Dedicated and Devoted Fathers

fathersday

Any man can be a father— but what makes a good dad? Dedication and devotion. Wisdom and strength. Love and admiration. Patience and trust. The ability to know what to say, and when to say nothing. So, in celebration of great dads on Father’s Day, we’re honoring local dads and the love of their families. 

Arthur Delos Reyes

M.D., Vascular Surgeon, Toledo Clinic
Wife: Mara. Kids: Lorenzo 6, Diego 4, Estella 2, Eva 4 months.

Favorite part of being a dad: How much influence you have as a parent and that your kids tend to emulate you. If I correct Estella, then I see Diego treat her that same way. It changed my approach. If I don’t want him to yell at his sister, then I can’t do that either. The more kids you have, the broader your influence is, and you’re always a hero. My kids think I drive the fastest car with the most horsepower… and it’s a 16-year-old Audi that I won’t have for much longer. Sure it’s a little quicker than a minivan, but they think, “Dad’s car is so fast”.

Favorite Father's Day memory: Last year the kids got me a Star Wars t-shirt that said, “I am your father.”

Plans this year: I think just for me being home is what's nice. I am pretty busy, and unfortunately I sometimes have to work late, and when I get home, they're asleep and I don’t get to see them. I’m really a homebody, so I like to be home.

Most memorable moment as a father: As a surgeon, my time is limited, which has made me cut out everything that's not related to family. For my oldest son Lorenzo’s 3rd birthday, Mara asked him who he wanted to invite, and he asked if dad could come, which is sad. I am home more now, and I want to be.

 

E.J. Fortain

Plant Manager at Thyssen Krupp
Father to: Emma, 10, Tyler, 7, Ellianna, 4.

How I celebrated Father’s Day as a kid: Father’s Day was a big deal at my house. We always took my dad out to air shows or car shows or had a nice family breakfast. We made sure to do something special and different each year.

Describe your perfect Father’s Day: Just waking up to my beautiful wife and kids is enough. I’m also looking forward to spending an entire day together as a family doing something we all enjoy.

Favorite part of being a dad: I enjoy being a role model and supporting my kids. I also emphasize the importance of Christ in their lives, because I feel like their relationship with Christ is the basis for life and will also help their relationships with each other.

How I connect with my kids: Each of my children are so different, so I make sure to spend time with them doing something they each enjoy. They each also bring something different out in me. Tyler really enjoys lounging around and watching sports together. Emma enjoys one on one time and shopping. Ellianna just enjoys playing, being pushed on the swing, and being chased around the yard.

Phil Thomas

Certified Personal Trainer, CEO of CNC Lifestyle Management LLC, and Professional Bodybuilder
Wife: Betty. Kids: Jayden 14, Simon 13, Elijah 11, Kingston 6, Sophie 10.

Favorite Father’s Day memory: Every Father’s Day is interesting to see what they do. The kids are fun and creative, and at an age where they enjoy giving. I always say I don’t need anything; I just want to hang out with you guys. When the kids are older, it’ll be tough to get that time together. I do recall last year they did something pretty funny. My boys decided they wanted to cook me breakfast, and their menu was a little… different. Best intentions, but poor execution. They created something that looked like a pancake but tasted like glue. They made cereal, but forgot that when you pour milk on cereal, it gets soggy, and they gave it to me a half hour later. They tried… The best part was they were so excited; they put such effort into it. I tried all of it, but I had to say I wasn’t hungry because I couldn’t finish it.

Did you celebrate Father’s Day as a kid? I grew up in a home without a father, so we didn’t have any traditions, but I was fortunate to have a lot of uncles. Even today, I send them things, little notes or call them. They provided the mentorship and leadership that I needed. I think that the lack of having a father makes being a father even more precious because you realize the impact you have on them.

Favorite part of being a dad: Fatherhood has turned me into a better person. I’ve learned to and appreciate being selfless, and that’s something you can’t mimic unless you have someone depending on you. When you hear something that comes out of their mouths that’s something you said, or you see them doing a good deed–opening a door or offering to clean up the dishes–when they repeat those things without being forced, when you catch those brief moments when you see the mini-you, that is the most rewarding.

Most memorable moment as a father: When Jayden was just 6 or 7 months, we would put him on the bed while we got ready for work because he loved looking at the ceiling fan. One of the things we acquire as parents is we become part superhero, and we get a spider sense and start tingling when something is wrong. I quickly realized Jayden had learned to flip over, but he was up on the bed, so I ran and dove 10 feet and caught him falling off the bed right before he hit the ground.

Alex Marsh

Director of Sales & Design, Continental Office
Wife: Erin. Kids: Dexter 3, Camille 10 months.

Favorite Father's Day memory: We always made him a card growing up. That was the thing; you had to make dad a card. I don’t think he wanted a card; that’s just what we did. We went fishing with him a couple times and that stands out in my mind because we didn’t normally go fishing. We drove all the way out to Olander, which was like a 30 minute drive for us, and I remember listening to Talking Heads on tape. Maybe that wasn’t actually Father’s Day, but I seem to always remember listening to Talking Heads on our way to Olander.

Plans this year: I just want to spend time with the kids, whether that’s going to the park or the zoo or just playing outside.

Favorite part of being a dad: Coming home from work and having the kids be all excited to see me. Dex runs up and gives me a big hug and kiss, and Cami is all smiles and coos.

Most memorable moment as a father: I don’t know if it’s appropriate for the paper, but I remember waking up in the middle of the night to change Dex when he was a baby, and getting projectile diarrhea-ed on. Most parents have been peed on, but…

Douglas Waldie 

CEO and Owner, Crum Manufacturing, Inc.
Wife: Debbie. Kids: Aaron 29, Ryan 27, triplets Collin, Evan, and Helen 17.

Favorite Father's Day memory: When we were kids, life was a lot simpler. We hung out, grilled out, went to our grandma’s house and hung out with a number of family members. My mom’s and dad’s brothers played baseball, and the kids ran around my grandparents 80 acre farm. We had a blast.

Plans this year: I usually get up in the morning and go golfing with the boys. The girls are welcome to come, but usually Helen and Debbie don’t want to go. Then we come back home and just hang out. The most important thing is having the kids around for the day. The older ones are out and about and have their own things going on, so it’s great to have everyone there at the same time.

Favorite part of being a dad: My very favorite thing as a father is when I go somewhere and another parent tells me they really like my son or daughter…that they are so well-behaved and kind. It’s not so much their accomplishments, although that’s great, too. The important thing is when you hear and see them do kind, polite things: shake hands, look a person in the eyes. That’s THE best compliment you get as a parent.

Most memorable moment as a father: A lot of those days that just flew by when the boys were in high school and the triplets were babies…changing a diaper every hour on the clock, 24 hours a day. After the first 2 years, and you age about 10 years, everything gets so much better.

Doug Keetion 

Co-Owner & Stylist at Studio 329 Salon and Boutique
Father to: Dyamond 19, Amaris 9, & Jeremiah 5

Father since: I’ve been a father for almost 10 years. When I met my wife, Curtina Keetion, she had a daughter, Dyamond, and I fell in love with them both. Now Dyamond is a student at Bowling Green State University, pursuing her dreams of becoming a graphic designer, and she even finds time to help with the family business.

Favorite Father's Day memory: About six years ago, we had some friends over, and the wives and children cater an amazing seafood dinner. Imagine your wife and friends dressed in their Sunday best, the kids serving food and “waiting” the tables, and the wives preparing the food.

Favorite part of being a dad: I really enjoy pouring into my kids, although the salon keeps me busy, I still make time for one on one dates with each child, and they hold me to it. Each child gets to choose an activity and we just unplug and connect with each other. I really make a point to get on their level and try to understand their heart, and get to know their quirks.

Most memorable moments as a father: I really enjoy seeing them grow and develop.

LaMar Anderson 

Director of Product Marketing at Owens Corning
Father to: Trenton 13, Josiah 2, Jurnee 1

Favorite Father's Day memory: Last year, my wife, did a simple art project where she traced the kids’ hands and had it shaped into a heart and wrote a special message on each hand. I really enjoyed receiving those notes, because it makes me feel like I have something special from each child. I still have them up, matter of fact.

Describe your perfect Father’s Day: I love being outdoors and with my family. So, my perfect Father’s Day would be to go for a nice bike ride as a family and grill some food.

Favorite part of being a dad: I enjoy teaching my kids new things and seeing them have an “aha” moment. I also love seeing their growth from month to month and year to year.

How I connect with my kids: My job requires a lot of time at the office and a lot of travel, however, I make sure my schedule does not impede on my family time. If I have to rearrange something or reschedule, then I do that, so it doesn’t stretch into Friday evening and Saturdays.

Khary Carson 

Counselor at New Concepts
Father to: Khary II, 6

Favorite Father’s Day memory: We tried for eight years to have a child, so my first Father’s Day was the most memorable. Just being able to hold and enjoy him was special. I reflected over everything we went through: multiple surgeries and procedures, and thousands of dollars, and we had him naturally. I just felt really blessed. Aside from my first Father’s Day, I really enjoyed going to the Strawberry Festival and eating strawberry shortcakes with my son and wife.

Describe your perfect Father’s Day: My perfect Father’s Day would just be spent at home with my family and having a nice dinner prepared for me.

How I connect with my kids: Little Khary is always with me! We do everything together. We like to jump on the trampoline, wrestle, play basketball, baseball, I even take him to my fraternity chapter meetings. We also enjoy reading these small Bible parable books that my aunt gave to me when I was young. It’s important to me that he has a strong foundation in our faith, because that is what gets me through.