There’s no doubt fathers have their own way of doing things, whether it’s rough-housing with the kids before bed or sneaking them an extra scoop of ice cream. That relationship is critical. As we celebrate Father’s Day, Good News Wants to Know… What’s something special you and your father shared … perhaps when mom wasn’t around or that she might do differently? If you did not have your father in your life, tell us about a father figure.
While I was growing up, my Dad had a race shop where he worked on his drag race team cars. It was a hobby that became a side business he shared with his brothers. It was the center of activity for all of the local hotrodders and hobby racers. The hours I spent with Dad in the shop were the best.
James ‘JT’ Taylor, Managing Director, Head of Automotive, Truist Securities
My dad, at five foot seven inches, was a hardworking man who unconditionally loved my mom, brother and me. He worked nights while my mom worked days so that when we were growing up one of them would always be home with us. A characteristic I shared with my dad was “passion.” Whether it was work, sports, family time on the lake or his faith in Jesus that he found in his mid-sixties, my dad approached it passionately. There were times when my mom would express that he might want to approach a particular experience with a little less passion.
William “Bill” C. Davell, Director, Tripp Scott Attorneys at Law
Saturdays with my dad and little brother were the best. We’d hit Burger King first thing for French toast sticks (extra syrup). Then head to the shipyard to explore the grounds, maybe jump on a small boat, get a few bucks to pick up some trash, play whiffle ball and find really creative ways to burn off all those French toast sticks.
Bob Denison, President, Denison Yachting
Having lost my dad just before my first birthday, my mother served in both roles (and did a darned good job!) The other influences that helped raise me to the man that I am today were my grandfather and uncle/godfather. My uncle is a Catholic priest and my grandfather was a retired exec for the Ford Motor Company in Boston. The best times that I had were just asking them a million questions about life and business while having a hamburger at Friendly’s or Howard Johnson’s (and maybe some pie at Mother Butler’s!) I have carried and utilized their sage advice throughout my business and political careers.
Chip LaMarca, State Representative, Florida House District 93
My father was the greatest father a person could ever have had! We traveled extensively together, and we shared a love of ‘antiquing’ wherever we went, most times with my mother and later with my wife and children. Once we climbed the Great Pyramid in Giza outside of Cairo. He was a real ‘Indiana Jones,’ and a strong believer in prayer. He was one of a kind!
H. Collins Forman, Jr., P.A.
My Dad and I shared special times biking, sailing and making stained glass projects together.
Deborah Cusick, FAU Campus Volunteer, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
My father emphasized that even the little things count, sometimes especially the little things. For example, in a job application, if it is mailed then use a brightly colored stamp since that sets your letter apart and subconsciously the person hiring may open it first. (Note this emphasis on detail can get crazy; however, I have found it helpful advice overall).
Dr. Debra A. Schwinn, President, Professor of Health Sciences, Palm Beach Atlantic University
My dad had a way of creating trust with me at a very young age. After dinner every night was family devotions followed by short practical stories instilling in us kids right and wrong. With the values learned during family devotions, we were given tremendous freedom to travel, adventure, hike, build things and chase dreams while my mom prayed for our safety.
Don Campion, President, Banyan Air Service, Inc.
After a severe soccer injury as a junior in high school, my mom refused to sign the consent form to allow me to play my senior year. So, I forged her signature, and when my dad found out, he gave me that look that said, “Son, that was the wrong way to go about it, but I’ll see you at the game!”
Doug Sauder, Lead Pastor, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale
When I was 15 my papa would let me drive his truck, so I would prepare for my driving test. It was a stick shift, so we would laugh and laugh as I tried to learn how to drive it. My papa would say, “Don’t you tell mom what we’re doing.” We always shared that memory together. Of course, when I got older, we told her and she laughed also.
Fidel Gomez, Pastor, Calvary Chapel Hollywood
Like a lot of folk, I came from a broken family; mom and dad were hardly on best terms. But, thankfully, both my parents loved me deeply and expressed their care in unique and concrete ways. Dad’s special gift was letting me work in the family service station and garage – pumping gas, changing oil, doing tune-ups, changing tires, driving the tow truck. His lessons were about serving people in the community, being happy with grease under the finger nails, and being satisfied with work well-done.
Gene L. Green, PhD, Dean, Trinity International University – Florida
One of my fondest memories of my dad was when I came home from school on my 5th birthday, and he bought a tent and had it set-up in the backyard. Of course my intention was to camp in the backyard with my buddies, but once the first sounds of night came, we were too scared and ran back into the house to sleep.
Gregg Wallick, President, Best Roofing, Inc.
My Dad is a hard worker. He always invited me to be a helper and would model his work ethic. This allowed me to spend quality time with him doing paperwork, helping in the garage, taking inventory and more. It would often wrap with a soft drink and hug. My Dad has always been affectionate and encouraging. I am beyond blessed.
James Welch, Pastor, First Baptist Fort Lauderdale
My father and I used to hold hands and skip when I was little. So when I was older, we would do that in public places (like big parking lots), and my mom would be so embarrassed! He passed just before the pandemic and those memories of him being silly make me smile.
Karen Granger, Community Relations Director, 4KIDS Palm Beach County
My father passed when I was a young girl. I do remember, however, every weekend he would take me in his lap and read the “funnies” to me (cartoons). These were special times with my dad that I will always treasure. I have three brothers and an identical twin sister, but this was our special time together!
Dr. Mary Drabik, President, South Florida Bible College & Theological Seminary
My dad was the product of a broken home and was raised by an alcoholic mother. Despite that, he went on to serve in the Navy during WWII, became a career police officer after and, with my mother, raised five kids. Due to his haphazard upbringing, he required that we be home for dinner at 6 p.m. every night, whether he was working a shift or not. No excuses. It was a little thing, but he was determined to give his children the stability and discipline he never had growing up. He’s gone now, but the lesson lives on. Thanks, Dad.
Mike McDermott, PA, Seniors Real Estate Specialist, The Keyes Company
My father was big on celebrating birthdays and holidays. As a young boy, my father always spent the entire Saturday closest to my birthday doing the things I enjoyed doing. In my younger days, it would be something like this: miniature golf, lunch at McDonalds, and then the latest kids movie. As I grew older, it was a real round of golf and a nice meal afterwards, usually prepared by my mother. I am blessed with great childhood memories.
Milan Stefanovic, Chief Operations Officer, Bass Underwriters – Plantation
My father and I shared a love for ballroom dancing. When I was five years old, my family and I attended an event that had an orchestra and ballroom. As all the adults were gracefully dancing a waltz, my father came up to me and invited me to dance. Rather than have me put my feet on his, we danced just like all the adults as we waltzed across the floor. I’ll never forget looking into his warm brown eyes and his big smile as we stole the show. It was an instant love for dance and a special moment for me and my father that I still treasure.
Oksana Horton, Creative Director, Torch and Trumpet Theatre Company
My father died from a case of severe appendicitis, which caused his appendix to burst when I was 15 years old. I was the only one of his five children to spend the last few hours with him prior to his death. In the midst of trying my best to comfort him, his last words to me were, “O’Neal, take care of yourself, son.”
O’Neal Dozier, Pastor, The Worldwide Christian Center
Something special my Dad would do for me and my brothers and sisters (all 11 of us!)…We all had bicycles as kids, and as commonly happens they needed “fixing.” My Dad was quite a handyman, and we could leave our broken bicycle in his workshop and when we returned, somehow “miraculously” it would be fixed!! A lot like my Heavenly Father, when I am willing to give him my “broken parts”— he lovingly takes them and “miraculously” fixes them! Thank you to my Heavenly Father for my Dad!!
His name was OLAF—Yes OLAF, like in the movie ‘Frozen.’️
Coach Rick Andreassen, Founder/President, SAINTS International Sports Ministry and SAINTS of Florida Homeschool P.E.
My dad was not the type of person to “step out of line” on anything he would do or say that was not aligned with mom’s point of view or actions. However, after hours ice cream runs to the Howard Johnson’s Restaurant on the corner of Federal Highway and SE 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale were not out of the question. Most of the time, though, he would bring mom along for her favorite peppermint stick ice cream cone, so he wouldn’t have to ask for forgiveness.
Romney C. Rogers, Managing Partner, Rogers, Morris & Ziegler LLP
My father was a Baptist minister who was fifty-years old when I was born. His father was forty-nine when my father was born, so I never knew him. My dad died shortly after my mother when I was in my early twenties. Right after the funeral, as we were cleaning up the house, we came upon a cassette tape. I put it in the player and heard the voice of my father in one of his sermons. He said, “My father didn’t have much and couldn’t give me much in the way of earthly possessions.” He continued on with, “When I was a wild, young man who cared nothing about the church or the things of the Lord, I came home one night very late, and as I came into the house I heard my father’s voice praying for me; pleading with the Lord to bring his son to Christ.” My father never forgot that, and he ended the sermon by saying, “No, my father didn’t have much, but he left me with his prayers and with a good name. Whenever I was tempted, I always thought of my father and how hard he had worked to give me that good name.”
In the providence of God, I found that tape and played it right after his funeral. Now I pray for my children and hope that I can leave them with the same good name.
Samuel Lamerson, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies, Knox Theological Seminary
Read last month’s Good News Wants to Know at: https://www.goodnewsfl.org/gnwtk-mother/