is given, much is expected. His greatest gift to me was modeling that people from all walks of life matter and that standing up for what you believe in, has value. Dad’s life mattered, he made a difference, and I still miss him every day