Fond Father’s Day memories

June 15 is Father’s Day and as a tribute to those special dads, the CK Reporter asked a few local leaders to describe how their own fathers impacted their lives. Red Cross West Sound Director Janet Heath and Miss Kitsap 2008 Samantha Przybylek were among those who responded. Here’s a look at what each had to say about their dad.

Janet Heath, director of Red Cross West Sound

My parents married and had children early in life. My Dad was Cecil Clepper.

Being from the south, my older brother was favored with the gift of “Jr.” attached to his name, but I was the apple of my dad’s eye and I knew it.

My Dad died of cancer at the age of 52. He packed a lot of living into those 52 years and passed his passion for not wasting a moment in life onto me. Three things I remember best about him are that he was a very hard worker, he made friends wherever he was and he was a great storyteller.

He went to school to obtain an accounting degree while supporting the family as a roofer. It didn’t get a whole lot easier after he finished that degree. But, degree in hand, he landed a decent job in procurement for a contracting company laying a natural gas pipeline between New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana and up the central United States into Canada.

Before I was 5 years old, we lived in 20 states as we followed the contracting company and moved each time it wrapped up a “section of pipe.” Wherever we were, we were a family. And wherever we were, there was a kitchen table where we would sit and have long conversations about life, family, fishing, politics and travel. My dad told me one time how special his memories were of sitting around the kitchen table with my grandma and how some day they’d be together again. I was too young to understand what he was saying at the time. Now, I think of his memory and his wish often as my family and I are seated around the table. Isn’t it funny how the hardest times in your life can also be the best times? Every Father’s Day I wish for just a little more time and I think how great it would be to have one more conversation with my dad, seated around the kitchen table.

Samantha Przybylek, Miss Kitsap 2008

For the past several years, Father’s Day has always been both a fun and exciting event in our home. While every year is memorable, I specifically remember one particular year where we spent the entire weekend on our boat and just relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company. Sailing has been my dad’s favorite hobby for as long as I can remember, so it is always a fun adventure for our family. We let my dad pick the destination, loaded up some snacks and a deck of cards, jumped aboard the boat and away we went. While it was a simple and casual Father’s Day, it was one of my most unforgetable holidays. It was just the four of us on our boat with no cell phones or television to distract us. We are always so busy that it’s hard to find time to just sit down and talk, so that is why this particular Father’s Day was so special to me; I had an entire weekend with just my family sitting on our boat playing cards and laughing like no one could hear us. It was the best Father’s Day we have ever had.

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