In commemoration of Father’s Day, we recently asked Care New England (CNE) employees about the amazing father figure in their lives. What we collected was nothing short of heart felt, true and celebratory in the way folks from the CNE community felt about their “Dad”.

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ginaGina Demou, Radiology, Memorial Hospital

My dad is not only the best dad in the world, he is also the best man God has put on this earth. He is a man of strong character, always supporting his family, friends or whomever needs a helping hand. He has worked two jobs most of this life so that his family always had whatever we needed plus. He completed college on the GI bill and continued to grow in his employment; he went from building granulating equipment to just retiring as the president of the company. And every night that we speak, he ends the conversation with “You know your daddy loves you!”

Paula Ferdinandi, Senior Internal Auditor, Compliance Services, Care New England

My Dad was a humble, simple man. I suppose 39 months on a Navy ship during WWII could turn even an arrogant person unpretentious. But that was not his style, even before the war. He grew up during the depression in Providence, RI – a first generation American born to Italian immigrants from Caserta, near Naples. There are so many stories to tell, but the one I thought people would appreciate was his tenacity and determination in attaining a bachelor’s degree from Brown University. The GI bill afforded him the opportunity to fund his education, but the hard work sat squarely on his own shoulders. Studying was a challenge in his busy household. As was the custom back in the day, his family frequently boarded new immigrants until they could get on their feet. And when they weren’t helping other families in their two-level tenement house in Silver Lake, they were entertaining friends. In order to study, my father would set his alarm for 1 a.m. and study throughout the quiet night. He took nothing for granted. He finished his degree in mechanical engineering successfully, graduating class of 1950. Love and miss you, Dad!

Maria Barrese, Revenue Cycle, Care New England

I’d like to tell you about my dad. I say he was a man of few words, mostly because he couldn’t get a word in edgewise. He was surrounded by three girls who were only a year apart. When I was growing up, he insisted dinner be eaten around the table and everyone talk about their day. He never got much of an opportunity to talk about his, but would always listen attentively as we talked about ours. I tended to be the quiet one of the group, so he always made a point of asking me questions to draw me out and get me involved. I realized later this is one of the many skills, the many gifts he’s tried to pass on to me by example.

Even at 75, he still loves to learn and is still working. He was recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Instead of letting the diagnosis bring him down, my positive father has been researching and gathering as much information as he can about his diagnosis. It’s the second time he’s had to battle the disease, the first being when he was diagnosed with, and beat, prostate cancer. He knows, he says, that he probably won’t beat it this time, but is determined to live as long as he can with as much quality of life as he can. He remains upbeat and full of life with a great attitude. Another priceless example for me learn from and follow.

Work hard, never stop learning, keep your family close, and stay positive. These are the things my father has taught me not with words, but by example.

Happy Father’s Day to all the great men out there who lead and love by example!

judyJudy Chrusciel, Speech Language Pathologist, VNA of Care New England

My Dad, Jerry Chrusciel, was the greatest advisor in all realms of my life. He was honest, respectable but even more importantly, had a sense of humor that propelled me through some difficult times. I could write volumes. He will forever be in my heart.

susanSusan Green, VNA of Care New England

He was my hero, my first love, the standard to which all other men have been set for me. Did he have faults? Of course. But these many years later, I choose not to remember them; they d not diminish who he was.

Donna Demers, VNA of Care New England

I would like to honor a very special man that passed this April 10. My father-in-law Guy R. Demers, he was an amazing, gentle man. As a young man, he served his country in the Canadian Army as a Green Beret and was a paratrooper. In the late 1950’s he met his wife Pierrette. They fell in love, married, and this December would have been their milestone of their sixtieth anniversary.

He was an extremely hard worker and when work was scarce in Canada he took a chance a moved his family to the US for a better work opportunity. He was a wonderful accordion and harmonica player and had many other hobbies such as a train collection, interest in aviation, and spending hours at a time doing puzzles with his wife. He was an avid reader.

His first morning statement to his wife was “how beautiful she was”… he would say this to her even if she was angry. I guess he found the secret to how to stay married for 59 beautiful years.

He had strong spiritual belief and was happy in his last days, telling his family that he was going to be well and be able to dance forever.

He had an incredible sense of humor, even with his failing body not being able to keep up with his wife because she walked so fast. He would say soon she won’t be able to keep up with me.

He was a joker and always had a knack for making everyone laugh, especially his grandchildren.

He was a man who was always concerned with the happiness of others and not only his own family but people had he never known.

He donated to many charities especially ones that focused on feeding the hungry.

He was more than a father-in-law he was a father. I was blessed to care for him in my home over the last year. My heart is overflowing with joy, blessing, thankfulness, and grace this Father’s Day for having had the honor to care for a truly amazing man. He left behind a marvelous son (Louie) whom I’m proud to say is my husband, an incredible man who walks very close in his father’s footsteps.

This photo was our last embrace, a touch that will last forever (dad, me and my husband).

Thank you Lord for the blessings you have placed in my life.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

Happy Father’s Day, Louie.

Kristen Richard, Medical Coding and Billing Specialist, CNE Surgical Care, CNE Medical Group

My dad is a remarkable man. He has had some heartache in the last couple of years from losing his son to cancer in 2014. My brother passed away at age 46 from esophageal cancer. His courageous battle lasted about 16 months, and my dad showed amazing strength through those tough times. He showed so much support, love, and dedication to his son by sitting through every single eight-hour chemotherapy session with him. From giving him a ride and then waiting there with him while he got his medicine, to bringing him home and doing it all over again the week after. Truly amazing!!! And for me, not only does he show me so much love and support through my own tough times; he proved that he is the most amazing dad a girl could ask for. Now he is a great grandfather and continues to prove the love and support for his family. I am blessed to have him as my dad.

Kathy Pierce, VP of Operations and Chief Nursing Officer, VNA of Care New England

I feel lucky to have one of the most amazing fathers. I remember when I was little, I was very close to my father and often his shadow. There are five children in my family and as I remember it, there wasn’t a lot of money or material goods; but we never lacked for what we needed on a daily basis. As a young adult, one of my sisters and I marveled that my parents were always there for every event we ever had. Whether it was something to be celebrated or to support us thru a personal crisis, my parents were there. It wasn’t unusual for my father to go with my mother and one of us girls to shop for a wedding dress or to attend a baby shower or to help cook a special meal. He supported everything that we did, he encouraged us to work hard, and he always let it be known that we could achieve whatever we set our minds to. I feel his support, direction, and expectations have led my siblings and me to be family oriented, caring, and hard workers. I know that I am very lucky to still have both of my parents and I am excited to celebrate another Father’s Day this Sunday with my father who will be 84 years old next month.

Debbie Belanger, Epic Ambulatory Application Analyst, Care New England

Born in November 1933, my dad is 82 years young! He is the most amazing man I know and has taught me that age is just a number. On nice days during the summer, he rides his bicycle between 20 and 30 miles a day. A day!!? Most people half his age don’t ride that number of miles in a week. As a child, I remember being embarrassed because he would ride his bicycle to the grocery store and fill up both side baskets with groceries. I could hear the comments of the kids on the school bus and I would shrink in my seat thinking “Why can’t my dad be like the other parents and just take the car to grocery store?” Today, I couldn’t be MORE proud of my dad as he continues to ride in his 80s! He’s conquered lung cancer, melanoma and a broken arm. Yes, he fell off of his bike one day in front of a few elderly women. He said his ego was more bruised than his body, but a day later found that he needed to wear a cast. Besides exercise, he keeps his mind sharp by volunteering at church, with the AARP, and the Knights of Columbus. He bowls on two leagues and maintains a 180 average! I am continually astonished by his positive attitude, his never-ending energy, and his will to live life to the fullest. He’s taught me the value of hard work, determination, and integrity. I am so very thankful to be celebrating Father’s Day with my dad on Sunday and incredibly honored to call him dad!

Robin Neale, CNE Infection Prevention

As an airline employee, my Dad traveled often and worked long hours. But he always made it back for the important things… dance recitals, school plays, graduations, award ceremonies, my wedding and the birth of my first child… he was always in the audience cheering me on or waiting in the wings to congratulate me. I could always count on my Dad to be there.

Paula Foster, VNA of Care New England

My Dad turns 86 the day after Father’s Day, and he keeps reminding me that that means two gifts. One thing I have always known about my Dad, besides his love of gifts, is that he has ALWAYS loved me!! Feelings are mutual even if that means two gifts!!!!

melissaMelissa Costello, Marketing Communications, Care New England

Happy Father’s Day to this guy! I am beyond blessed to call him daddy and have my boys call him Pa. Each and every day he puts his family first and has built an amazing life that I’m so thankful to be part of! Love ya, Pa!

Stephanie Buono, clerk/phlebotomist, Laboratory, Women & Infants

I would like to express how wonderful, loving and selfless my dad is. My parents were married young. And were they ready? I doubt it, especially because my dad had just come back from being drafted for the war, and saw horrific things happen. To this day, although totally functional day to day, he deals with PTSD, which he makes an issue only alone and on his own time. We know better, as a loving family.

My parents were divorced when I was four years old…but myself and my brother, who is 16 months younger than me, never felt the void of the divorce or living with my wonderful loving mom alone. Two hard working parents who chose to be parents before all the arguments and oppositions they faced from going through tough times, the stress of feeding their two kids, working multiple jobs, and never having us feel like we had ANY less than other children. At that time in the 70’s, my brother and myself were probably the only two kids from a divorce in our neighborhood, or close circle of many friends and their families who were all VERY fond of both of our parents.

As far as the divorce, what kid wouldn’t want her parents married and living as a family like everyone she came across. But to myself and my brother, our dad was always there for our mom and us. He was such a hard worker, caught in the family business, which was a successful bakery on Federal Hill for 62 plus years, where me and my brother worked starting very young, and WE both agree that we wouldn’t change a thing, especially the fact of learning hard work at a young age, and to work closely with our dad, beloved Gramps and beloved Gram .

My mom was also a dad and a mom many times, as she worked just as hard, and was struggling to become an RN while working multiple jobs, and also struggling with a life-threatening liver tumor which could have taken my mom away from us in my junior high years. Not an easy thought for a girl to lose her momma that young. But along with my dad, my beloved Pa and my Nani who we are still blessed with, they kept it all together for us as much as they could while facing their own fears with my mom’s health problems.

We had lived with my Dad, my ex-step mother and gram for almost months. Even though my dad tried to keep the severity of it all from us, I knew he was worried and concerned for us as well as my mom. With the grace of God, Mom survived her surgery and recovery, although they were tough times, and continued to finish her nursing degree and graduated as president of her class!!!! So proud, we all were!!! But as a tough “old school, Italian Dad,” I think he was extremely happy for her and us and for the fact that we didn’t face our lives without our mom. Thank God!

And I’d like to also say that when school clothes time came, sports, any extracurricular activities, myself and my brother NEVER felt like we had any less than any of our friends, with the latest styles, or being involved in anything that any kid from a family of married parents had. If anything, I’d say we had more than others. They were friends who didn’t survive the times being married, but CHOSE to be parents to us blessed kids first.

Dad attended every practice for baseball, basketball, football and cheerleading for us. He would leave work to take us to school as much as possible. We always had money in our pocket. If we didn’t sell our raffle tickets for our activities, he’d make sure we met our required amount to sell to get what all the other kids were getting.

If I could change one thing about my childhood, it would always have to be how HARD we saw our parents work ,never having much money for themselves and the struggles they both endured. But I feel my dad could have gotten in to things which would have made him much more money and helped us more if possible than he did. But HE CHOSE TO BE OUR DAD FIRST, before the easy, hustling times many got caught up in.

I just want to say “Thank You DAD and (MR.) Momma for being OUR heroes from 1971 til now and always and forever. We do appreciate you both and the love and sacrifices you both showed.” My HEROES ALWAYS.

Christine Parker, Gift Shop, Kent Hospital

I think my Dad is amazing for many reasons. I will begin by saying he was married at a young age and divorced shortly after that, but not before having two daughters. In the divorce, he was awarded custody of both girls and worked hard at raising them. Not long after that, he met a woman who had three children and then took on being dad to them as well. Richard Dureault not only provided for us all, but he continued to work hard and make sure we had everything. We took a trip to Florida to see Mickey in a camper along with trips to Santa’s Village, Clark’s Trading Post and summer camping trips each summer. He taught us all to drive with such patience, even when I swerved into oncoming traffic to avoid a squirrel. He never screamed at me, just said to pull over very calmly and explained not to ever do that again. He was also my shopping partner when I was looking for a prom gown for my eighth grade social. Most importantly, he is the best dad for being my rock when my husband passed away from bone cancer. My list could go on forever but I think you would agree he’s pretty amazing!!! I love you Dad!!!