Last updated: August 25. 2013 4:17AM -

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Thanks, Dad

The Lima News asked its readers to share stories about their fathers’ skills for Father’s Day, which appear today. To all fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day.

From Ashley Sherer

My father, Dee Sherer, and I are best friends, he is my hero and who I look up to. He is there when I am down and has the most compassionate soul of anyone I’ve ever met. He is a self-employed remodeling contractor and takes that job very seriously. He would drop just about anything if one of his customers called and said a tree fell on the roof or their basement is flooding. He cleans the snow off the sidewalks in his block; he cleans up trash in the neighborhood, and just simply takes pride in everything he does. He takes his friendships very seriously and doesn’t know a stranger. He has the biggest heart of anyone I know. He is an amazing hard worker and a man that I can’t imagine not having in my life.

As he walks me down the aisle this fall, I will cherish this moment forever and hope he knows I will always be his little girl! I hope that even after my dad is gone I am able to carry on his legacy of being a caring and compassionate person, just he was.


From Lavonia Johnson, Blacklick

Dear Dad,

As a child I remember the special times we shared. As your baby girl we both knew there was always going to be a special bond that could never be broken. I remember waking up early in the morning and you taking us fishing or us stopping for breakfast on the way to school. All the special things we shared like our love for Breyer’s chocolate ice cream. Oh, how we could eat a whole container in one day! Growing up in the same room that you did as a child, I guess you can say our connection was destined to be.

Although in life — just as any other parent-child relationship goes — we did have our ups and downs, sometimes it seemed as though we would never see eye to eye. Even though as a child I knew deep down inside that you only wanted what was best for me, I couldn’t help but want what I wanted. But now as a young adult in college facing new challenges every day I see how your lessons and stories of your life has helped me become a strong person. You have taught me to believe in what I want and also to not be so quick to jump sides based on feelings instead of facts. It’s something that you taught me in order to stay true to myself.

Thank you for the life lessons and the support that has continued past the age of 18 and the love that has helped me through even my weakest days. Thank you for being there for me when I needed you to be and for when I didn’t. Thanks for being my dad and for being my friend.

Love always,

Lavonia Johnson


From Jodi Addis, Lima

When I think about the skills that my father has, it reminds me of all the things that I should have paid more attention to learning. Joe Sprague Jr. can fix anything. When we were growing up he would always have a project, whether it was a car, a lawnmower or carpentry. I admire the fact that he will only do the job if he can do it right. The quality of his work he does is top notch.

Dad has never let me down. Just to name a few instances: He saved me from missing my senior prom because he broke up an argument between Mom and I (being the mouthy teenager that I was), the time when I was in college and still lived at home and I had to tell him I was pregnant, the move from Lima to Fort Wayne, the move back, or all the times he has driven my kids where they need to go while I had to work. He has always been there for me.

More than anything, I love listening to the stories he tells of the “situations” he has gotten himself into. Whether it was when he was an ornery kid, or when he was working at Ford Motor Co. Lima Engine Plant as an ornery adult. They are hilarious. I could listen to them over and over. I don’t know anyone who does not enjoy listening to my dad — except for occasionally my Mom (: I would love to videotape him telling these stories so my grandchildren and great-grandchildren can also be entertained by them the way everyone that knows him does now.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I love you very much!


From Marie Gerding

My amazing father, Alfred “Ferdie” Miller, was the youngest son of Joseph and Mary Miller. Growing up on a farm near Cloverdale, he learned how to be successful in life. He married the love of his life, Marcella Kahle. They spent 63 years together raising nine children.

Dad is a gentle, soft-spoken man with a keen sense of humor. He has a generous heart, is respectful to others, and shows a strong faith in God. Skilled in many trades, he was always able to fix or mend the unthinkable.

Dad was devoted to his family and was an excellent role model. His admirable work ethic was deeply rooted in his upbringing. Like his father, he was a wise, hardworking farmer. In addition to tilling the soil, Dad juggled factory work and custom farming, but still found time for family fun. What a treat it was when the family piled in the car and headed to Grand Lake St. Marys for a picnic and swim, the county fair for rides and exhibits, or Cedar Point to ride roller coasters with him! Neighborhood kids gathered to see who could catch the most fly balls Dad would hit to us. Playing cards with him was fun and challenging. He is still quite the “card shark.”

The great-grandchildren are drawn to him by his love and attention — and a sparkle in his piercing blue eyes appears as they perch on his lap, or give him fives or fist bumps. Grandkids enjoy hearing about the good old days as he shares his life stories, wearing his World War II veterans cap with pride.

My siblings and I are fortunate and proud to call him Dad. Etched in our minds is his motto to “never give up.” He hasn’t given up yet, just turning 94 years young.

Thank you, Dad! Happy Father’s Day!


From Breanne Carder, Delphos

My parents, Mike and Pam Carder, are the best. My dad and my mom are both handy people and have taught my sister and I things from a very young age. Over the years, my dad has taught me how to do plumbing, wiring, roofing, siding, drywalling, auto repairs, cooking, lawn care, how to make valuable family time that doesn’t always require a lot of money, how to fish … almost everything I will need to know for when he isn’t around.

About five years ago, I was looking for a house of my own to purchase. I went to Dad and asked if he would help me fix one up if I found it. He said sure, like he always does. I found this little gem of a house, and he went with me to see it. We walked in the front door and I wanted to turn and run and he saw a diamond in the dust. Before I knew it, we were gutting this house and putting it back together. We literally tore it down to the studs. Then it was a four-month process of replacing windows, wiring, plumbing, moving walls and a bunch of other remodeling things.

I learned a lot from my parents. My dad has always been patient with teaching me things. Things seem to come so easy to him and he can see when I struggle and will show me 100 different ways to do something until it clicks. There have been nights where he has walked me through how to take the plumbing under the sink apart, how to fix a leaky toilet, what to do when my roof leaks. I don’t take any of these learning experiences for granted. My dad is an amazing person and anyone in Delphos will tell you the exact same thing.


From Rose Marie (McIntosh) Duffy

My father's name was James Joseph McIntosh. He as born in the little town of Newry, Pa., in 1895. He married my mother, Alverna Walls, who came from the same area and was born in 1897.

Dad had very little schooling but was good with his hands. He worked as a plumber for 20 years and eventually worked for the M.W. Kellogg Co., a world-wide construction company, for 40 years. His employment took him to oil refineries in the USA and abroad. It meant a lot of moving for his wife and three children, but if the location was safe and had a school, this became home for the family until the next transfer. Home and job locations included California, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas. Also, Alberta, Canada, Aruba, Dutch West Indies, Frances, Iran and Montreal, Quebec. Needless to say, my family had an interesting life!

It seemed my father could fix anything. He rented a house on he Mediterranean, but nothing in it worked. However, he soon began replacing the plumbing, installing heat and running water, so the family was quite comfortable. These peregrinations allowed us to meet many people, attend many schools and learn many things. Eventually Dad retired to (of all places) Wapakoneta due to the urging of a long-time friend who settled in the area. Dad bowled, loved to play cards, fish and visit the Wapak Elks on a daily basis, where everyone called him "Mr. Mack." He also played piano by ear and would break into a "singalong" with very little urging. It did not surprise me to look out the window at my home in Lima and see him climbing a ladder to fix the garage roof at age 90!

Dad was popular with everyone who knew him and he was a wonderful father and husband. His children were a great source of joy and we never wanted to disappoint him. He was the best! Dad died at age 97 and we miss him still.


From Dee Davis, Lima

My dad, John Musser, was a mechanic, house builder and craftsman. He also was a farmer. We had a small farm near Uniopolis and he worked the fields after he worked all day in Lima. He put windshields in cars and was credited with never breaking one. He built every house we lived in until we left the "nest." He had a small body shop at home so he could make a little money to supplement his income. He sent away for a kit to make a T.V. and built our first TV. In his later years, he became a crafter of wood. He didn't need a pattern to make things. The pattern was in his head. He loved making people happy with a quilt rake or a table. My mom, Alice, worked right along with Dad at anything they did. They would have been married 70 years but Dad died four months shy of that. My mom followed Dad just 10 months later. Love was their greatest bond. So on Father's Day, I look up and just smile. That is what he would have wanted. Thanks, Dad. I love you, Doris.


From Debra Krummrey, Alger

My father, Robert Reichenbach of Bluffton, gave his daughters a foundation for life — so many little life lessons with a big impact today.

We were in church every Sunday.

Dad was a farmer and he loved it. Our summer jobs included hoeing weeds out of the bean fields. Oh, how we complained. He taught us if it isn't red, leave it in the shed. As daughters, we were bad farmers but my dad was fortunate to have his youngest grandson pick up the trade.

Dad was a giver. He always gave more than he received. As daughters, we noticed.

Today, he is a resident at Willow Ridge in Bluffton and each day brings new challenges — and we meet those challenges as family. Dad has one grandson (Michael Krummrey) covering the farming duties and one grandson (Capt. Aaron Schmutz) serving his third tour of duty in Afghanistan. Dad, being an Army vet, is so proud of Aaron and can't wait until he returns home. As a group, Dad, we have your back! Happy Father's Day.

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