Memories of Dad

Father’s Day ... so often overshadowed by Mother’s Day, yet our relationship  with our fathers are so important.  Local residents recount some of their favorite memories of their fathers.

Joy Falkenburg
My dad would get up early before I went to high school and would sit on the edge of my bed talking about my life, difficult decisions, emotions and my future. He would always tell me he was proud and gave me good reasons to have faith in God, in humanity and in myself. It was the time I had his undivided attention and full presence.
Jim Meyer
My dad was a high school vocational drafting teacher. Every year he took his students on a class trip to Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio.  My favorite memory was the year I reached the minimum height requirement to ride the big roller coasters!  (when I turned 3 – ha ha)
Jeanie Kirkpatrick
Sitting in the same chair as my dad eating slices of pepperoni.
Mark Mills
There are so many memories: Christmas mornings, the Daisy BB gun birthday present, sailing with me on the USS Dubuque for a “Tiger Cruise.” All memories of my dad are my favorites!
Donna Talley
My dad, Donald Gene Beck, used to take me to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, when I was 4 years old and he was stationed there.
Heather Grace
I have many favorite memories with my dad, but one that sticks out the most is going on Sunday drives with the whole family when we were little. We would take off on some road and end up at a fun cool place to play, swim or fish.
Scott Parsons
I am so thankful to have been raised by a man who knew and taught the value of hard work and doing the job right. My dad is my hero. He is what I’ve strived to be for my own son.
Lori Thorson
My dad was my junior high softball coach. He needed a pitcher, so he decided I was the one. I would go to practice with him as the coach. I would have to pitch in practice, then after practice and on weekends, even when we went camping. Dad would catch for me in front of the corrugated metal garage. He would have a five-gallon bucket in front of each leg for protection. The side of the garage looked like a hailstorm had hit it. He was my best coach and biggest fan. He made me the all-state pitcher I became. Just so you know, it is hard to pick just one good memory of Dad.
Amy Bailey
Oh gosh, I am not sure I can pinpoint just one. My dad is THE most kind and patient man you will meet! It is his unfaltering support that got me to where I am today! But my favorite is probably when he carried me to the house after impaling my knee on a fence. I thought he was the strongest, bravest man. I was bleeding all over him and he didn’t miss a step.
Kathy Splichal
Sorry, I cannot. There are just too many. I just loved my dad very much and he passed at the age 48. He is missed a lot.
Laurie Arthur
When I was 8, going to work with my dad at the auto repair shop he owned and getting to go have lunch with the “guys”!
Tracy Kelley
Road hunting with my dad as a young girl.
Jessica Noteboom
The experiences I remember best from my childhood were generally with my dad. For example, I recall one of my earliest backpacking trips where I carried little more than a stuffed animal in my pack; Dad carried everything else. Then when I was 10 or 12, my dad, an avid hunter and wildlife conservationist,  took us to the Black Hills for my first hunting trip.  We spotted a big buck in the distance. I asked my dad, “How does its rack look?” and he quickly responded, “No, no, honey, don’t look at the horns, look at his body.” His measure of success was always by the edible meat and not the vanity metrics. Then in high school, at a cross country meet, he could see I was struggling to keep my pace to get up a monstrous hill.  He shouted, cheering me on, “Push yourself, girl… you can do hard things! You CAN especially do hard things for a minute, even 16 minutes in a race!” It has become my life’s mantra.
Kevin Hartman
When I was in my early 20s, my dad and I would go to Kansas City International Raceway and drag race our motorcycles. It was more fun racing against him than other bikes, since we’re both very competitive. He always would take me out of the hole since he had a custom bike with a crazy launch, but I’d always catch him at the end with my sport bike. We would always go out to dinner afterwards. Any sort of power sports we would always enjoy together.
Rodney Veldhuizen
Dad was a farm equipment mechanic and the best times were when he would let me go along to “help.”
Doris Ann Mertz
I don’t have just one favorite memory of my dad.  Most of my favorite memories were of working with my dad. Whether we were repairing fence, cutting firewood or running to the co-op to get supplies, I just enjoyed being with my dad.  First of all, it got me out of housework, which I hated.  But it was more than that.  He had a way of making work fun. I enjoyed all of the conversations we had as we were driving down the road or working alongside each other. I appreciated how he thought of me as a good worker and expected a lot out of me. I enjoyed how we would take a break at the store to eat a grilled honey bun or some other equally sinful treat. I just soaked up sitting there and visiting with my dad and his friends, who also happened to stop by for a cup of coffee. They became my friends, too. My dad and I got a lot of work done, but we also took time to enjoy a pretty day and catching up with friends. When I go home, we still enjoy working together. We burn up the old brush and clean out the undergrowth in the woods.  Then we take a break and run down to the store for a cup of coffee and a little conversation.
Catherine Fierberg
I remember my father taking me fishing on Legion Lake.  He had an old wooden row boat. It was so exciting to go out on the lake with him.
Matt Furse
In the summer between my forth and fifth grade years, we went to a Chicago White Sox game. The National Anthem began to play and we stood at attention with our hand over our heart, as we always did... When, suddenly, during the song, my dad shot out of our aisle and down a couple of rows to where two college age guys were sitting... SITTING—with their feet propped up on the rail in front of them. To my shock, my dad (a rather large, intimidating guy) stuck his nose in the faces of those two strangers, and screamed —“Stand up! I’ve got friends who died for that flag!” Those two guys shot up out of their seats, and stood at attention... and, I think they stayed that way for nine whole innings!  Before then, I had always just saluted the flag because I was told to do it— but after that night, I learned a lot more about WHY we do it.
Jennie Anderson
My dad, Larry Jeffries, passed away in April 2020, so I treasure all my memories of him a bit differently now. My dad grew up in Deadwood and competed in alpine ski racing at Terry Peak, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Washington and Argentina, to name a few. He went to the University of Wyoming on a scholarship for skiing and soccer in the early 1960s. He taught me and my brothers to ski when we were young, as well as some of our friends who’d tag along with us.  My best memories of him involved downhill and water skiing. However, my very favorite memory with him was of the last time he ever downhill skied, which was in 2011 at Terry Peak, with me and my kids, Luke and Lizzie. We all had a great time with him in his and my childhood “stomping grounds” and my kids were in awe of how he was still an amazing skier.  
Deeda Cordin
My favorite Father’s Day was when my parents owned a ranch in New Mexico and on that ranch was an old ghost town. I was only 6 and living on the ranch was magical. My mom packed a picnic lunch and my parents and my several sisters and I drove to the little ghost town where we celebrated Fathers Day among all of the abandoned buildings. For a 6-year-old girl, that was the best Father’s Day ever!
Aleah Witt
I love the memories of riding in the “buddy seat” in the combine during harvest with my dad. I will always remember the day I bought my first car and I got to drive it home with my dad on the backroads! Hunting with my father-in-law is always a blast! Back when we both had a West River buck tag we decided to head out and go hunting. After a morning of hunting a new area, an awesome buck came across our path and my father-in-law whispered, “Shoot it, that’s the one,” and I was so nervous that I couldn’t get myself squared away to make the shot. He said, “Come on, it’s going to run,” and I said, “You shoot it!!” Long story short, he filled his tag with an awesome mule deer. Then after we came across another mule deer buck I filled my archery tag! We also got a pickup load of wood on the way home. It was quite an awesome hunting trip!
Michelle Fischer
My favorite memory is golfing with my dad. He taught me everything I know about the game. I’m forever grateful that he spent the time teaching me a sport that I still enjoy today!
 Lea Anne McWhorter
 This is my dad, Herb Stender, with my husband, Rob, and me, fishing for king salmon in Alaska in 1989. It was an adventure! My dad almost fell out of the boat trying to land his fish!
Micki Reindl
I have a TON of really great memories with my dad, but one that sticks out, is when Mom dropped us off up in the Needles and we hiked all the way back home following Willow Creek. He made me feel like I could conquer the world on that hike! Also, it’s not really a “memory” so to say, but something I will take with me FOREVER is his laugh; he has the best laugh in the whole world.
Marty Mechaley
My favorite memory with my dad was going on pheasant hunting trips to Winner where we met other family members as well.
Bonnie Ramer
My dad has always given me enough space to make my own decisions and has always been there to listen and support me through Everything!!
Sherri Lockhart
We were having Easter at my parents’ house a couple years ago. Dad discovers a skunk had found its way into the garage the previous night, eaten the cat food and had found a spot behind a small stack of 2x4s to sleep behind. Mom, my sisters and I told Dad, “Just leave the garage door open a little that night and the skunk would find its way outside without bothering anyone or stinking anything up. But, no, Dad couldn’t leave the poor little skunk alone. He decided to “herd” the skunk out of the garage using a sheet of plywood as a barrier. All of us girls were watching from a window in the safety of the house. This “herding” was working until the skunk realized it was being “herded.” Once the skunk couldn’t get into a corner to hide, it stomped its front feet at the barrier/Dad, jumping toward him. Startled, Dad jumped back, almost losing his hold on the plywood. We, of course, are laughing so hard we are crying at this point. The poor, scared, little skunk finally turns, lifts his tail and sprays right at the plywood and Dad. The stink hits the plywood and explodes in all directions. The skunk runs out of the garage and disappears around the corner. Dad drops the plywood, swiping at his face and eyes with both hands. Tears running down his face, he stumbles out of the garage coughing, choking and spitting. The smell is atrocious even in the house!  Us girls are now rolling on the floor laughing and crying. But the skunk is out of the garage. Mission accomplished.
Joshua Najacht
He took me fishing a lot the summer before my senior year of high school. He was always busy when I was little, but he made up for it before I left home. We caught a lot of fish that summer.
Janet Boyer
Charley remembers my Dad from his years of owning the Hot Springs Star. My father owned Eastep’s Shoe and Western Wear. Every year when school started all elementary students wore a new pair of shoes on the first day. He made sure each child had new shoes and paid for some out of his own pocket.
Linda Anderson
Wow, it’s hard to pick a favorite.  I lost my Dad last year and I’ve spent the past year reliving so many great times. I think some of the best times with my Dad were times spent camping and vacationing in the Hills with our family. He loved the outdoors and we also attended Outlaw Ranch Family Camp for many years. Nothing like the beauty of the Hills to bring a family together. We always went home (to Pierre) feeling rested and renewed!
Haylee Vershure
One of my favorite memories of my dad was when I was about 10 years old and he returned from a work trip with a beautiful pink opal ring for me. He passed away about 13 years ago and it is still one of my most treasured possessions.

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