William Dean Chaney


1936 - 2015

Today I woke up in a world that was just a little bit less.  It seems that we’re short a few smiles, some kindness, mischief.  But mostly we’re short on love.

My Dad was all about love.

He loved his family, there was never any doubt about that.  He loved my Mom with a love that has always had me in awe.  I remember a time shortly after we had moved them to Graham.  Their mobile home had been delivered and it needed some work before they could move in.  I was coming down on the weekends to help.  One evening, we were finishing up for the day, painting I think.I went back to the restroom to wash up.  We had a radio playing some music to help pass the time.  When I came down the hall, there they were. 

Cheek to cheek in that empty trailer, dancing like no one was watching.  He was like that, they were together and he was happy.  It was a moment that I will hold in my heart forever. And there were many of those moments.

He loved God.  He served for 10 years as a deacon at Highland Christian Church in Amarillo.  He was officially a deacon, but many of the duties he performed were those of an elder.  Both he and my Mom were heavily involved in all aspects of the church.  Everyone there loved him and he loved them back.

He loved his country.  My Dad served in the United States Navy.  He was stationed in San Diego and later in Japan.  There is so much about this time that I wanted to ask him about, so much I want to know.  I know that he was a Navy diver and I’m told he even considered becoming a Seal.  But he couldn’t bear being away from my Mom, so he got his discharge and went home to start his family.

Oh and he loved his Dallas Cowboys.  He was eagerly awaiting the start of the NFL season, counting the days until the first pre-season game.  We had many conversations about the Cowboys, discussing their prospects and needs at various positions.  There was a phrase that my Dad used a lot.  One that I use quite a bit myself although I didn’t realize it until recently.  “That’s what I know…”  There’s kind of a vocal inflection at the end, a stress on the word “know”.

  Sort of an agreement with the obvious.  I think it was his generation’s equivalent of ‘Duh”.  “Dad, we never should have let DeMarco Murray get away…”  “That’s what I know…”  That phrase is a part of him that is a part of me and it makes me proud.  Every time it pops out of my mouth now, I will think of him and smile.

Yes, my Dad was all about love.

I think the best way to pay tribute to my Dad is to try to pick up where he left off.  We can all do our part to bring some smiles into this world, some kindness and yes, even a little mischief.  That would make him smile.

I love you Dad and I am going to miss you big time.

That is what I know.