THE SPECTRE OF SHARON PARK PLACE:
Although Liz's father John passed away years before we started to look back in on her and her family, it's obvious that the ghost of his petty malice, short-sighted stupidity and lunk-headed conformism to the ideals of a bygone and best forgotten era will haunt her and her social circle for decades to come. To start with, it's obvious as anything that the awkwardness and social isolation Liz struggled with growing up were made worse by his deliberate insensitivity and calculated refusal to see her point of view. Elly might have seen Liz as a younger version of herself and gave her well-meaning but misguided guidance that really didn't address the issue, she at least saw her daughter as someone with feelings that could be hurt. John? Not so much. To his very dim lights, feelings he couldn't feel didn't exist because he was imaginative and empathetic as he was funny and smart.
This would have been bad enough were it not for the fact that his fear of a world where he might have to sacrifice the unearned privileges gained from being a white man helped to enable Mike's arrogance and entitlement. When Mike needed to be told that Elly was not some sort of flesh and blood robot who wasn't malfunctioning because of scary woman hormones when she saw her suburban home as a maximum security prison, John doubled down on the nitwit chauvinism. When it finally occurred to him at age sixty that Elly was a person too, it was far too late to help; this is because his being an inspirational figure to self-flagellating nitwit Deanna inspired her to keep her silence about the video will.
Were this not bad enough, his imbecilic expectations as regards what a 'real' little girl is supposed to be like helped alienate April. Instead of really appreciating the daughter the world gave him, he was somewhat cold to her because she had thing a girl wasn't "supposed" to have: a backbone, a personality and an opinion that wasn't fixated on slavish adulation of a vain cretin stuck in a past that only benefited men like him. Living in her world would mean that embracing the terror of a world that wasn't conformist and stupid which stifled Elly and held her back made him a bad person who wanted bad things for everyone. If that were the case, his helping them out by making them humble meant that the teachers and father who called him a self-satisfied bully who lived to tear people down for his own sick, fatuous amusement were right and that would be awful.
He even ruined the lives of people not related to him. After all, his useless advice helped extend the misery poor, misguided Anthony and his fellow sufferer of lunkhead patriarchy Therese endured and his unwarranted proprietary interest in Mayes Motors interfered with useful changes Gord needed to make. Aside from Deanna, Mike and Meredith, most of the people in the know agree that the only good thing he ever did was die and touch off the end of the Great Dysfunction.