Father’s Day tribute to Mr. Lynn Sorbo, Kevin Sorbo’s Dad
Yesterday, June 16, was Father’s Day in the United States. On this day of breakfast-in-bed, dinner out or a barbeque in, and gifts, dads across America received special treatment.
It was also a day of remembrance for the beloved fathers who have passed, like mine, and, as of last October, Kevin’s.
As I commenced to write this introduction, I thought about my dad, a World War II veteran gone these past 23 years, and I still hear his voice saying, “What are you doing?“ and “I love you.” And I cried. I remembered how he taught me the value of working hard and honesty; how to draw, and build things; to laugh often; to respect others; and to love God, country and family.
I imagine Kevin’s dad, Lynn, taught many of these same lessons, and is sorely missed by everyone who knew and loved him. Our hearts and prayers are with Kevin and his family (belatedly) as they celebrate Father’s Day, and we wish them the best that God and life can offer.
Mara from Brazil met Kevin’s parents, Lynn and Ardis Sorbo, at his 2010 Kevin Sorbo Golf Tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada. She spoke very highly of them and their kindness as you will read in her following story.
I met Mr. Lynn Sorbo in Las Vegas at Kevin’s golf event in 2010.
My dear friend, Carol, and I were entering the hall where the dinner would happen as the auction in aid of WFIT (A World Fit For Kids!) at Planet Hollywood Hotel.
We had arrived early, hoping to get a seat at the table right next to Kevin’s… He, of course, was moving in all directions, trying to get things to work out perfectly. We had hugged him already… even that busy Kevin was lovely enough to get a picture with us.
The huge room was very nice, and dozens of large, round tables (were) spread around. A spectacular buffet was ready to be served with an excellent dinner, and near the entrance doors all the great items that had been donated for the event that would be part of the silent auction were artistically exposed.
We found a table right next to the stage… and there they were … a couple of lovely older pretty people whose faces I had only seen in photographs along with Kevin’s.
They were already seated and talking and seemed to be enjoying the movement around. Carol and I then got closer, a bit shy because we did not mean to bother them, and introduced ourselves.
Mr. Lynn Sorbo and his lovely wife Ardis then smiled at us, surprised that two fans were at the event, especially me, who came from afar. He’d just grabbed something and said, smiling, that he was a little hungry… They both embraced us warmly and posed for a photo with me and Carol.
I’ve always had enormous curiosity about Kevin’s parents because he always refers to them with reverence and admiration.
I remember Kevin smiling on an interview some time ago and saying (that) his dad taught him how to make his marriage last: “It’s easy… you just agree with her and say ‘yes’ all the time…”
Kevin always says the two biggest examples in his life ̶ his heroes ̶ are his parents. They had supported him to go in search of his dream as an actor, and their support gave Kevin strength to seek opportunities far away from home.
I had taken a statuette from Brazil with me ̶ a gift to Kevin and Sam ̶ and was not sure on how to deliver it to them because they were both too busy… Then it occurred to me to ask Kevin’s parents to hand it to Kevin for me. Both kindly agreed and took care of the job for me with lovely warm smiles of gratitude.
Mrs. Sorbo then told me about how wonderful a son Kevin is. She told us that he had given them a house, and that (it) was the greatest gift in the world for them. She told us how she had been afflicted about (the) “Hercules” episode, “The Mother of All Monsters,” when Hercules is mortally wounded by an arrow… She said she could not see the episode because it was as if their son were injured. I’m sure if we had had more time, she and Mr. Sorbo would have told us more lovely things about Kevin…
Kevin’s parents had received us as if we had known them forever, like we were old friends, the same way Kevin talks to his fans at the conventions. He certainly learned from his parents to treat people with the same kindness and attention.
Carol and I were really moved. We returned to our table and the dinner went, followed by the auction. Kevin moved around a lot, but when he would be seated at the table with his parents, I realized his love for them and the pride of Mr. Sorbo for his son.
Kevin’s parents withdrew early, and as they passed by our table, I thanked them again for their kindness… Mr. Sorbo, laughing, said he was old and needed to sleep early… He had a beautiful way to laugh.
In Kevin’s book, True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal–and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life, there is a chapter in which Kevin’s mom writes that when her son fell ill, Mr. Sorbo asked many prayers to his church’s pastor and sent several books about faith and healing to Kevin. Mr. Lynn Sorbo was a religious man, a good man, a great father and a great husband, and certainly will be missed by a lot of friends. http://www.truestrengthbook.com/
Sam wrote about Mr. Lynn Sorbo on her blog: “…my lovely father-in-law passed away just a month ago, on my birthday. He was a very special man and a terrific grandpa to my three children and all his grandchildren, … It is a time to celebrate the joyous memories of the man who raised my husband-to-be with love and devotion, so he would become the tremendous father that he is, and Lynn lives on in him; a chance to remember the great gift of our time with Lynn and our own children. As my 7-year-old daughter pointed out to Grandma, hand on her heart, ‘He’s not gone, Grandma, because I have him here in my heart.’ It is an opportunity to memorialize Lynn’s wonderful presence in our lives–a gift, for which we are obliged to show our gratitude.” http://samsorbo.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/what-thanksgiving-means-to-me/#comment-786
Kevin wrote about his dad on his blog: “…I looked expectantly to my father’s face to observe his experience of my children. As a deeply Christian man, he loved the holiday and my babies’ wondrous expressions at glistening lights and caroling bells. He had a deep, bellowing laugh and his smile was infectious. He understood before I did the age-old saying, ‘Youth is wasted on the young.’ Babies and children sparkle and glow with possibilities invisible to realistic adults. …He had had a marvelous baritone voice and he had sung in a church choir his entire life. Like a young child, I yearned to hear his deep voice soothe me again. My last visit with him, I took his hand into mine and with my left hand and gently stroked his head.” http://kevinsorboblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/christmas-comfort/
Happy Father’s Day, Kevin!
(Story photos by Mara; family photos courtesy of Kevin Sorbo)