Over here (England) we have a saying... He may not be book smart, but he's a very clever person.
Meaning, he may not have diplomas, but it don't mean he's stupid.
My last foster parent's grandson, Philip, is a very clever academic. He owns n runs a very successful company making apps n software for iPhones n other things, but he ain't very good with his hands, or common sense. I remember one time, when visiting, he was trying to put together a roof rack, and bars n then put in the car.
That was as I left to go to the shops. When I came back 40 mins or so later, it was still in bits on the floor. I sent him to make a coffee, and in that time I put it together n mounted it to the car. He was well confused. I just said, I ain't got qualifications, but I got intelligence! lol
I got a tenner for it.. woohoo ... A tenner in the 80s was quite a bonus.
Your dad sounds great, what I'd expect a dad to be like.