Area residents talk about their fathers

Published 5:45 am Saturday, June 15, 2024

Sunday is Father’s Day, a day when young and old reflect on their dads. Some dads are still around. Others are not. But all are remembered.

We asked a handful of people in Lake Charles Friday three questions about their dads:

1.What qualities do you share with your father?

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2. What is your favorite memory of your father?

3. Why would you say your dad is (or was) the best dad ever?

Here’s what they had to say:

Glenn Mundy

Security Guard

Glenn Mundy’s father, Coach Wally Stewart, played football under Coach Eddie Robinson while attending Grambling State University. Stewart was a coach for more than 30 years at W.O. Boston High School in Lake Charles. Some of his players went on to become Hall of Fame players. Stewart was also a Golden Gloves Boxer. He died in 2005.

1. Shared qualities: “My dad was strict. I was in the Army for 32 years. I believe I learned my leadership skills from him.”

2. Favorite memory: “I always remember him giving me advice. And I listened. He was the only man I ever really trusted.”

3. Best dad ever: “I would say that my father was the best dad ever because he was. He was a man among men. He laid down a legacy that one can admire. I just wanted his love and his wisdom, and he gave that to me. I really loved my father.”

Michelle Jordan

Director of Personnel at Calcasieu Parish Clerk of Court

Michelle Jordan’s father, Elton Olivier of Houma, was a pilot. He flew a Cessna plane and did “fish spotting.” He was paid to fly out over the Gulf of Mexico and report the location of schools of pogey fish. He died in 2023.

1. Shared qualities: “We shared sarcasm. We both had an appreciation for witty responses. He was very stoic and so am I. And he was quiet and I tend to be that way too. On the physical side, I have— and he had — an adundance of hair. His big bushy hair was his trademark,” said Jordan.

2. Favorite memory: “I remember on Sunday afternoons when I was 5 or 6 he would take us flying. Other people went for Sunday drives. We went flying. He loved to fly.”

3. Best dad ever: “He taught me to be prepared. He had an incredible work ethic that he also encouraged in me. He also taught me to get it right the first time, to follow the rules and to take care of my responsibilites. He was a good guy.”

Joshua Kors andMelissa Crawford Kors

New York City couple visiting Lake Charles for the weekend to attend a wedding

Melissa Crawford Kors is a Lake Charles native. She met her husband, Joshua, in New York City while on Spring Break. Last year, the couple adopted their daughter, Ari, who turned a year old April 25. Melissa’s father, Dr. John Crawford of Lake Charles, died in 2020. Melissa remembers him this way:

1. Shared qualities: “He liked to think outside the box and so do I. And like him, I’m happy with the simple things in life.”

2. Favorite memory: “We would go for walks and we would also draw and doodle together. I’m an artist now. He would also obsess over certain songs, like “Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie,” by Don McClean. He would sing it over and over and so would we.

3. Best dad ever: “On weekends he would often get all the neighborhood kids together and bring us to a park or to the mall. Sometimes he would give each of us $20 to spend at the mall just for fun.”

Joshua Kors doesn’t remember his father.

“He left when I was a year old. But he was the inspiration for me to want to be a good dad. Even as young as preschool, I knew my mission in life was to be a dad,” he said.

“Also, you never really know who you’ve married until you have a child together. Melissa is so wonderful with our daughter, Ari.

Bethany Fontenot

Office manager at Tademy Photography

Bethany Fontenot’s father, Kirk Fontenot, lives in Ville Platte, La.

1. Shared qualities: “We are both strong-willed and determined.”

2. Favorite memory: “I especially remember Sundays as a child. After going to church we would relax and he would always make me laugh. We have the same sense of humor.”

3. Best dad ever: “He’s the best dad for me because we really are two peas in a pod. We know how to get along really well,” said Fontenot.

Gertrude Vidrine

Gertrude Vidrine’s father was Dennis Duplechin. She remembers him this way:

1. Shared qualities: “He was a hard worker and remained a hard worker up until the day he died, even after retirement. I was a hot shot driver until the age of 75.”

2. Favorite memory: “I don’t really have only one, but he was always a jokester, always picking about something.”

3. Best dad ever: “Before and especially after the hurricanes, he instilled in us how little in life we really, truly need to live and how important it is to work hard and take care of what needed to be done instead of waiting for someone else to do it for us.”

Rita LeBleu contributed to this story