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Fathers: Some personal perspectives


Here at the Las Cruces Bulletin, as many workplaces do, we view our colleagues as family. We’ve got a pretty small staff, but three of us have worked here 10 years or more and four others have worked here between five and 10 years.

Since last Father’s Day, three of us — Claire Frohs, Elva Osterreich and myself — have lost our fathers.

On the weekend of Father’s Day, perhaps it’s fitting to hear some of us talk about our fathers.

Jess Williams, editor:

He stood 6’6” and weighed in above 250. He was 28-years ex-military, having served in the Navy in WWII and in the Army in Korea, where he took a bullet through the leg. After the military, he taught school and was a cop. He had a soft spot for animals, but he hunted, too. He was a walking contradiction, but he loved his kids, and he passed his name on to me, just as his father had done for him.

Claire Frohs, marketing consultant:

Ted R. Frohs passed in June 2019 after living 89 full years. He served in the Navy, loved to hunt, fish and golf. He had a love for animals, particularly Boston terriers. He could build anything from cars to homes and was an entrepreneur at the age of 50, building a business that afforded him the ability to help others in his industry get their businesses off the ground. He was a complicated yet generous man and is missed by his kids, grandkids and great grandkids.

Tova Gennrich, administrative assistant:

My dad (Benji, as I call him) was just 22 when he became a father. I have always admired his patience, generosity, faithfulness, dedication and, above all, his love for me, my two sisters and my mom. Just when I didn’t think he could get any better, he became a grandfather of 13 and absolutely rocks it out. He will forever be my hero, my safety net, my strength and forever my Daddy.

Elva Osterreich, Bulletin writer, Desert Exposure editor:

Musician, artist, teacher, bartender – Norbert Osterreich passed away in February 2020, he would have been 80 in May. Norbert surrounded me with music and gifted me with Stravinsky’s “Peter and the Wolf.” He introduced me to a flying dutchman, moonlit sonatas and sent Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony into my ears. This father had bitterness, cynicism, anger and a beautiful smile; he had charm, insight, wisdom and a collection of four daughters, wise women each. He defined dignity in the end, kindness winning out.

Richard Coltharp, publisher:

Even though it costs me almost as much to change the oil in my vehicles myself as it does to take it to a shop, I still do it. It’s a habit I’ve had since I was 16, when my dad, Lynn Coltharp, taught me how. He said, “If you want transportation without maintenance, you can ride the bus.” That is just one of thousands of his sage comments that have risen to my conscious mind since my father passed away six weeks ago. He wasn’t an overly talkative man, but he had a keen mind and a sharp wit, and he made his words count.

To all the fathers out there, Happy Father’s Day. To the sons and daughters of fathers who have passed, join us in remembering them. That’s what this special day is for.