Readers offer tributes to wonderful fathers

June 18, 2011 at 1:18 a.m.
Updated June 19, 2011 at 1:19 a.m.

Call him coach and dad

My stepdad, Juan Flores, is the best because he works hard for his family.

He works hard with his son Isiah Cuevas at boxing practice every day by coaching him as much as he can. He does what he can to make his daughters happy, by spending his time with us and taking time out from his day to take us lunch to school or going to eat with us, and taking us on fun family trips.

He works hard every day at his job and comes home in a fantastic mood whether he had a good day or bad. He knows we appreciate what he does for us when he does it. So I am happy to say I am proud and thankful for my dad and he should be too!

- Angela Cuevas

A soldier for his boys

Mychal Hamilton Sr. is the true definition of dad.

This man devotes all his being to provide for his kids, not only financial, but emotional.

When he first became a dad, he found out that his first son was going to be born with heart problems, so he instantaneously joined the military to be able to have enough medical insurance to cover all costs. He is always there for them. He is currently stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base, but managed to watch all of his sons' baseball games via Tango (video chat). There is nothing he won't do for his kids, he drives more than six hours every weekend to be able to see and spend time with them. He loves his three boys and sacrifices all he has to be there for them.

The greatest gift we ever received came from God; my boys call him "dad."

- Maria "Lolly" Hamilton

Always wants the best

Honor, determination, and guidance are qualities that our father, Gustavo Sandigo, possesses.

Our father expects greatness, but not every child has a great father for a role model.

Our father transcends greatness by being a family man and proving that he can do anything he sets his mind to.

Our dad is the greatest dad, because he never quits and always wants what is best for our family and for others. He is a caring and humble person, who loves to travel and be outdoors.

Though he may not be a very skilled handyman, he is a killer chef specializing in mouthwatering ribs.

Our dad is the greatest man who outshines the definition of being a father.

- Gabriela Sandig

Big-hearted Dad

I love my Dad, Jimmy Bueno Jr., for so many reasons.

I am very lucky to have a father like mine. He works very hard to support his family and it's a big family, we are a family of six. He tells us he loves us all the time but shows it in so many ways. He plays ball with us, will sit with us when we swim just to make sure we don't get hurt, he will even brush my little sister's hair when my mom is at work. He has driven many miles to come see our games at different hours of the day.

He always reminds us of what is important and that to always keep God in our hearts. I can see that he loves my mom when he looks at her. It makes me happy to see them smile at each other and take care of us together.

My father didn't have his mother around and my dad lost his dad when he was 11 years old. I am 11 years old now and I can't imagine my life without my dad. I hope I get to have my dad around to see my 11-year-old son. Nobody taught my dad how to be a dad. It comes from the heart and my dad has the biggest heart a dad could have.

Thank you,

- Jimmy Bueno III

Big Grandpa is a volunteer

My father, Rene Villarreal, is a loving, nurturing provider for his family.

In short, he is our hero. As "Big Grandpa" my children are truly blessed to have him as a role model. They love their traditions together such as going to the park, museum and riding bikes. He has been a process operator for 30 plus years and as he ages, my respect for him grows knowing his hard work and dedication to give us everything we have.

However, this remarkable man still finds time to share his talents and time in our community. He volunteers at local nursing homes playing his guitar and singing hymns on his limited days off. My Dad is also an active choir member at Our Lady of Sorrows. In addition, he performs outreach as part of the local prison ministry. He is a ray of sunshine to his family and all those who know him.

- Rina Villarreal

Role Model Charlie

Charlie A. Husak Sr. is 85 years old. He is my father and the father to six other children and father to nine stepchildren.

He gives his family times of joy and laughter to treasure for a lifetime. He helps us grow through his influence, encouragement, and wise counsel.

Charlie learned to play a mandolin in his youth and shares it today with his children and grandchildren.

Charlie is a World War II veteran and a member of the Calhoun County Historical Commission. He has donated many hours sharing his heritage stories, his Karankawa Indian arrowhead collection and wood carvings of U.S. and Texas History to his children and grandchildren as well as to public and private school children. He donated his arrowhead collection to the Calhoun County Museum for the education of future generations to come. My father is a role model that is hard to beat.

- Nancy Dorries

He's a fighter

My dad, Gorden DeLoach, is my hero and the older I get the more I realize how amazing he is.

My dad has always been by my side, although I may not have always made the right choices. He has taught me to always do for others. He still brings me food to work because he worries that his little girl might be hungry. If I ever need anything, I know I can call him day or night. He has taught me to be strong and never give up.

The doctor gave my dad three years to live. Twelve years later and diagnosed with asbestosis, prostate, colon and skin cancer, he is a survivor. He continues to fight, because his family is everything to him.

He has taught me to love. We always talk, hug and say 'I love you,' because you learn life on earth is precious.

Happy Father's Day dad. I love you.

- Nicole Schroeder

Officer Dad

My father is not just my father.

He's a staple in the county. He's a permanent fixture in law enforcement. He's someone everyone knows. Santos Calderon Jr. has only been my father for 26 years, but he has been a police officer for about 30 years. He's devoted every waking moment to helping our town and our community. I can remember the telephone ringing and waking us all up at 2 a.m. and him racing to get up and get to a scene, not knowing what was ahead of him. He was always one of the first to the accident. And he loved it. I think he sometimes believes he wasn't always there for my family because he was so involved with his job, but he showed me what it is to have passion.

Passion is why I think my dad is the best father. He gave that passion to me.

- Brandi Calderon Pick

Perfect no brainer

Adam Kelter and I met 10 years ago. He was a single dad with an 8-year-old son.

He was raising his son alone and he was doing an awesome job. He was mother and father for six years. Adam and his son, Jordan, have a wonderful, special relationship and as a result my stepson is one in a million.

Jordan is a respectful, kind and gentle young man, all thanks to my husband and his guidance. Jordan has made my job as a stepmom a no brainer. Loving Jordan is the easiest thing I have ever done and it's because of the person my husband raised him to be.

When I came along, I was a single mother of five. With my youngest child at age 2, Adam never blinked an eye. We became a family in 2003 and could not be happier. My children adore their stepfather and their new brother.

We had to buy a larger home, and Adam had to take a second job to help support his instant family, but he has never complained, and never ever made my children feel like 'steps.'

He has never said no when one of the children needed something, even as they have grown to adulthood and have families of their own. He has maintained his wonderful relationship with his son and expanded it to include my children as well.

My ex-husband has told me how thankful he is that Adam is such a great stepdad to his children. Adam is not perfect, but he is darn close. He loves his family, all of us. The smartest decision I ever made was to say yes when he asked me out 10 years ago. I thank God every day for Adam. Adam has enriched my life and my children's. He has guided us as a family steadily, faithfully, gently and with a tremendous amount of love and we are better for it.

- Donna Kelter

Beating the odds

They say that taking on a stepfamily is one of the hardest things in life.

But for our stepdad Jerry Brisbin, he has beaten the odds. Jerry is one of the greatest men who we know. He has taken all of us in with open arms, given us a place to stay if we needed it and helped us through life's hard times. Never once has he turned one of his stepchildren or blood children away although sometimes we do things where he should get mad at us.

Love and care is one of the greatest attributes that he has and without Jerry Brisbin all of his girls would not be where they are today. Jerry has three children of his own and three stepdaughters, which is a chore in itself. But he shows us all love and compassion.

Thank you.

- Tonja Vogt

Outnumbered, but proud

My father, Richard McClure, had to live in a household with four women: three daughters and his wife.

I believe he is the area's top dad because of everything he has helped his family accomplish.

He has pushed us all to strive to better ourselves; our careers (because of his encouragement and support) are nurses, nursing teachers, and an engineer. He is truly an amazing father who I believe has brought only joy and happiness into his children's lives. And now that we are grown he provides the same love and support to his grandchildren, who happen to be two granddaughters.

- Stayci McClure

The dad he didn't have to be

I would like to nominate a man who has been the best father ever to three young men.

When he came into our lives I had a 6- and 2-year-old. I became a widow at 24 years old with 6-year-old son and pregnant at the time. He raised those two boys like they were his own. Two years later, we were blessed with another son.

Fred F. Soto has had a busy life being a school teacher, deacon at St. Patrick's Catholic Church and a wonderful father.

He became Little League coach, band booster club member, attending every baseball, basketball and football games. He even learned how to fish and camp, which were not his favorite things to do.

When our grandchildren were born, he was such a proud grandfather. I couldn't help but remember a country-western song the "Dad He Didn't Have to Be." When I saw him looking through the nursery window at my son, he was so proud.

The years have gone by and the grandbabies have come. The boys are now 42, 36, and 32-year-old men and still say that's my dad.

Thanks, Fred, for all your support and love.

- Patty Soto

Student Dad

Dionicio Gonzales is the best dad. Almost three years ago as an oil field worker, he was laid off due to the economy.

It left our family in a big predicament with only my income (his wife) of $8 an hour to survive on. He did everything possible to help us get back on our feet. He kept the faith with the determination, patience, and hope he would find the answers to all our prayers and financial difficulties. He constantly and consistently applied for positions available through the Texas Workforce Commission. After several applications and no responses, he decided to go back to school and major in process technology to become a plant operator. Now he is finishing up his last few classes in the fall with a 4.0 grade point average. He made the dean's list and was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa at Victoria College. Also, he has landed a position through a contracting company called Coastal Bend Staffing at Formosa.

He showed my children and myself it not only was not too late to go back to school at 29 years of age, but to stay positive and patient. Because when times get hard you push harder.

On that note he has also broken the state record at 425-pound bench press; with that, he is our hero and we are so proud to call him dad.

- Yasmina, Ananna, your wife Carrie Zapata, Victoria

Dad, the teacher

We believe Simon Morales Jr. should be chosen as the Top Dad for these reasons. He has been a father for 40 years and a grandfather for 18.

Even with health problems he faithfully goes to work every day, so he can take care of us.

When our biological father chose not to be part of our lives, Dad stepped up and took on the role of our father as well as our grandfather. Dad is very protective of us, always calling and checking on us. Dad knows when we're in need of anything and he is always there to step up to the plate for us.

Dad is teaching us to grow up to be well-mannered, successful adults. As for my sister and I, we believe that any man can become a father, but it takes a real loving and caring man to become a dad.

- Ashtin and Elizabeth Grange, Victoria

A kid at heart

We all love our dad.

There is no such thing as a real dad. All of them are different. Even if they are a twin.

Let me tell you about my dad, Edward Wayne Flores. Even if he doesn't win this contest, at least I entered and showed how much I love him.

I wanted him to win because he is funny. When we wrestle together, he pretends my arm or leg is a hot dog or something (then pretends to bite it). Another thing is when I was jumping and skipping at the same time on a trampoline, dad calls it skumping or jipping.

I want him to win because he is sporty. My dad always collects toy cars the little Hot Wheel figures from H-E-B. My dad showed me how to ride a skateboard. Now I ride down hills and ramps. Dad also showed me how to kick and throw a football and ride a bike (I think dad is good at sports because when he was younger he played baseball).

I want him to win because he is handy. Whenever something is broken, my dad can probably fix it. He is always fixing his car. He airs up my bike tires, and when my toys broke, he Super Glued them.

I want him to win because he is a kid at heart. Like I said, he collects toy cars, he makes up words, wrestles with me, he skateboards, and most of all he spends time with a 10-year-old when he is a 48-year-old.

Yes, me and dad.

- Teri Flores

He did it for us

My dad is Randy Hernandez. He is the best.

He married my mother 22 years ago. No wedding, just firm commitment to her and her two small children who were 3 and 4 at the time. We lived in Dallas and they had to move myself and my sister, which now made it two girls and two boys. He worked hard and on all holidays to give all four of us what we needed and wanted. He never saved a nickel or dime but used all his hard earned money on us. He took us to many places in Texas and even to Disneyland too. He taught us there is a whole world out there to study and you could see it too. He never let us work because school was our job. I'm the youngest and going on my second year in college. You know what makes him so great - he helped raise four kids, and loves all seven grandkids all the same.

He even gave up his job in Dallas, and our home for 15 years to move to Edna because our grandfather left me his house. I asked only once, "Dad would you move for me?" and he did. Gave up what they had in Dallas for me.

I love my dad with all my heart.

- Randall X. Hernandez

He is the best

My father is Steve De La Cruz. He works for the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office in Port Lavaca. He is a very hard worker.

At times we may not get to see him as often as we like, because he wants us to have everything we need.

When he leaves for work, we always pray for his safe return home.

He is very involved in his community as well. He participates in the Port Lavaca Relay for Life, Beeville Relay for Life, and now is a member of the Guardians of the Ribbon.

My dad does not get enough credit for how hard he works, and I just want him to know that his family appreciates everything he has done for us. We love him very much and thank him for all he has done to keep us safe. He is the best because he is our father.

- Angelica De La Cruz and Steve De La Cruz

The most special dad

This goes out to my dad, Ralph Beltran, to me the most special dad on Father's Day. Because to me you are my hero dad, because you have never given up as long as I have known you.

When they said you had two years to live, about a decade ago, due to illness, not once did you complain. You stayed working for your family.

Also, something you taught me dad, you're not only a dad to me but to many others you've helped out, financially and mentally. Dad, I love you so much and so many other people do too. Win or lose, it doesn't matter because of everything you taught me in your life I know I'll make it when you go. It will truly be a great loss to a lot of people, but will not be any time soon. God like's to keep a great man who inspire's many people on this Earth, I love you dad.

- Juan Manuel Garcia Beltran

He never spoiled us

I think I have the best and greatest dad.

Jose F. Olivares taught us respect from a very early age. One day my brother said a bad word. He made us think about that word at the dinner together. He brought the dictionary to the table every evening, and every evening gave us a kitchen chore and he never spoiled us.

He was an architect and engineer from San Antonio, and later went to law school and got disbarred by Judge Haberman and his attorney was Wagner Carr. He never complained and kept the faith.

He gave all his 10 children faith, hope, charity, which began at home. He always tells us to keep our Catholic faith and that is what has guided him and his children to stay out of prisons, jails and do good for ourselves. Because of the baptism and faith he instilled in us, I joined the Army. I became a disabled veteran, but his granddaughter is captain in the Air Force. Because of his hard work and perseverance, we as a family are holy. We thank God for our blessings every day because of his raising.

- Monica Nolan



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