Memories of our Fathers: A Father’s Day Tribute

By: Kyle Hovanec Last Updated: June 19, 2015

father's-day-2015In the spirit of Father’s Day we took a look at some local community and business members whose memories about their father still stays with them today.

We’re proud to present this collection of memories of fatherhood.

“My Uncle Francis Schwerd who passed away almost a year ago taught me: "Good is not good enough...when better is expected." – Tevlyn Schwerd, Creative Director of Bargin Barn Inc.

“My father, Edward Beitzel, was the kindest man I have ever known. I know most people probably have kind words to share about a parent, after all, they are the ones who gave us life, and raised us to be the people we are as adults. My dad however, gave these words a meaning that I truly believe very few people ever fulfill in the same way he did. Everywhere my father went, he made friends. He had a kind word for everyone, and made a point of putting a smile on the face of everyone that he spoke with – even the grumpiest of folk. Making others feel good made him feel good, he always said, and what better way to spend his time? My entire life, I do not believe I ever heard an unkind word said about him, and he was truly admired by all whom he befriended (which was pretty much everyone he met).

When we first started in business over 15 years ago, it was that same kindness that I tried my best to instill in my relationships with our wonderful staff, and in giving back to the community that has so graciously welcomed us in Valparaiso and the surrounding townships. Giving to those less fortunate, partnering with local schools, churches and not-for-profit organizations, and putting a smile on the face of our guests is the very best part of my job. I owe those values and beliefs to the teachings of my father and I am so very blessed to have had such a great role model.

My father passed away unexpectedly in January this year, and not a day goes by that I do not think of him and miss him terribly. Losing someone we love is never an easy thing. That having been said, I am so very lucky to have had the time with him that I did, and so thankful that I got to watch him not only bring so much joy to others but to teach me how wonderful it is to in turn share that good will with others. I truly believe with all my heart that he is still with me in spirit as I continue to strive to fulfill his teachings through my life and my business. This Father’s day will be a difficult one for me, but my dad was a gift to me every day of his life that I will forever be grateful for.” – Wendy Gates, Culvers

“My father Earl Uban taught me invaluable skills by being a wonderful example throughout my life. He is an engineer and hands-on person, always building something, even now at the age of 86. In his prime, he helped design and survey the Midwest Steel plant on the shore of Lake Michigan.

These days he typically divides his time by restoring old clocks or luthering violins. When I was a kid, he and I restored antique single-cylinder gasoline engines together and exhibited them at gas/steam engine shows throughout Indiana.

The skills I've learned from him over the years led me to become an engineer myself and gave me the abilities necessary to start and run Figure Eight Brewing. Thanks Dad!” – Tom Uban. Figure Eight Brewing.

“My father, Eddie Zurbriggen, has always taught me about respect. The phrase from my childhood still rings through my head, “Carl, you wouldn’t talk to a police officer like that, would you?” He emphasized giving the utmost respect to everyone I come in contact with.

I believe my strong work ethic also came from my father. I watched him work long hours, midnight shifts and more at US Steel to support our family. In addition to his work schedule, he would have me help out bailing hay at our family’s farm on the weekends.

These traits have stayed with me through my professional career and feel fortunate to have had a father who helped engrain these into my character.” – Carl Zurbriggen, Executive Director of the Griffith Family YMCA.

“As children so many of us lack an appreciation and understanding for what dad does each and every day to raise and support his family. My own dad would leave at 5 am and head off to his job only to often not get back home until 6 or 7pm each evening. He worked his tail off and gave it his all every day and gave everything he had so mom and my brothers could live a good life.

As an adult with a wife and 3 kids of my own I truly have come to appreciate what my dad did for us all of those years! My dad instilled in me the drive, passion and work ethic I've needed over the years to not only raise my own family but also build and run a successful business and I can't be thankful enough for that. Love you pops and Happy Fathers Day!” – Greg Rentschler, TimberSeal,LLC

“One of my father’s early jobs was as a meat cutter. The boss instructed him to put his thumb on the scale to increase the weight and thus cheat the customer. My dad refused and he was fired. He always told us, tell the truth and then you don’t have to remember what you said. That has always stuck with me that we need to be honest with our customers and never take advantage of them.” - Tim Bucher, President of Buchertech

“My dad once said to take care of people, treat them fair and honest. As you will build your business from this, get a little now and gain a customer forever.”- Jack Hines, Owner of Hines Plumbing

“My dad passed away March 31, 2014. He was a man of deep faith and accepted all people for who they are. He did not pass judgment on anyone. He was always there to help others in any way that he could. He lead a simple, exemplary life and was a man of honor. He will always be my hero.” – Larry Hitz, Broker/Owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Executive Group

"It is because of the examples of my father, grandfather and great-grandfather that I decided at the age of 10, to become a pastor. Now, thirty-eight years later, I am still happy serving the congregation I love". Lionel Young, Senior Pastor, Calvary Church

“Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County’s mission is to inspire and enable the youth of our communities to realize their full potential a productive, responsible, and caring citizens. Think about this for a minute – helping children to realize their full potential! For many parents alone, this can seem a daunting task and it takes a special person to work with children, providing them with hope and opportunity, on a daily basis! Our organization is fortunate to have several Club “Dads” that not only are fathers to their own children, but also spend countless hours at our Clubs supporting the efforts of youth ages 5 to 18 years. This Father’s Day we want to honor our Club dads!”- Alison Martin, Director of Resource Development

“My step-dad came along when I was at that awkward teenage stage, so he had his work cut out for him. Still, he loved me and my sister like we were his own and showed us what a good man is, what a good husband is, and what a good father is. I love him to piece and I am so glad that he's in our lives.” – Caitlin Vanlaningham, Contributing Editor at Ideas in Motion Media

“My father always has and still is, an incredibly hard worker. He has always been that constant in my life that has fostered the ethics of hard work, giving more effort than what’s expected and being kind to those around you. He taught me that time is always more important than money and that family bonds are stronger than all else. It’s a lesson that has always been on my mind and will remain on my mind for a long time. I cannot thank my father enough for passing this on to me.” – Kyle Hovanec, contributing Editor at Ideas in Motion Media