From before the moment of birth, through the rest of the child’s life, fathers are essential to the well-being of their children.

Unfortunately fathers and fatherhood in general are mocked and treated as unimportant. Pope John Paul II spoke on fathers in 1981 and said, “In revealing and in reliving on earth the very fatherhood of God, a man is called upon to ensure the harmonious and united development of all the members of the family.”

Walter Hoye II, Ruth Institute Board member, produced this touching tribute to his father, which highlights the good that fathers do for their families. He will be our keynote speaker at the 2021 Summit Awards dinner.

We have built this Fatherhood Resource Center to give the science, sound thinking, and stories about the importance of fatherhood for children, mothers, and also for society.

My dad’s boyhood dream was to fly airplanes for a living. At age 19 in early 1941, my dad was a licensed civilian pilot, trained by a precocious 22-year-old instructor, Bob Bean at the Max Conrad Flying School. In August 1941, dad enlisted in a Navy aviation pilot program. After the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, dad graduated early from flight school and stayed a few months as an instructor before being a lead bomber pilot for the rest of WWII. Dad taught me that all squadron personnel were told repeatedly, “Do your best. Others are depending on you,” and that I should do my best for the same reason.

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​On my Dad’s Shoulders, a New World Opened for Me.

My earliest memories were bank holidays, when my usually serious father would be relaxed and happily bundle the family onto a train to get to a large park. There we joined up with the extended families. All the fathers would organise a cricket or mock rounders game with the older children which Dad joined in after the usual greetings to the mums group on the grass with the younger ones.


A few hours later, worn out from the unusual activity, the dads collapsed on the grass and enjoyed a snooze, leaving the older children to their own devices. This meant, for my brother, finding muddy places to fall into. The men were prepared. Newspapers were offered and my brother got back on the train clothed in the daily news.

I was just a toddler, and as we left the station, Dad looked down from his immense height and said, "Tired, Pet?” I would nod my head and raise my arms to be swung up upon his shoulders, my hands around his neck. A new world opened for me, for my father was 6 ft 6, and I could look down on cars and smiling faces of passersby instead of boots and shoes.

As I grew older, I was influenced by his character, particularly his love for music. He had a rich bass voice, so when I went to music college, I chose the violoncello as my second instrument to capture those rich bass sounds.

He was a very very Christian man. Always on hand to be of assistance to others, he went out at night to check that everybody was okay during the War when our town was bombed during frequent air-raids. He worked principally as a plumber by profession. If people were poor and couldn't afford much, he gave them help at a lower rate if he possibly could. He died visiting his son in Canada. He fell asleep on the sofa of my brother's house having just sung the 23rd Psalm quietly.

I hope this will encourage the joys of fatherhood in the minds of young men. Dad was a wonderful father, grandfather and husband to my mother.

Submitted by Sheila

Pictured: Sheila's father with a grandson


I Have Striven to Raise my Sons as I imagine my Dad Would Have Raised Me

Despite how fathers are often portrayed in our American society today, fathers of strong character are essential to the well being of the family; to the wife and mother and the children. My own memories of my dad have been created from the stories told to me by my mother and uncles, and by a few old photographs of my father and my brother and me at the beach.

I was born in 1938, and, while my dad was exempted from military service during World War II, he worked seven days a week from 1942 to 1945 in a war-related industry. He was gone in the morning before I awoke and returned in the evening after I had gone to bed. He passed away in 1946 when I was 8 years old. I have few memories of him, but my mother had great respect for him and passed on that respect to my brother and me. Dad was just 41 when he died; my mother just 40. When I was an adult and married myself, I asked her why she had never remarried. She said that she never met a man as good as my dad, and, besides, she didn’t want another man to raise her boys. My mother died 59 years after my dad at the age of 99.

My wife and I have two sons, as well, and I have striven to raise them as I imagine my dad would have raised me.

Submitted by Ed

I was Richly Blessed by My Father

My father was quite the man. After working his way through medical school, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, the Captain of Death in those days. A baby and another on the way struck severely at his sense of responsibility. He said he never doubted that he would live. He recovered, but lost a lung in the process. Even with one lung, he raised a family and maintained a busy medical practice, including middle of the night calls for help delivering babies. Later a nurse told me they were always glad when my father attended births because he never lost his cool.


In the war years, our yard was big enough to have a cow and chickens along with a large vegetable garden--at 6,500 ft in the Colorado mountains and a short growing season. In later years, he planted roses. I got a nickel for every beetle I pulled off the roses and put in a jar.

When I attended my 50th high school reunion, almost thirty years after Dad’s practice was closed, a classmate told me how much my dad was still missed. “Not just by me,” he said, nodding toward a table of his friends, “all of us.”

Submitted by Janelle


So Blessed

Dad played children's records and other good music all the time. He also played piano by ear while singing lyrics, played hangman on a school-size chalkboard, played wiffle ball and beach ball baseball in our backyard and on the street in front of our house, took us to the park and to visit grandparents, played cards, played carrom, took us to Mass, told jokes, and worked Monday through Saturday.

I loved our visits when I married and had a family. Dad was generous and wrote a monthly family newsletter, organized an annual family picnic, with Mom gave me 10 brothers and sisters, and loved all of his children and their families. Mom was awesome, also. I was so blessed to have my mom and dad. Thanks, Mom and Dad!


Submitted by Jeanne


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