Happy Father’s Day Milwaukee!
This year, we reached out to several Milwaukeeans to ask them what makes the father or father figure in their life special. Here’s what they said.
‘He always has my back’
Melina Morales on her father, Joaquín Altoro
I love my dad because I know he always has my back. Having a parent who not only loves you but supports you and always does what they can to help you achieve your goals and dreams is so special and something I am very blessed to experience with my dad.
My dad and I have a very special relationship. His determination and hope that his children succeed and do the best they can have driven me to accomplish goals in my own life and has definitely shaped me into the woman I am today.
I love to travel and experience new things together. Whether it’s a family trip to Mexico or a night out in the city. I love spending time and enjoying experiences together.
‘Truly one of a kind’
Amaris Kaleka on her father, Pardeep Kaleka
I am Pardeep Kaleka’s daughter, Amaris Kaleka. I have been blessed to be raised by him, and my mother of course, my entire life. He is truly one of a kind. It’s hard to explain, but the way he cares for people is the most special thing about my dad. I wouldn’t say it’s tough love, but he genuinely wants the best for everyone, even though they might not always realize that’s the case.
I guess you could say I’m a daddy’s girl. Maybe we have the classic father-daughter bond. I assume it’s because I am the only girl in the family and the oldest. He tells me all the time that I used to lay on his belly, and we would eat Oreos together, obviously I wouldn’t remember, but I’ll take his word for it. My mom likes to tell me that I am him. We have the same mannerisms, same way of doing things or taking on tasks. We even look similar. I’d say we have a really close, tight bond. I tell him mostly everything, so for that I’m lucky because that’s not a privilege everyone can have.
I love all the simple things we do, listening to music in the car with him, our walks, and sitting on the couch watching music videos at night. Like I said: We are very similar, so I’m pretty positive we enjoy the same things.
My dad is too far beyond three words for me to think of, however, I’d say he’s a driven person, always has the willpower and has a work ethic. He’s going to get done what needs to be done. He is also a very compassionate person, very loving and caring of everyone. Lastly, I would say he is selfless. I’m pretty sure he’s mentioned he dislikes that word, but that’s what I feel is the truth. Others will always come before himself, time and time again. All in all, we do not get along all the time, but my love for him has never dimmed. I wouldn’t be who I am today without my parents, I wouldn’t have the experiences I’ve had if it weren’t for them, and for that I am forever grateful to have him as my father.
Devoted to his three children
Dell Williams on his friend Dennis Walton
Dennis Walton’s devotion to his three children is an inspiration for others, Dell Williams said.
Williams and Walton have been friends for the past 13 years. They first met on the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative. It was leaderless and Walton was instrumental in making sure the agency stayed afloat, Williams said.
After his children went out of state with their mother, Walton spent six years working to get them back. Although they only were able to return temporarily, Williams said Walton works hard to stay in touch.
Williams recalled that at the first Daddy Daughter Dance, Walton’s daughter was unable to attend. It was hard for him and he had to leave. However, Walton’s daughter has been able to attend recent dances. It’s been a joy to see them together, he said.
He noted that Walton could have given up, but he continues to soldier on and fight for his children.
Walton uses his experiences to encourage other fathers to be a part of their children’s lives, Williams said.
‘He is a great leader’
Sharlen Moore on her husband, Reggie Moore
There are many characteristics that makes Reggie very special. What tops the list is that he is a great leader, not only with the community he serves, but also with his family. I could not have asked for a better partner.
I would describe the relationship I have with Reggie as being a true partnership. We wouldn’t be able to do the work we do or care for our family without the both of us recognizing our strengths and weaknesses and using it to care for our family. I am so grateful because it works for us!
One of the things we all love to do together is watch movies. Reggie is a movie fanatic, and we all enjoy watching a good movie together. We can’t wait till the theaters open back up!
‘Puts others before himself’
Elsa Diaz-Bautista on her husband, Ian Bautista
Ian and I have been committed partners (and friends) since 1991 and married for almost 26 years (our anniversary is July 4). We met as college students at Kansas State University.
Ian always puts others before himself. He’s a good friend. We, as a family, can depend on him to follow through with his commitments and to always think of our well-being before his own. He’s a good partner, dad and son. Even in cases where it requires sacrifice to do the right thing (usually helping people), he is quick to do what is right. Another thing that I love about Ian is that he’s always willing to be spontaneous if I have a suggestion or wild request.
I love to travel and to explore the world and new places here in Wisconsin, around the country and everywhere with him and with our daughter, Iana. Another favorite activity is talking – sometimes for hours on end. We process the world together and help to challenge one another’s beliefs and actions. We also love to cook, (eat and drink!) together. The kitchen in our house is a favorite place to spend time together cooking and sipping a glass of wine, sangria or a cocktail. Our cooking time is truly blissful.
He is truly my best friend, confidante and soulmate. No one knows me better and loves me as I am. It is an absolute blessing to know that another person is so willing to love another so deeply spite of one’s faults and shortcomings. I am so lucky to have found him and married him. I couldn’t ask for a better partner in life and father to our daughter.
‘I’m blessed to have him’
Lamar Woods on his earth father, Andre Lee Ellis
For Lamar Woods, Andre Lee Ellis is his pops, his earth father, his friend and his mentor. Ellis has a biological family and an earth family. He’ll take time away from his biological family to help his earth family, Woods said. Ellis is special because he provides resources to both families.
Woods enjoys siting and conversing with Ellis. They also enjoy listening to music together.
“I’m blessed to have him as stability in my life,” Woods said.
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