Reflections: Father a man to remember


By Evelyn Long - Contributing Columnist

Once again I am making my father the subject of this Father’s Day Reflections.

He was born in Reading, Ohio, the son of a tailor and grandson of a Lutheran pastor, who was born and educated in Switzerland. Growing up, my father had dreams of becoming a Lutheran pastor himself. But hard times hit his family, which included a sister and three brothers.

One brother died at the age of two and another brother suffered a spinal ailment the entire 26 years of his life.

My father worked in a factory to help the family income but at the age of 15 when World War I began, he tried to enlist but was told to go home and grow up. Eventually, he came to Morrow County where his parents had settled after their daughter married a Morrow County man. He found work with the State Highway Department and then met my mother and they married in 1931.

There were many hardships. The Great Depression had hit nationally and as the parents of four daughters the family endured illness and other hardships.

This Father’s Day, though, I remember my father as always being there for us, encouraging us to read, never stop learning, and he focused on the talent that each of us was given. One sister loved horses so he helped her purchase her first horse; not the flashiest of steeds but she had her horse and several after that.

Another sister, taking after her mother, was the artist and he saw that she was enrolled in an artist’s course. The third sister was outstanding in music and business, she sang with a trio and worked as a secretary for many years. He noticed my musical ability at a very early age and, though funds were limited, saw that I took piano lessons which led me to play the piano extensively, even teaching it.

My dad died at an early age, 53 years, but I remember and miss that support he gave me. While he was terminal with cancer, he still arose from his bed to say a prayer with me when I had a temporary illness.

My dad taught us to keep our faith, to be positive. I miss my dad.

Happy Father’s Day to fathers, grandfathers, step fathers, foster fathers and all who serve in a paternal capacity.

80 years go, June, 1939: Mary Catherine Sprang of Cardington, was awarded an all expense paid, seven day 1000 mile tour of Ohio for winning a contest sponsored in part by the Standard Oil Company Every one of the seven members of the Ralph Levering family in Lincoln Township was quarantined in their home with scarlet fever.

Because 49 of the 70 boys and girls in grades 8-12 in the district lived on farms, the Cardington school’s application for a vocational agriculture department was granted by the department of education. A teacher for the new Vo-Ag course of study would be hired by July 1.

70 years ago, June 1949: Carl Stevens, 1949 Cardington High School graduate, was in New York City trying out as a pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Wilbur McAlister was named as the new Cardington High School principal succeeding T. A. Gantz, who was hired to become Morrow County’s superintendent of schools.

Morrow County Commissioners approved the request to make Fulton the seventh incorporated village in the county on June 17. The community had approximately 300 residents in 1949.

50 years ago, June, 1969: The new Cardington Swimming Pool was dedicated on June 15. Since opening May 31, the pool had seen good sized crowds.

By Evelyn Long

Contributing Columnist

Reach us at

Reach us at