Dad does so much for us. He has built swing sets, taken us on fishing trips, opened countless pickle jars, and been the guest of honor at tea parties. For Father’s Day, we invited you to nominate that special dad in your life and show your appreciation.
Dads deserve more than the one day we set aside to honor them. In an attempt to do our part, we chose 20 dads out of the 1100+ nominations you submitted to receive a free Ranger and set of Sticks. Read on to hear from those who wanted to give dad a really big smile this Father’s Day.
Adam N., from his brother, Cody
Adam is father to Saul and Peruth whom he and his wife, Stacy, adopted from Uganda. Adam owns and operates his own construction business while Stacy owns a boutique candle business she started as a fundraiser for their adoption four years ago. They are currently flipping their dream home in the hope to foster more children in the future.
“Adam is my little brother, and I admire him. Their adoption process took over two years with many speed bumps, including changing agencies multiple times, financial strain, paperwork, and legal issues. Adam’s patience, perseverance, and generosity in helping with the construction of an orphanage in Uganda are truly inspiring. Saul and Peruth were surrounded by love and instant family. Adam has been a rock while turning into a new father almost overnight.”
Brad S., from his son, Mark
Brad and his wife raised ten children. He never stopped working to be able to put them all through private school. Brad had to go into retirement over a year ago in order to care for his wife who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Mark says his father did everything he could to care for her before she had to move into a care center. Now, when Brad sees his wife, it’s through a window or through Facetime.
“This was very difficult on him, but he made the most of it by visiting her every day, sharing many wonderful meals the care center provided and holding her hand as she would go to sleep. As my mom progresses through stages of this awful disease, we (the kids) are trying to be the positive support our dad needs. He has done nothing but sacrifice his entire adult life and has taught his boys what it means to be a good dad, putting family first.”
Manuel N., from his wife, Annemarie
Manuel is father to two boys, Benjamin and Nathan. Manuel pours his heart into teaching their boys. This year, Annemarie was diagnosed with cancer, and Manuel has been the strong support in keeping his family going.
“We try to see the silver lining in everything. The lockdown in our city has allowed us to all be together while we face the uncertainty of cancer and how the world would cope with COVID-19. My boys and I are incredibly blessed with an amazing man in our lives who manages to be an amazing civil engineer while working from home, helping homeschool our eldest, keeping our youngest occupied, and taking care of me after surgery. He is our everything. We are lucky in itself to have him in our lives.”
Brandon P., from his wife, Rachel
Brandon is a pediatrician who spends his days taking care of sick children, providing education to residents and medical students, being a leader at this hospital, and providing his time and resources to help patients’ families during stressful hospital stays. And when he comes home, he is Superman to his kids.
“Brandon comes home after a long day and jumps right into playing laser tag or having lightsaber battles with our six-year-old and pretends to be a puppy with our two-year-old. He just doesn’t skip a beat. He has taught our oldest how to fish and throw a baseball like a pro. He is truly such a gem, I’m so happy to call him my husband.”
Carlos R., from his daughter, Christine
Carlos is an exterminator who has worked long hours as long as Christine can remember. When her first son was born four years ago, Carlos insisted on caring for him rather than putting him in daycare. Not only would he work late at night, but he would be caring for an infant during the day.
“That’s my Pops! He took on this extra “job” insisting he’d have it no other way, even if it meant sleeping a few hours a day. We now have two boys whom he cares for. My boys know that he’s “Grandpa,” but my big guy calls him “Dad.” He’s thoughtful, caring, and loving.”
Cody H., from his wife, Heidi
Cody is father to two children, Charlotte and Travin. He works long days at a coal mine, getting up at 3:30 in the morning and not getting home until 6:00 at night. He doesn’t shy away from helping cook dinner, playing with the kids, or getting them ready for bed. After that, he works on his schoolwork to earn his bachelor’s degree.
“On the weekends Cody works on remodeling projects we have going and does all the yard work along with spending time with me and the kids. He works tirelessly for us to give us a wonderful life. He has also supported me through a cancer diagnosis when I was eight months pregnant with Charlotte. He is always there for me on the numerous doctor’s appointments I have to go to every year. He even shaved his head when I started losing all of my hair.”
Dennis M., from his daughter, Abigail
Dennis works on the front lines of the pandemic as an emergency room physician. Even after contracting COVID-19 himself and being sidelined for weeks while he recovered, he never questioned his duty to return to the hospital once he was healthy. He has recently retired but will continue to work at the hospital part-time to serve his community.
“That’s the kind of guy my amazing dad is. While I am so incredibly proud of him reaching “retirement,” it pains me to know that none of his children or grandchildren could be there to celebrate the end of his amazing career. My father is an amazing dancer. His great rhythm comes from years of playing drums. One of my favorite things to do as a child was dance with my father, my small feet standing on top of his, and him guiding me to the beat. Last October, I got to dance with my dad in a very special arena: the dance floor of my wedding. I took off my shoes and stepped onto his feet just as I had done so many times as a child. It’s a moment I will never forget.”
Duane C., from his son, Brandon, and daughter-in-law to be, Monica
“My dad is the most helpful, kind, and charitable father. He’s the first one at work every day and one of the last ones out. He had to raise me alone after my mother passed away when I was a young boy. I can’t thank him enough for making me the man I am today and impressing all the good values that he has on me. My favorite memory with my Dad is simply sitting around the fire sharing our day and memories playing cornhole together.” – Brandon
“Duane is my soon-to-be father in law. He has been the greatest father figure to myself and my fiance. He genuinely lights up every room he walks in, and he is someone everyone knows they can turn to. He lost his wife years back and has continued to be a light each day since. I am so grateful for him! My favorite memory is after I got engaged to his son. He paraded me around to the family and friends and introduced me as his “daughter.” He has always made me feel like home.” – Monica
Duane E., from his step-son, Julian
Duane entered Julian’s life when he married his mother three years ago and has adopted him and his siblings as his own. Duane is hard-working in his handyman business, despite an injury in order to provide for his family.
“As a father, men play such an immeasurable role in the life of their children, and though I’ve only known him for three years, Duane has been by far the most influential person I’ve ever met. If anyone deserves anything, it’s this man. For the last fourteen years, he’s worked construction with a broken back but has the amazing work ethic that forces him to not even allow himself a day off to get surgery. This is my dad. He’s an outdoorsman, a trapper, a fisher, a hunter. He even taught me how to call elk and shoot a bow.”
Eduardo G., from his wife, Sarah
Eduardo has been deployed for eight months. Sarah is so proud of Eduardo. Even though he has had to miss many family events, she is grateful for being able to talk to him on a call or video chat on a regular basis. Eduardo loves taking his family camping and showing his family more about the outdoors.
“My husband bought us a camper right before he left for deployment, and we were able to camp two times with him. During one of our trips, we took the kids boating and had a great day on the river. He should be back at the end of June, and we look forward to many camping adventures together.”
Frank G., from his wife, Elsa
Frank is a teacher at an alternative school on top of being a father who finds the good in everything. Frank treats all his students as if they are his own and is a constant positive example in their lives.
“My children are so lucky to have such a wonderful man as their father. Honestly, he seldom does much for himself. He is a special soul who deserves so much, his students and our children agree. He adds more meaning and love to the children who are not lucky enough to have a good father in their lives. He always makes sure they get the help they need if he can’t provide it himself. Some children seem to not have a chance from the start, but he works so hard to allow them every chance until the end. He fights the fight with them. He lets them know they are important, special, and loved.”
George H., from his daughter, Beverly
George has done everything in his ability to help Beverly throughout her life. A year after giving birth to twins, her husband was diagnosed with cancer and passed away six months later. After her husband passed away, George became the father figure in their life they needed.
“My dad has stepped in and has been the father figure and supportive ‘dad’ presence since that day. It is fifteen years later and not a day goes by that he doesn’t help me and the twins with something. He has helped my boys to grow up into honest, dependable, and confident young men. I love him to death and no amount of words can express my sincere thankfulness for his continued love and support in raising my boys.”
Hal L., from his granddaughter, Cassie
Hal is ninety-two and Cassie’s grandfather. He is also the one who raised Cassie. Hal encouraged Cassie to have a wonderful education and has always worked hard to ensure she had everything she needed. The last few years have been hard on Hal as he has no longer been able to care for Cassie’s grandmother whom he has been married to for over sixty years.
“Prior to the pandemic, he would still visit her at the assisted living facility where we had to move her to. These last few months have been very hard as he hasn’t been able to see her at all because of pandemic lockdowns. About 1 million years ago, when I graduated eighth grade, our class had a little boat cruise in the harbor we lived in. As we were cruising around, my grandfather was in a tiny motorboat holding up a handmade sign telling me that he was so proud. It was the sweetest and kindest demonstration.”
Jason M., from his wife, Mary
Mary says that helping others is in Jason’s blood. He is the Operations Manager for a food pantry in their community and has spent two years volunteering for the Peace Corps in Gambia, West Africa. He is a special father not only to his family but to all those he helps on a daily basis.
“We’ve had twenty-three years of memories together so far. It’s hard to think of where to begin. One of my favorites is when we took our then six-year-old son to the Badlands in South Dakota for the first time. Seeing Jason with our son, James, play with his toy dinosaurs while surrounded with such stark beauty made me realize, for the millionth time, just how lucky our little family unit is.”
Jay L., from his son, Jason
Jay has been an amazing father for forty-nine years and has never missed any of Jason’s baseball or football games while he was growing up even though Jay worked in retail. After Jay was diagnosed with prostate and bladder cancer, Jason wants to spend as much time with him as he can and knows every day with him is a gift.
“As I got older, one of my fondest memories is when he would surprise me and pick me up at school and drive us to the US Open for the day to watch tennis, just he and I. More recently, I have enjoyed having one-on-one time by playing golf together even though neither of us is very good. I simply enjoy being in the same space as him. He is an amazing father, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving.”
Ken B., from his son, Sergio
Ken married Sergio’s mom when Sergio was four-years-old, but he never felt like he wasn’t Ken’s son. They have spent countless hours together playing football and building snow forts in the freezing cold weather. Sergio looks back on his life and learns how important it is to put others before yourself just like Ken taught him.
“He answered the countless questions I have always asked with patience and compassion. He began my love for camping and the outdoors. He pushed me when I needed pushing, and gave me a shoulder to cry on when needed. Now I get to enjoy seeing him do those same things for my three girls. Through it all, I have seen him be a loving husband to my mom all these years and a great dad to my other brothers and sisters. This is just a little snippet into who my dad is.”
Norbert G., from his daughter, Leigh
To Leigh, Norbert is one of the most generous, kind, and hard-working dads out there. From serving in the Vietnam War, to working as an engineer before retiring recently at age seventy-five, he has done so much for those around him.
“He is always fixing things around our house for us, always ready to lend a hand to family, friends, and neighbors. He hasn’t been on vacation in over twelve years due to being busy with work as an engineer. Now that he is finally retired, he would love to sit in his backyard (as he does every night reading the newspaper) with a cozy fire.”
Richard B., from his daughter, Jessica
Richard is always doing for others and never thinks of himself. He has always been there for Jessica, her siblings and nephews, and anyone in need. Jessica’s mom tells Richard sometimes others take advantage of his kindness, but he says he doesn’t care. He will always give people the benefit of the doubt and do as much as he can for others.
“I could go on and on about my dad and how he drives all over Massachusetts planting flowers at family gravesites or how he asks my mom to make an extra plate of dinner so he can drop it off at the home of an elderly man he knows. He’s just a good guy, though he will never take the credit. My favorite memory of my dad is him surprising us with a trip to a haunted hayride when I was eight. He is not the best planner in the world, but he went out of his way to make the night so special.”
Steven S., from his wife, Karen
Karen’s husband, Steven, is the father to their three children and an auto mechanic working for the city they live in. He fixes all the essential vehicles for the city. Many days he works long hours to keep their family afloat and will do anything for anyone, even down to giving the shirt off his back to someone in need.
“We are the type of family that has always had an outdoor fire going all year round. My favorite memories are of him just coming home and hanging out with the kids in the backyard. He keeps a well-stocked s’mores kit we use as a way to spend quality time together as a family. Often he will arrive home when it’s dark. It’s the perfect time to talk with the kids and unwind.”
Wenceslao S., from his daughter, Bianca
Wenceslao has worked so hard to provide for Bianca and her siblings, regardless of graveyard shifts and holidays missed. He wanted to make sure they never went without anything they may have needed. And still, he was there whenever he could at every soccer, basketball, and band event. He grew up in Mexico, and despite his hard upbringing, he became a U.S. citizen and learned how to do whatever task was at hand to succeed in his work.
“My father now works as a plant manager at a steel company. He has been sent all over the world to help troubleshoot some of the most advanced machinery possible. I look up to him so much for his work ethic. I remember my dad taking us all camping when we were kids. We’d spend all day out on the lake tubing and waterskiing, just having the best time being outdoors. There’s not a thing he wouldn’t do for us to put a smile on our faces and he deserves the world for it.”
From all of us at Solo Stove, thank you!