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My Father, My Hero
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The Covington News asked its readers to send in letters of why their father should win the “My Father, My Hero Contest.” These are all the entries we received. They are all heroes in our eyes. 

My father Walter Lee Tuggle is a outgoing and spiritual man !!! He loves to work in the yard, and cook fish in the old wash pots. He is a devoted member of the Mt. Zion AME Church in Mansfield whenever the doors open he is always there. He is a great father whatever you need and want he is always giving his twin daughters the extra push and encouraging us to believe in GOD. He loves to spend quality time with his only grandson Jadden. He is well- known in the Newton County Area ,never meets a stranger and loves to meet up with his friends and talk about the old days. My father is my hero because he reminds me of Jesus, he will lay down his life for his GIRLS !! and we love him dearly for being a father and friend and a great listener. 


— Felicia M. Harris 

My daddy is the best. While I was 14 years of age sick with cancer, daddy, Randy Conner, had to go to Florida on a business trip. I had always wanted to go on an airplane and dad saw the perfect opportunity to make that happen for me. He thought it would be a great idea to take me with him. Our trip was to Orlando so before we left we went to a part of Disney World, went to the awesome Rain Forest Cafe, rode the fairy, but the best part of all, had to be the fact that he booked our stay at an awesome hotel that was actually inside of a MALL!! What 14 year old girl wouldn’t love that!!! So while he was in his meeting, he left me alone in a MALL with his CREDIT CARD!! I went crazy and racked up over a thousand dollars on it! He didn’t freak out too bad because I promised to pay it all back. Unfortunately, I never did so he deserves to win this contest!! He was always there for me while I was sick and still is to this day! I love you daddy!

— Carman Phillips
Daddy, known to us three girls, is the pillar of our family. He shared the same birthday with his sweetheart (our mother) and loved her very much. In 1975 she passed away from cancer and dad was left to raise three girls alone. He never once complained of his dual role and we three ladies are what we are today because of all that he poured in us! 

He taught us to love Jesus and to live according to His word. He taught us how to swim, drive, cook, clean, and laugh. If you were to ask him, he would say being a daddy to us girls was the greatest pleasure he had in life. Daddy celebrated his 78 birthday this past May. One of daddy’s sayings is… ‘You are writing a gospel a chapter each day, by the things that you do and the words that you say. People read them rather faithful or true so what is the gospel according to you?” Daddy’s life is one of integrity and hard work; it is one that is wrapped in love and kindness and a love for his Savior! Daddy we love you!

— Kim McSwain Culpepper

“For Daddy” 

My daddy always worked very hard, 
when I was growing up.
I guess he did it so that 
we would always have enough.
I know there are times he wasn’t home, 
and I know he has regrets.
But there were some times he spent with me 
that I will never forget.
He use to play guitar and 
whistle and sing gospel and country songs.
He showed me chords, 
I learned the words, 
and I’d sing right along.

He took to me to the dirt track 
and showed me how to win.
I had some fun back in those days 
that seemed to never end.

He told me, work hard every day 
and always be on time.

He helped me buy my first new car; 
signed his name on the line with mine.
It’s only been these last few years that 
I’ve begun to know, The sacrifices that 
he made because he loved me so.
I went astray for many years, 
I know I let him down.
Then one day I came to Jesus, and 
the little girl lost was found.
One night he called and told me that 
he’d noticed I had something new.

And that he wanted what I had, 
and he’d found Jesus, too.
Would both our lives have taken different paths 
had we not waited so late?
I’m sure they would, but we can’t change 
the past at any rate.

I just want to say I love him 
and I’m proud to be his girl.
And even if I could, 
I wouldn’t change that for the world.

—Gayla Ellis

My father has always been there for my sibling and me..... you never have to ask him twice for a hug or for a helping hand ....he is a proud man but humble and caring ... I am thankful to have a father such as him....Love you Dad

— Rhonda Rogers Gunnells

 My father has beat cancer three times in three different places in his body! His colon, his lungs and now his prostate. God really loves him and so do we!!! Happy father’s day dad!!! My father’s been my father since i was three. His name is Steve Martin and he’s the best father that any daughter could ever ask for!!!

— Venessa Simpson

 My father is the BEST Daddy ever. I am the only daughter of 6 kids. He is the sweetest, most loving, caring, yet the strongest man I know. I didn’t know until I was old enough to realize that our last names were different, that he wasn’t “biologically” the father of my oldest 3 brothers. We never used the term stepdad or stepkids. It has been one of the greatest joys of my life to be his daughter. I love you Daddy (Robert Aaron Bell). Love, your little girl

— Robyn Bell White
My husband, Geta Burt, passed away June 11, 2008, at the very young age of 47 from colon cancer. He left behind a very special little boy, Bubba, as we call him. Bubba was only 10 years old when he lost his Daddy. Geta only had 10 years to give Bubba the values a young boy needs to mature into an awesome young man and carry with him throughout his life. 

It is evident Geta worked really hard during those precious, but short years. Bubba is a one of a kind, caring, respectful and loving boy, whom I know will remain the same as he ventures into teenagerhood and beyond. Thank you Geta for our wonderful years together and for being an amazing Daddy to your boy...It shows!!!!! 

We love and miss you.

— Christy Gregg Burt

I have two men that are very special to me one is my daddy (Tony McGiboney); he passed away Dec. 29, 2001. My daddy was my world; I was a daddy’s girl. My daddy taught me many things in life that I carry with me everyday. One of the things my daddy said to me in his final words was, “There is nothing you can’t do. You may not get it right the first time but always keep trying and it will get easier the next time.” I live by those words of wisdom everyday. The other dad in my life is my stepdad (John Dobbs); I call him Pop. My daddy thought the world of him. Pop has been in my life since I was 13 years old. After the passing of my mother eight years ago, he continued to stay in my life and pick up where my daddy left off. I work for my Pop; he has his own company that I’m so proud to for work. God blessed me with two wonderful men. I love you both so much. I miss you so Daddy. The Blue Goose lives on....
— Amanda McGiboney Kindsfather

I love my dad more as an adult than I thought possible. He is a wonderful, loving pawpaw to my children and seeing him with them lets me know all the ways he loved me as a child. Happy Fathers Day Dad!

— Tracy Matheson Landress
My Daddy (Tony Daniel) has been my biggest fan. I truly believe he loves me and he always seems so proud of me. He is always encouraging and just loves me unconditionally. Thanks Daddy!!!!!!

— Carolyn Keller

I feel so blessed and lucky to have my Dad, Frank Clark. You know the saying “Anyone can be a Father but it takes someone special to be a daddy.” This is my Dad. He’s a great Papa. I feel he lives my childhood through my girls...He can fix anything and will come and help with anything that needs repaired. It is true you learn to appreciate your parents more as you get older. My Dad was the first man I loved. Thanks Dad for always being there when I need you. Happy Father’s Day!!

— Patty Clark McWaters

My dad has always given my earthly example of what my Heavenly Father is to me. He became a Christian when I was 12 years old and our lives changed dramatically. I think seeing that drastic change of how God could change someone’s heart has made me never question my faith. I cannot count the endless times I have seen him help someone in need. He loves our family unconditionally and is now the best “Papa” to his grandkids. They think he is the fun one of the family! 

When he went through prostate cancer treatment, he didn’t feel well at times. His determination and selflessness was an inspiration to us all. Being a leader in many churches, I have seen him stand up against crowds to do what was right and not what was popular. That has always made me admire him so much.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy! I am so glad that you are my dad. Love you always.

— Elisa Fambrough Graham

I don’t think that I could choose one memory of my dad, cause there are so many. He has always been there for me and my brother. He was dad and mom for most of my life. He is a very special man. He is the type that would give you the shirt right off of his back if you needed it. He taught me to fish, ride horses and how to cook. I am so blessed to have him as my daddy. When I was very young he was run over by an 18-wheeler and every one thought that he would never walk again. With the lord’s help and his love for his two kids, the man can out run me. When I think of my daddy I think of a very strong man, loving husband to Phyllis Smith (my mom), and a wonderful daddy. My favorite thing that he does every morning is he calls me and tells me to have a great day and he loves me. Now how many daddys out there still do that. This is why I love him so much.

Love always your little girl

— Tammy Smith Brown

I think my brother should be recognized as “My Dad, My Hero.” My brother is Scott Fuss. At the age of 47 he is the proud father of two beautiful children Hannah, 5, and Caleb, 3. Scott and his wife adopted Hannah and Caleb from Guatemala when they were babies. Because of Hannah and Caleb’s age that is why I am writing this for them because I know how much they love their dad and how he would go to the end of the earth for them. He is blessed to have them as his children and they are blessed to have him as their Dad.

I always knew that Scott would be an exceptional dad. When he was in college, he would call me on Fridays and ask to pick up my son from daycare and keep him for the day. He would take him to the zoo, parks or just spend time with him. He has always been there for or to lend a helping hand for his nieces and nephews and youth at church. He is involved with Chimney Park and The Miracle League; two important projects devoted to special needs children in Newton County.

Scott is always finding time to do for others without taking any time away from his children. He gets them ready for the day, off to daycare, picks them up after working at his job, prepares dinner, has playtime and baths before bedtime. He always attends his children’s fieldtrips, plays at church, and any other event they are involved in are important to Scott.

Scott’s children are his main focus and his is theirs. Living out in rural Newton County gives him the opportunity to teach his children a lot about nature and about making your own adventures. Planting and watching a garden grow, raising chickens, turkeys, building things in the workshop for show and tell at school, playing in the creek or just rolling down a hill in the grass are some of the simple pleasures that Hannah and Caleb are able to experience daily with their dad. These are just a few of the precious memories that they will always remember and be thankful to have. 

When Hannah was small, Scott would ride her on his shoulders. When she was able to talk, she would say, “Dada, I want to ride tall!” I know she liked being up high, but I think she was more proud to be on the shoulders of the person that is the apple of her eye…her Dada! Scott was out of town a few weeks ago and Hannah told me that her Dada called her in the morning. I asked her if he said “Good morning, Sunshine.” She said no, he calls me “Sweetheart.”

— Robin Corley

My father is special to me because he has demonstrated renewal. A veteran of the Korean War, a former banker with C & S Bank, and formerly with Delta Air Lines, he pursued a doctorate in his forties and did research on shut ins. He was instrumental in the ministry during the 70s, when technology was not an everyday word, in bringing church sermons to those who were physically unable to attend church services. Upon retirement from that field, he moved on to work with home missions at the Georgia Baptist Convention and retired once again. Now, in his 70s, he insists on reviving those old banking skills and assists with tax preparation from January through April. Born in the 30s in a tiny house off of Floyd Street, he loves Newton County and calls it his home. A man of many hats and talented in various professions, he embodies the American spirit of hard work, tenacity, renewal, and love of country and county. 

— Jeff Meadors

My PawPaw, Jackie Spears, is the best grandpa. I am named after my PawPaw and my great-grandpa Jack Spears Sr. PawPaw Jackie has a farm in Mansfield. He has been a farmer all his life. He had a special seat made in his tractor so I could go to the hayfields with him. I have helped cut and bale hay. My favorite is when he does round bales. I like to see the round bales roll out of the baler. PawPaw’s favorite TV show is “Tom and Jerry.” In March he had an operation to fix his back. Something went wrong and he is at Shepherd Center. He can’t walk and is in a wheel chair. He can’t use his arms very good but he can still hug me and my brother. The doctor and nurses are helping him walk again. I can’t wait to do all the fun stuff again with PawPaw like check cows, got to Tractor Supply and my favorite is when the picks me up at school in his big black truck that looks like the Transformer Ironhide. My brother and I will be so happy to get back in the field with PawPaw Jackie and his big green tractor. You are our hero PawPaw!

— Jack Spears Bowman, 6, with my little brother Caleb Spears, 3

To me, my paw-paw is my hero. I’m sure a lot of you in this community know of him, he never meets a stranger and can carry on a conversation with anyone. I am only 14 years old but he has been a big influence in my life and has helped make me who I am today. My paw-paw has a heart of gold and is always putting his family, friends and God before his self. No matter who or what it is, he’ll lend a helping hand. He has taught me to do my best at everything and I will get rewarded for it in the end. Like report cards, he always gives us grandkids $100 for making good grades in school. Sometimes, my cousin Ashton and I spend the night on school nights and he always takes us to breakfast before taking us to school. He also loves to cook for everyone. Sometimes, I go to his house and meet people that he has just met in a store and has invited them over to eat and swim. Also, every year on Easter he cooks and has a big Easter egg hunt for whoever wants to come and each year I meet new people. He loves and enjoys helping people, he volunteers to do things at the church and he has a passion for racing and remodeling old cars. My paw-paw is not only the best at being a paw-paw, but is also the best dad to my mom and aunt, and also the best husband to my maw-maw. If you haven’t already figured out my hero’s name, his name is Puddy Bullard.

— Cassidy Henderson