By J.O. Parker
Everybody has a story to tell and for Tim Brand, that story is now a book he wrote about his dad, Dennis, and the last days of his life and the legacy he left behind on this earth.
“Standing on the Shoulders: A Legacy Story of a Father, a Son, and Life’s Greatest Gifts” was released on Jan. 21 and is now available on Amazon for $13.99.
“It’s a beautiful story about a life well lived,” said Tim of his father’s story. “The book focuses on who he (Dennis) was as told by other people mixed with his many life experiences.”
Dennis, who grew up in the Lynnville-Sully area, was a teacher, coach, counselor, missionary and much more throughout his career. He began his teaching career in Waterloo after graduating from Central College in 1965. He then went on to teach social studies and coach at Montezuma from 1966-73. At Montezuma, Dennis started the boys’ cross country program and became head boys track coach along with serving as assistant basketball coach to Darrell Brand, his first cousin.
“He took over the head boys basketball coach in 1969-70, directing them to state in his first year,” recalled Al Rabenold, a now retired coach, teacher and athletic director at Montezuma. “The next year, 1970-71, the Braves went 26-0, winning the state championship.”
Dennis spent time at Dowling Catholic, worked as a career services director and head men’s track coach at Central College, worked at the Pella Window Store and taught at the alternative high school Basics and Beyond in Newton and at Pella Middle School as a counselor. He finished his career in pastoral care at Third Reformed Church in Pella.
He and his brother-in-law, Dennis Steenhoek, founded the Goalsetter Basketball System in 1994. They sold the company in 2006.
Tim said the book came about thanks to a gift of words and thoughts written by Denny before his death and gifted to Tim and his two sisters and all the grandchildren by their mother, Beverly, after their father died of cancer on Dec. 12, 2021.
Dennis and Beverly met at Central College and were married on Aug. 6, 1965.
After Dennis died, Tim said his mother complied all of the writings, thoughts and stories he had written into a 10-page booklet as a family keepsake, handing them out on what would have been Denny’s 79thbirthday on April 16, 2022.
“It was a short narrative,” said Tim of the booklet. “It was him telling his family about his life.”
That spring, Tim, decided to take his dad’s words and write an inspiring true-story of love, hope and redemption that centers around the last six weeks of Denny’s life, sprinkled throughout with his many life experiences.
“It was a way for me to process the grief and my feelings and be able to tell Dad’s story and to honor him and to honor God,” said Tim in writing the book.
It took him a month to write the book.
At first, Tim said he had no plans to publish the book, but God had another plan.
“I wanted to remember my Dad's story and how he loved his family, even as he walked through the valley of the shadow of death,” said Tim. “But God moved, encouraging me to share this story with others. When I shared it with a few people, it affected them deeply. And they wanted to share it with others. Our stories carry the power to help others on their journey.”
Tim said his hope is that the book will stay with you long after you finish reading it, inspiring you to live your own life to the fullest and to make a difference in the world.
“I am truly humbled by so many people's support in publishing this book,” noted Tim. “Thank you to my friends, launch team, and, importantly, my family, for believing in me and the power this story has to impact lives. And most of all, I thank my father for giving me his shoulders to stand on. I see further because of his legacy. I hope this book inspires you to make an impact in your world.”
About the author
Tim Brand is the Founder and CEO of Many Hands, established in 2008, and also a speaker and writer. As CEO, he provides vision and leadership for U.S. and International operations. Many Hands impacts 25,000 people in three countries and reaches over 200,000 people per year in U.S. "Business as Mission" retail stores.
After graduating from Pella High School in 1998, Tim joined a church group mission trip to help build a new school in Pignon, Haiti. This trip changed his perspective on God’s global heart. Two years later in college, he was praying for direction for his life and he heard a voice say to go back to Haiti. The next morning, he received an email from a mission team about an upcoming trip. He agreed, and at the end of that trip, made a covenant with God to be involved in Haiti in some way for the rest of his life.
During his time in the for-profit sector, he established an association of Iowa churches working in Haiti, striving to share best practices and financial accountability. It became clear this association needed to become an official non-profit, turning into Many Hands. Tim served as President of the Board from 2008-2011.
Prior to founding Many Hands and going full-time in 2011, he spent 10 years in the for-profit business sector, with experience in global strategies, global account management, IT sales and management, and financial planning.
Tim graduated from Central College in 2002 with a Computer Information Systems degree and the University of Phoenix with a Master’s in Business Management.
He dedicates his life to helping people release their God-given talent to be love in action. He writes a bi-monthly 3…2…1 Impact newsletter, has led hundreds of people on Impact Trips, and steps in as teaching pastor at multiple churches across the Midwest. Tim lives in Pella, with his wife, Catie, and their two children.