Hunterdale Seniors honor fathers

Published 12:54 pm Saturday, June 30, 2018

by Anne Griffin

The Hunterdale Seniors met on June 20 in the Hunterdale Volunteer Fire Department to celebrate their fathers.

Edna Butler led devotions and prayed for our concerns. The group enjoyed the song, “The Man He Didn’t Have to Be” by Brad Paisley, also “I Wonder How the Old Folks are at Home,” a much-loved bluegrass song.

Each person brought a picture of his or her father and related precious memories.

Some of the stories we enjoyed at the meeting were as follows:

  • Mary Davidson grew up on a farm and remembers her father as a quiet man who left the discipline of the children to her mom. Her grandson, Devon Fisher, told about his father, who is an avid gardener and likes yard work.
  • Greg Davidson’s father had three children and loved to fish (He went to Alaska to fish three times.) He taught Greg to garden. He worked at the mill and enjoyed following the stock market.
  • Edna Butler brought a picture of her daddy at work because he usually was. He worked at Hann’s basket factory. He filed saws as favors to friends. His favorite song was “You are My Sunshine.”
  • One of three sons, Marvin Butler’s father made corn meal and was always fair with his customers. He taught Sunday School, and was a funny fellow. He once told Marvin, “I’ll give you 10 more chances, to which Marvin replied, “Ten is not enough.”
  • Working in heating and air conditioning, Wayne Rose’s father lived in North Carolina until he retired. Wayne gave him a red car of which he was very proud. He died at age 62.
  • The youngest in her family, Linda Joyner remembers her dad as a quiet man who farmed with her brother. She said the family was poor, but had lots of love.
  • Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Bonnie Kostelniks’ father was a coal miner. He was father to nine children and grandpa to 21. His family was separated at an early age because his mother died. He and a sister were reunited after 53 years. Bonnie recalls him bringing ice cream if she was sick.
  • Being the oldest of four children, and had an ailing mother, Ellen Rose helped with the younger children. She remembers her father as a quiet man.
  • “A jack of all trades,” Anne Griffin’s daddy worked as a mechanic and farmer. He wired houses for electricity, tended sick animals, remodeled the house and made his first tractor from a car. He learned to fly an airplane after Anne was grown. He and Anne’s mama were married 60 years and raised seven children. He died at age 83.
  • Betsy Bradshaw’s father worked in the lumber division of the mill because he loved the smell of lumber. He like to fish and raised his own worms and made weights. He was a church worker and helped in several jobs.
  • Being the daughter of a lieutenant fireman, Vera Sykes remembers her father as a dedicated man. He went into a burning building and jumped from a window sustaining injuries that were fatal. He died on her graduation day. She was “daddy’s little girl” and enjoyed the stories he told about his work. The family loved to play in the snow.
  • Harriet Gray was born in North Dakota. Her dad and mom married after he left [military] service. He worked for the railroad and moved around. They finally moved to Jarratt, Virginia, where he retired.

The children gathered around his chair where he read to them. Because he loved to swim, they often swam in the river there. He was the father of six children and died at age 87.

Lunch was served afterward, and canned food was carried to Franklin Cooperative Ministry.

A post-July Fourth celebration will be a picnic at Dairy Queen on Wednesday, July 18.