FROM READERS: You described your fathers as 'strong,' 'dedicated' and 'loyal'

Sunday, June 16, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:30 a.m. CDT, Monday, June 17, 2013
What one word best describes your dad? We asked readers and some people shared just the one word, and some chose to tell us about a moment or situation that explains why they chose it. Several readers also sent photos of their dad, which are included in this gallery.

What one word best describes your dad?

In preparation for Father's Day, the Missourian, KBIA and KOMU asked that question of their audiences. Some people shared just the one word, and some chose to tell us about a moment or situation that explains why they chose it.

Thanks to those of you who shared. Feel free to add your own tribute in the comments below the story.

What one word best describes your father? Tell us about a moment or situation that shows why you chose that word.


I chose the word caring for my father because his mother passed away a few months ago and he was so strong. He was there for us when no one else really understood what we were going through. He always tells us to never let our smile fade, and he tells us to always look at the good side when sometimes you feel like there isn't one. That's why I chose the word caring for my dad.
— Kristina Mathews, about Andrew Mathews

This photo of Kristina Mathews and her father was taken at an MU football game.


My dad worked very hard to support his family. Whether it was working on the farm or in the foundry, he did it selflessly. He passed away in 1998 when I was 13, and I miss him every day.
— Pam Stephens, about Mike Evermon

This photo of Pam Stephens and her father was taken in 1989.


My father passed away on Christmas Day 20 years ago this last Christmas. I was still in my 20s and his death was unexpected, and I was reeling for a long time. One day I was at work (I am a nurse), and I was talking with a patient's family and the man happened to mention his line of employment ... and it happened to be in a job that my father often worked in conjunction with. I asked him if he had known my dad and his face just lit up and exclaimed that yes, in fact, he did know my father. I went on about my business but before the man left, he came over to me and took me aside and quietly said, "I just had to tell you. Your dad and your uncle were known throughout our industry for their honesty in their business dealings. So many people are out to just make a buck ... but we could count on your dad to be honest with us."

— Shelia Kable, about Ray Kable


My father would take the shirt off his back for anyone in need. When he said something, he meant it. He always kept his promises.

— Kristina Ray, about Bob Williams


My dad, Benton L. Crittendon, is a very dedicated father and grandfather. In 2005 my dad went into early retirement from successful career with UPS and then Allstate insurance, to become a full time nanny ... aka Popol to my twin girls and 4-year-old daughter. Since that time he has been a stable dedicated person in our lives. Dad is always there when we need him and will go out of his way to make sure he is available to myself and the girls. He goes above and beyond the role of grandfather and could teach a few what it means to be a father. The girls and I have conversations around our dinner table and they often say. "What would we do without Popol."... He is always there for us! We love you Popol!!!!!

— Tara Collier, about Benton L. Crittendon


Our dad is truly an amazing person and one we love very much. When our parents both retired in February 2013 they didn't realize that life would take a slight detour before enjoying retirement. In March, dad was diagnosed with Stage 1 Prostrate Cancer and would have surgery in April. Even though he was nervous and a little scared he never showed it. He knew that the doctors would take care of things and within several weeks he would be back to doing the things he enjoyed. He is just now back to riding his Harley, which is something he loves. He has always been the backbone to our family instilling a strong work ethic and great values in my sister and I. We are proud to call this man our dad.

— Michele Spry, about Jim Crews

This photo of Michele Spry, her father, Jim Crews, and her sister, Ashley Adams, was taken at Christmas 2012.


My dad is a pillar of strength. As is my mom, but my dad has always been there, ever standing. A few years ago, I had some personal issues. My mom fought along side me, tooth and nail. But my dad was always there for me to lean on, because sometimes, you just need a pillar to hold you up.

— Dawn Klempke, about Donald Williams


Dad looks for the best in people and redirects the conversation when you start to make a negative comment. He looks for the good in everyone and even during his most challenging times (which he has had a lot of lately) he stays calm and caring. He has always been there for me, and even in the toughest times he could talk to me and I knew he understood. His faith is strong and unwavering.

— Judy Tayloe, about Lou Meinke


My dad has always been hard headed and strong willed. Always doing his best to be his best, from serving two tours in Vietnam to working his way from the bottom with the Missouri DOC to Chief of Custody at Moberly, he always stuck by his morals and has done what is right in spite of discouraging words and people. He has always done all in his power to give my sister and I the best. Even now that we each have our own families, he still gives all he can to help.

— Cassie Allen, about James Shaw

This photo of Jim Shaw was taken in Vietnam in the 1970s.


He came over to America from Hungary with nothing but his clothes and his wife. He made it to be a successful accountant and was able to own a nice home in suburbia with his wife, who also became a successful doctor.

— Gabriella McCord, about Istvan Molnar


My dad has demonstrated loyalty on too many occasions to count! He has always stood by my side regardless of the situation. No matter whether my choices and decisions have been good or disastrous, he is there to help me celebrate or pick up the pieces.

— Kelli Hammond, about Patrick Planer


The first time my father met my (now) husband, Dad looked him dead in the eye and said "If you ever hurt her, you'll regret it." My husband said "Bring it on." At that moment, he was the bravest man ever. My husband is younger, taller and stronger than my dad but I knew size didn't matter and that my dad will always be there to protect me. I'm the youngest of three kids and my father is still my hero.

— Tracy Pickens, about James Hawkins


My father, Doug Garrison, is an achiever because he is one of the hardest workers that has ever been a part of my life. First of all he raised four kids by working long hours and picking up odd jobs and was always worried about not getting enough time with us but I knew he was working hard to support us. I never knew a day go by when I was a kid or even to this day where he wouldn’t be fixing something in the house even after a really long week of work. Not only did he help raise kids but he took care of his mom for many years of his life. She struggled and he was always there to support and love her the best way he could with the time that he had. One year he went to Mexico with my husband and I on vacation and as soon as we got there he began to help with the house. I felt bad because it was vacation but he loved to help. My dad may have not served in the Army but he has served for his family for many years and still does to this day. I love him with all my heart and think he is the best dad in the whole world.

— Ami Romero-Perez, about Doug Garrison


He is always there for me.

— Sidney Stuart Jr., about Sidney Stuart Sr.


His whole lifetime of stressful situations and accidents, just the fact that he has survived so much. I could not go through the pain and stress of what he has had to go through, and he does it without complaining. Life was harder then and so were the people. You know, the whole story of walking to school uphill both ways does have some merit when you look at how soft people have become compared to back then.

— Theresa Kite, about David Miller


My dad is always there when I need him and he's always there to help out a lending hand for someone else.

— Jessica McCarty, about Frank McCarty

Jessica McCarty and her dad at Christmas 2012.

This is part of a project called the Public Insight Network, a tool that connects journalists to community experiences and expertise. Read more about that here, and share your own experiences here. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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