Memories of a Father who Served Family and Country 


After Dick Savard passed away in our care in 2019, we spoke with his daughters for a blog that honored his service to his country. Machinery Repairman Petty Officer Third Class Dick Savard served in the Navy, just before the Vietnam War. One of his assignments was repairs on the  

USS Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine that he returned to visit, prior to his passing, with the help of family, and Our Lady of Peace staff. It was a dream come true for Dick and a memorable trip for his daughters, Lisa Dunham and Chrissy Antikainen.  

The happy memories of that day, and many others of their loving father continue to lift Lisa and Chrissy up, especially on Father’s Day, a date on the calendar that can be difficult for many to approach. “Being able to go to Connecticut to see the Nautilus with my dad and check it off his bucket list, was incredible,” said Chrissy Antikainen. Knowing what the trip meant to him and to see him be honored there for his service helps me through tough days, like Father’s Day.”  

Lisa Dunham finds comfort knowing that her dad chose to go into hospice and was able to continue living his life on his own terms, and not in the disease, while in the care of Our Lady of Peace. “I know I will see him again and he’s now with my mom,” she said. “I feel he went the way he wanted to, and that gives me some peace. I like to think of Dad on Memorial Day instead of Father’s Day, and honor him for his service.”  

Father’s Day is particularly difficult for Lisa because her husband died two weeks prior, shortly after her dad passed away. “I’ve been focusing on my children and grandchildren and am now just beginning to share my feelings about my dad. Moving to Colorado to be near my sister has helped me do that. We share a lot of memories with each other.”  

Chrissy also finds comfort in being close to her sister. “As you get older, you appreciate things more, so I realize even more what I’ve lost, but my dad wasn’t afraid to die, and know he’s with my mom, and our brother who also died recently.” 

Amid the loss that Lisa and Chrissy have experienced, they look forward to being together on Father’s Day and sharing memories of their dad including time spent with Dick’s dog, Murphy who joined Chrissy’s family after his passing. During our interview, Chrissy said, “Murphy just came into the room where we are and jumped on the bed, so we know he feels Dad’s presence too.” 

To honor Dick’s memory, Chrissy’s husband will ride Dick’s motorcycle on Father’s Day, as he does every year, in addition to Memorial Day and Dick’s birthday. They will also do some things they recommend for all grieving families: 

  1. Spend time with your siblings on Father’s Day, and throughout the year 
  1. Share memories with each other 
  1. Look at photos of your dad and talk about them  

Our dad was an amazing person,” Chrissy said. “And Lisa and I are going to talk about that, on Father’s Day.”