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Brewster, Washington
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June 18, 1998     Quad City Herald
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June 18, 1998
 

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Ound Cily Herald Jun 18_ 1g8 Letters ai00out dact show prat'se, love and resp00, ct In a way Liz Driessen spoke for all the daughters and sons and grandsons and granddaughters who nominated their fathers and grandfathers for the Father of the Year contest sponsored by the Quad City Herald. "In the eyes of the media my dad has not done a great act of a hero. He has.not landed a crashing plane, saved a child from burning home or landed on the moon but my father is great in my eyes," Liz wrote in nominating her father Ed Tradup of Brewster. "My dad has taught me to have a heart and a compassion for those less fortunate. My dad has taught me to work hard through his great example. You see, my dad is great according to me by the life lessons he has taught me. "Yes, my dad does like to go 300 mph in land speed cars and has a daring side, which I didnot acquire through hisexample. Iacquired lesson in greatness that I hope to pass on to my kids. I love nty dad and his smile." Seven members of the family banded together to nominate John Harmon of Bridgeport. Ruth Townsend recalled the days when she was experimenting in the kitchen. "One time I made mashed potatoes and added a little too much milk, resulting in a sloppy mess. When I placed a glop (yes, it really was a glop0 of them on Dad's plate, I could almost hear him sigh, 'will I ever Livepast the daughter-learning- to-cook stage?' He ate it, though, and without a single (verbal) complaint. I wonder if he fully realized at that time that he had three there daughters to live through! "I could list many, many reasons why I believe my father deserve to be Father of the Year. However, one stands out more than any other. This is his unqualified love and support for my mother and their children. When you have eight children, there are bound to be times when one or the other of them is in some sort of trouble. Although each of us always knew that if we deserved it we would be disciplined, we also knew that behind the discipline was a deep and abiding love for us. A love so strong that even when we hurt him through thoughtless words and acts, it continued to embrace us." "We have had many, many 'discussions' and differences in the past and I am absolutely positive there will be more in the future. There have been many times when I absolutely couldn't stand him. Anyone who knows my father also knows that he can be very opiniouatedl" wrote Harmon's daughter Mary Jane Sletten. "What I have come to admire very much is that my father has the courage of his convictions. Not only that, he is more than likely to uphold those convictions by action. If he believes something is wrong, he lets us know it and how it should be changed; if he sees something fight, he is just as likely to let us know." Myra Hall wrote that she learned a lot of lessons from her dadthat a man should take care of his family; "if you don't have time to do it right the first time, you surely don't have to do it over;, music can set your soul on f'u'; practice doesn't make perfect,perfect iLlradotiCe makes perfect; if you are going to do it with all you've got; if your Dad is between you and a rattlesnake, you are safe; it's more fun to shop at Goodwill than the Ben Marche. Paga g "But most of all my Dad taught me that the "Dad has always encouraged us to pursue From my Dad [ learned the confidence to set f)othallcoach aswellas father tofourchildren. bond between a father and daughter is a cord which can never be broken, no matter how frayed it may sometimes get. It embraces and influences the grown woman as much as it did the small child." Rollie Harmon mentioned his father's hard work, his emphasis on education and his encouragement of his children's dreams, his love of the land, hiscommitment to hischiidren, even after those children had grown up and left home."Most importantly, my father is a spiritual man whose first priority for his family was to be assured that every one of his children were brought up in the church to be born- again Christians." The Harmon children were in the choir, at all the church poflucks, youth groups and summer church camps. "At the time, I did not get too excited about all these church activities such as choir practice every Wednesday night when I would rather be dragging the gut with my buddies. However, in the 30-some years of my adult life which followed this Christian training, I have found it to be the gift from my father which has had the single largest impact in all areas of my life." Daughter-in-law Chris Harmon said she "did not have a father growing up and since marrying into the Harmon family, John has tidied that void in my life. John Harmon is a caring man with high morals and family values." Rebecca Sletten nominated her grandfather "because he lets me help him out and I get to be out instead of lazing around and being bored. Being bored is not an option to him. He lets me help him work and weed in the rose gardens, he lets me help him in his workshop, he even lets me help graft things. He also gives great gifts away. Not like present of fancy stuff and all, but he gives presents of love and congratulations to us if we did a good job. He gives us a good piece of his mind and if we try not to listen, we get more of his mind than we want to knowl I guess that's what makes him loveable!" Debbie Litchfield is the daughter of Rollie Harmon's late wife Ruth. "Although I am a step-child, Grandpa never once made me feel as if I were any different than the rest of his grandchildren. He is a man with a firm hand, gentle, warm heart, with great devotion and love for his family. "It is Grandpa's warmth and caring traits that I am proudest of. I have the utmost respect and admiration for him and know that I am a better person for having him in my life." Don Childersand his sisterThelma Saulmon said they were glad to see a Father of the Year contest because it game them a chance to talk about their father, Start Childers of Brewster. "We grew up in a time when many fathers believed that a good father was synonymous with just being a good provider. There were so many father who did not have much time for their children and left the raising of their kids to the mother, except when it came time for discipline. It was different in our family, though. Dad always had time for us, Even with the hectic schedules and long hours operating a family orchard, packing shed and fruit shipping business, Dad was always ready to give his time, energy and love. our dreams He has helped us to believe that, with hard work, persistence and faith, we can do any thing and be anything we want to be. He has fought life threatening illnesses with a strength and determination that have astounded us and many other people who have come to know him. Through it all Dad has remained a wonderful role model, not only for us, but for our children as well." In my mind's eye, no one is better qualified than my dad. He's the best in the world in my eyes (and my brothers') so I guess that is all that is really important. But I would love the whole world to know how incredibly special he is and what a wonderful father he has been," wrote Kristin Wall about her father Keith Stennes, Methow. "The thing I value and remember the most is my daddy being there for me during the unsure and difficult times in my life. He was always there for me--- whether I had a bad day in school, an embarrassing basketball game, and when I lost one of my closest friends. Sometimes there was no explanation that he could give or any advice he could share, but his lap was always there for me to rock in, his arms always there to give me a hug. He always spoke with gentleness, patience and love--even when undeserving. I cannot remember a time in my life when my dad ever raised his voice. One of the greatest things my father has ever shown me was the gift of unc0nditional love, a Godly love, without compromise." "My dad is my best friend," wrote Kristin's brother Mark Stennes. "Although he is 53, he has a great time and he loves to hang out with my friends and me. My friends all love him because he is so much fun to be around. "The biggest thing that stands out to me is the strong Christian man and good role model that he is. He is always very fair to everybody and he reasons decisions out before he makes one. He is even-tempered; he rarely loses his temper with me. He always wants to be a pan of our lives. He recently started learning the keyboard because Kevin (my twin brother) and I started learning guitar and bass guitar." Kevin Stennes wrote that Keith broke his foot a few years ago while playing basketball. "He has been to many foot specialists and none of them know what to do. I know it is frustrating and painful for him, but he always has a smile on his face and he never complains. "In dark situations, he always looks at the bright side He always has something nice to say about everything and everybody. One thing that I really respect and love about him is that even though I am much younger than him, he respects my opinion about everything. He even asks me for advice sometimes. My dad is my role model and one of the main reasons why I am who I am today. He really shows God in his life in everything that he does." "I owe so much of what I am to my Dad," wrote Lori Swanberg about her father Dennis, Brewster. "As I was growing up he gave me the sense of security and lXac of mind of knowing he was there to help me. My Dad doesn't always say that he loves me, but by his actions it shows. Such as those fishing, camping and peach runs when it was just him and I. goals for myself and he helped me pursue them." Dennis Swanberg is a teacherat Brewster High School; Lori said she thinks that not only his children but his students are a reflection of qualities learned from him. Jennifer Munson said she had a very hard time starting the letter nominating her father Kelly Bush of Brewster. "When I would try to put my feelings for him to words, my mind would go blank. There are no words that can express what my dad means to me. "My dad has always done what he thought was best for my brother, Brandon, and me. He never made important decisions without thinking of his family first. My brother and I always came first. Dad never made plans without us in them, everywhere we went, we went as a family. "Growing up, I always thought my parents were out to get me. Morn and Dad were very strict, especially dad. Now that I am an adult, I realize that they were only doing what was best for me. They didn't want me to make the same mistakes that they did. I thank my dad every day that he gave me a strong Christian background, good morals to live by, and LOTS of rules to follow. Without his guidance, I don't know where I'd be today." Rich Barrutia talked about his father's life as "The House that Ralph Built. "I am proud of my father, Ralph Barrutia," Rich wrote, about his dad, of Brewster. "He has always been one of those hard working individuals that was able to accept the world as it really is, yet put his shoulder to the task to make it what it could become. He gave us many tasks to perform that were challenging. From this he taught us that hard work gave meaning and value to our accomplishments. That lard work would always encourage one to find an easier way and most of all would unveil one's true character." Ralph taught his three sons about making goals and working toward them, starting an orchard while working a full time job. He tackled technical challenges by studying and figuring out the problem, and trying different things until he found a solution. He told his sons about life, and some of the traps that could snare them, Rich wrote. "Being a father is not for cowards, many times one has to get into the affray to attempt to improve the situation. When Ralph entered conflict he pursued it with hope. This taught me that all situations can be improved, provided that we give it our all and deal with our own pride, also to give others a chance to contribute and be flexible for a solution yet unfound. "As you can see the 'house that Ralph built' is one of values and citizenship." "As a child I have the best memories of a Dad who always had time for his children," Carrie Cole wrote about her father, Jim Carded, Brewster."We worked together, learning from his example, to get the job done. The reward would be something fun to do with Dad. We know not only did he enjoy the fun but he enjoyed being with us! We were the joy of his life. Besides his faith in God, what more could a father give his children?" JoLee Worsham's dad Joe "isn't just a dad. He holds many jobs and responsibilities." He was the principal at Pateros High School and "He has been to almost every game or event that my brothers, sisterand I havebeen involved in. He is one of our biggest fans (next to my mom). He has always encouraged us to do our best, without pushing us too hard." Joe Worsham worked many hours at school and was involved in many community events such as Apple Pie Jamboree, JoLee said. "I could list more, but this letter would just be way too long" Worsham has accepted a job as principal at Oroville High School. "I think that he will leave much of himself here (in Pateros),enough that people will remember him for a long time." Desha Dawson's father died when she was teenager Her mother began dating Ron Anderson, Brewster, two years later"I needed a positive father figure in my life and whether he knows it or not, I have been looking up to him for quite a while now. "Although we have never had a 'sit down and talk' relationship, I know that if 1 ever needed his advice or help, he would be there for me in a heartbeat. "I know that my dad would be grateful for the kind of example Ron has set for me and for the kind of person and friend he will be to my son. Even though my son will never know his real grandpa, he will always know 'Grandpa Ron' and hopefully he will look up to him and love him as much as I do." Sandy Gamble wrote a poem for her father, Chuck Overose of Brewster. S he and her sisters, Patty Re and Meolody Verheck, submitted it. "Thanks for the securityofyour unconditional love for us, no matter how bad we were, Thanks for teaching us how to be kind, gentle and caring, Thanks for cutting our toast diagonally, so we didn't get a top or bottom piece, Thanks for loaning us money, Thanks for being our best friend, Thanks for loving us exactly the same, Thanks for always being reliable, Thanks for having a good heart, Thanks for always loving morn and letting her know, Thanks for teaching us to love math and sharing your math tricks, Thanks for having courage to go new places and letting us go with you, Thanks for helping us believe in magic, Thanks for reading the comics to us, Thanks for letting us comb and res.O'le your hair, Thanks for leaving a space for little girls to climb and sit on her Daddy's lap, Thanks for making life fun, Thanks for taking time to listen, Thanks for showing us that it is the little treasures in life that are so meaningful, Thanks for being too generous, Thanks for waking us up qth a feather or Kleenex tickle under the nose, Thanks for the backwards clock, Thanks for teaching us how to love our kids, Thanks for letting us each be 'Daddy's Little Girl,' We love you, Your daughters." 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