Tribute To My Father

NOTE: This post was originally posted on June 15th, 2012. With Father’s Day being today, I updated the post to reshare it with those who haven’t had a chance to know my father.

Life can pass us by quickly. Days come and go. They blend together. Before you know it, it’s the next big date.

The next big date coming up is Father’s Day. That’s this Sunday.

As such, I’d like to share a bit about my father today.

Picture of my father and mother

My father and mother

His name is also Joseph Lalonde. He goes by Joe most of the time.

He was born in the U.P. of Michigan. Joined the military and served our country. And then moved to Muskegon.

He married his wife and they had three great children: Sharon, Debi, and Joey. Sadly, his first wife passed away after a fight with cancer.

Eventually, he met my mother and they married, having two more children: Myself and Terri. My mother brought another child into the marriage, Steven, and my father has accepted him as his own.

Dad started this second family when he was 55 years old. He’ll be 85 this year and are still going strong.

There’s many memories that I have with/of dad.

  • Almost annual trips to Mackinac Island
  • The concern he had for my mom as she was rushed to the hospital three hours away
  • The tireless effort he put into keeping the pool going for us kids (and the time he chased me around the pool with the pool skimmer)
  • His work ethic that provided for the family
  • The love he has shown my mom
  • The love he has shown us kids
  • The smell of his Old Spice cologne
  • Seeing him push through a couple of tough surgeries
  • Our weekly visits together
  • His wise advice and counsel

The list could go on and on.

He took on a whole new family at an age most men are thinking of retirement.

He’s done a great job raising my siblings. Of loving my mom.

I hope I can be half the man that he has been.

He’s been unselfish in the love and care of his family. And for that I’m proud to say he’s my father.

He is a great father. He is a great husband. He is a great man.

Happy Father’s Day dad!

Question: What memories do you have of your father? Please share them in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Great thoughts Joe! Love my dad! Here are my thoughts about my dad – 😉

    • Great post Michael. Enjoyed it!

    • Good lessons, Michael. I would write more but I have only my phone with a keyboard made for a Barbie doll and typing is tedious. I will add that buzz words that are redefined to mean something known only to members of some secret club are not my favorite either.

  • DS

    Enjoyed the post Joe – memories are fantastic, and it sounds like your dad has set a fine standard for you to follow.

    • He has DS. One of love, discipline, fun, and respect.

      Care to share any memories of your dad with us?

  • I really enjoyed this, your father is an amazing man. My step father stepped up when my birth father went away. I’ve written about that relationship, it’s still hard to deal with 🙁

    • He has been an amazing man Kimanzi. It’s not something I’ve always appreciated though.

      I remember reading your post when your birth father passed away and how tough that was even though he wasn’t really a part of your life. That must have been tough.

  • You are blessed to have a father with such dedication and love for his family. Awesome way to honor him, Joe!

    • Thanks Stephen. I realize everyday how blessed I am to have a father such as mine. Especially when I read other experiences from people and how they differ from mine.

  • Joe…this line says it all: “I hope I can be half the man that he has been.”

    • Exactly… And it’s strange how that feeling has changed over time. There were times in my life where I wanted to be nothing like him. But as I’ve grown older I realize just how wise he is.

  • Joe,

    It’s great you have so many good memories about your father.

    I first read this in the morning and have been thinking about it all day. I honest can’t think about any great memories of my father. I had verbally abusive father, my parents where divorced when I was 13, and my dad died at age 18. So I was not able to experience a lot of good memoirs with him.

    On a better note, This is my first fathers day being a dad!!!

    • Dan, I’m truly sorry to hear that your experience was not a good one. But thankfully we have a heavenly father who loves us regardless.

      And congratulations on your first father’s day! I hope you had a great one.

    • Dan, how sad to know you didn’t grow up with a good role model in your father. You have learned all the ways you do not want to be. How blessed your children will be to have you, wise from what you’ve learned from experience.

  • Terri Kay

    Loved this post! We have been greatly blessed to have him as our father. I couldn’t have asked for anyone better! He is and always has been a man I have been proud of and have strived to make proud of me! Thanks for sharing this! Love you!

    • Hey sis! It’s true. He’s been a great father and a man we can be proud of. Even through those teenage years where there were struggles. Looking back he was much wiser than I ever thought. Love you too!

  • My dad was a gentle soul. He made mistakes (although he looked at them as experience) and our family was involved in a cult. He died in 2010. I posted about him on my blog, too. I think blogs are a great resource for honoring our friends and family from time to time. My dad became one of the wisest men I knew in the latter years of his life (long after the cult). Thanks for sharing.

    • Dan, thanks for the comment and sharing about your dad. I look forward to checking out your post about him.

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  • I love this story about your dad. I grew up in the UP. I also went to Mackinac Island every year for more years than I can count. Like your other readers I published a letter to him today. My dad passed away at the age your dad started a second family. He was a minister.

    • Thanks Jane. The UP is a beautiful place, isn’t it? Where in the UP did you grow up?

      I’m sorry to hear your dad passed away at an early age. That had to be difficult.

      • From age 3 tplease 10 I lived in Curtis. I lived in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin for 2 years. Then we moved to Bergland until I got married. We moved to Grand Rapids for work.

        • Wow, it looks like Curtis is between 2 lakes. That had to be an interesting place to grow up!

          You didn’t end up in a bad place either. Grand Rapids is a fantastic city. So much to do and see there. Plus you’re only a short drive to the lakeshore.

          • I love Michigan. The UP will always be home but I absolutely love west Michigan. We are small town people. We live in Middleville now but have a cabin between Fife Lake and Manton.

            • It is a wonderful state. I thought your profile said you lived in Grand Rapids? Is Middleville just outside of GR?

              • Middleville is south and a bit east of Grand Rapids. It’s right on m37.