Ah, dad. The man who calls all your friends weird but isn’t ashamed to fall asleep as soon as he gets comfortable, insists on backing into every parking space and asks for driveway gravel for his birthday. No matter his quirks, he embraces them, and you love him for it.
In time for Father’s Day, we reached out to some dads we knew and asked them to tell their stories. Here they are.
The Stay-At-Home Dad
Shane Moubry, dad to 17-year-old twins Davis and Jake, and 5-year-old Elena.
Shane owned a successful business for 15 years before taking a sabbatical to spend more time with his twins. That sabbatical was extended when Elena was born. He became a well-known face at “mom’s morning out” and is often called on to volunteer at school functions.
“I’m always the one taking the kids to extracurriculars, and I kinda get that vibe of ‘what’s the story here,'” he says, laughing. “I absolutely enjoy being involved in their lives, and selfishly, too, I love being around them and I think we have a lot of fun together. There’s no way I’d be able to do any of this without the support of my wife. If I have this opportunity now, my first choice is to be with them.”
The Selfless Dad
David Brown Jr., a volunteer coach for Aberdeen Parks and Rec, minister at the Moore County Detention Center, and dad to Abigail, 12; David III, 11; Gabriella, 4; and Ethan, 2.
“There is so much I could say about my husband, but one of the biggest things about him is that he is so giving of himself; not just to us but everyone he meets,” says his wife, Stephanie. “He has taught our four children that when you are compassionate toward other’s needs and feelings, we can make our world a much better place.”
The Golf Dad
Kelly Mitchum, head of the Short Game Academy at Pinehurst Resort, is the organizer of The Cradle Solstice — a 10-hour long event on the shortest day of the year which raises more than $20,000 annually for the Eastern and Central Food Bank of North Carolina, PGA Reach and Young Life of the Sandhills. He’s also a dad to Kaitlin, 15, and Ethan, 19.
“I have very intentionally been encouraging and consistent in exposing them to golf, but not forcing it on them. I want them to love it, not because I do, but because the game captures them like it did when I was a junior. Now that they both are well into their teenage years, it is such a joy to spend time with them on the course, especially The Cradle, and see them develop as golfers and, more importantly, young adults.”
The Dad With “Interests”
Jim Douglass, dad to Lindsay, 18, and Jack, 19. A software developer and longtime Boy Scout leader who’s most likely to be found at a heavy metal concert, Renaissance fair, and sporting event all in the same weekend.
“I tried to interest my daughter, Lindsay, in golf. That was a short-lived hobby after a fiberglass shard from a flagstick became imbedded in her hand. I took my son to an NCAA College Cup soccer final in Cary, in December, in the cold and pouring rain. Jack never watched sports with me again — ever.
“Luckily, Jack likes a few songs by my favorite band, Iron Maiden. Having him tag along with me to see them in concert, twice now, has almost been worth the time and money to raise these two offspring. The only win-win is they’ll join the parentals for Renaissance fairs.”
The Gym Dad
Tristan Ambrozewski, a veteran who co-owns Anytime Fitness locations in Southern Pines and Pinehurst along with his wife, Hannah. He is dad to Luna, 5, and Loma, 8.
“The stronger the family is physically, mentally, nutritionally and spiritually, the better chance of them facing and dealing with the sins of the world, and being able to not let them stop them, but destroy them together.”
Heath Trigg, builder and owner of The Heritage Flag Co., with his son, 2-and-a-half-year-old Charlie.
“It’s best to teach by example. It’s important for children to learn values like respect, work ethic, independence and trustworthiness as early as possible, as well as the ability to pick yourself up when you fall and to try until you get it right. Becoming a father and watching Charlie grow has been the coolest thing I’ve ever experienced and I look forward to both of us learning and growing together for many years to come!”
The Father Figure
Anthony McCauley has mentored more than 50 kids through his nonprofit, Males of Distinction. Activities for those aged 8-18 are centered on building confidence, self-esteem and appreciation for community.
“I have stepped up and been able to extend my hand and time to help by being a father figure to 50 plus young males. Being a father comes from the heart, and I have a heart to love youth through anything! I have two beautiful daughters, Tamaria & Marissa McCauley, and I have to make sure they get what they need from me as well.”
Gabe Nin, a Psychological Operations Officer in the US Army, is in his first year as an assistant football coach, coaching the Defensive Line at Pinecrest High School. He’s a dad to Georgie, 8 months old.
“Love, communication, and selfless service are just among some of the attributes that we strive for as Pinecrest Football coaches. It is a true privilege to work and teach this group of young men values that extend far beyond any sport. Without a doubt, these are also the same pillars my wife Kathleen and I work on a daily basis as we raise our beautiful daughter, Georgie.”
The Big Kid
Antwon Murchison, a Pinecrest grad who earned a football scholarship to Clemson, returned to coach football at his alma mater before working for a time as the head football coach at North Moore. Now back coaching at Pinecrest again and working toward opening his own gym, he’s a dad to Sydney Marie Murchison, 7, and Antwon Murchison Jr., 3.
“My parenting style is fun! I’m firm but fair. I like to play with my kids, and teach them life skills and ways to deal with their emotions. I’m known to keep things light around the house.”
30-year-old Walt Whitaker, dad to a little girl who makes her arrival in September. Until then, you’ll find him hiking insane terrain, tending to all things house and lawn and competing in anything with a T-shirt at the end.
What are you most looking forward to? The adventures a child brings; and providing the experiences we only dreamt of as children.
And Last But Not Least, the Fur Daddy.
Miguel PeraltaOrtiz, co-owner and operator of the small but mighty PeraltaOrtiz-Laviana zoo. He’s a dad to Pomeranian Sita, great dane Polo, and Persian cat, Lupe.
“We have a few different personality types running around here. Even though it’s a struggle sometimes, the peace is maintained through good training and discipline, and equally-distributed head scratches and nose boops.”