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I recently attended my nephew’s high school graduation. He graduated from McCallie School, a prestigious all-boys prep school. I listened to all these young men’s future college plans. It was an impressive list of schools from Southern Methodist University, University of South Carolina, University of Tennessee, United States Naval Academy, Baylor, Duke University, University of Mississippi, and several others. I watched their young, naive faces and thought about what is next for them. They have so much ahead of them with college life, new friends, living on their own, meeting potential spouses, entering the work force, and possibly becoming fathers. hat a wonderful time in their lives with so much ahead of them.
That thought brought me to another place, and I started thinking about the dads in my life. I remembered my grandfather, my father-in-law, my brother, my husband, and of course, my dad. I thought about the lives they have lead or are leading. I am so grateful for the examples they gave to me and so many others.
William Dewey Hus (aka Willie, Billy, Grandpa) was my grandfather. We lost him many years ago, but thinking about him still makes me proud. He was a quiet man, a business owner, a loving husband, a giving father, and a sweet grandpa. We learned so many lessons from him when we were growing up. We would visit my grandparents in Stockton, Kansas, every summer. My grandpa taught me how to fish (and clean them too), play games, and what a dad should be. He wasn’t a man of many words but his actions showed it all. He had to spend a lot of time cleaning his hands in the basement after a hard day of fixing cars. We would go out on the raft and spend hours catching groupie and catfish. I can almost taste them now. He didn’t have a college education, yet he was a great leader, man and wonderful dad!
My sweet father-in-law George Hobbs joined his Heavenly Father just a few weeks ago. His life was such an amazing message too. He provided for his family of five growing kids selling tools and TVs. He had to travel to make it all work, yet still had time to build his family’s home. I didn’t know him then but joined his life seven years ago. He had long since been retired but certainly hadn’t stopped working. He was a master at fixing things from cars to lawn mowers to washing machines and more. He modeled his quiet leadership in every step he took. When he did talk, it was usually to explain something scientific, argue politics, or share a kind word with family. I will miss him greatly but glad I had my time to watch him be a dad.
I also have an amazing brother who is a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force. He has had a distinguished career starting at the Air Force Academy—a place many don’t survive—as well as overseas assignments and many wonderful leadership posts. He has raised horses, cleared land, built barns, and worked incredibly hard. Those are wonderful things, but they aren’t the things makes my brother Mitchell Thomas McClaren special to me. He loves his wife and three beautiful daughters with everything that he is. He has made tough career choices to ensure their happiness. He does all that he does to show how much he cares and loves his family. I am proud to call him my brother.
Brian Keith Hobbs is my husband and wonderful father and step-dad. As we know, these are tough jobs in their own right. He has taken his in-depth knowledge of life, and its ups and down, and shares them with his family. Brian has been a role model for everyone to see with his work ethic and desire to please. Some people know him as the “Wine Guy,” but not me. He is the man who loves his children dearly, even when they don’t see it. His devotion and willingness to do whatever is needed to make them successful. He is a terrific dad.
Then comes my incredible dad, Kenneth Ray McClaren. It’s hard for me to explain how much I love my dad and the role model he has been of being a great father. I can’t say I agreed with him 100 percent of the time. But it is rare that I don’t eventually see his wisdom. He spent 30 years serving his country and working harder than most. I am so grateful for that. He builds many beautiful things which I enjoy using and viewing each day. He has shown me what a friend truly is by his warm smile, inquisitive nature, and willingness to help even without the asking. My dad is loved by everyone! I am so proud and respect my father for being the man he is. Thanks, Dad!
As you can see I have some amazing dads in my life and am so grateful for them. I hope you have some in your life too. If you do, please make sure they know how much you love them and how much they mean to you!