Illinois country father of the year.

Fred Caspall

Nominated by Debi Caspall Thurow his Daughter

Fred Caspall is from McDonough Power Cooperative

We sat quietly in the pew of my grandmother’s church where we had gathered as a family. Prayer requests and praises had been asked for and a young man stood and began speaking of a man who had stopped during his daily routine to help another in need, much like the Good Samaritan in the bible had done. Our eyes filled will tears as we realized the man he was speaking of was my father, Fred Caspall.

Hearing the young man’s words, my mind traveled back over the life my father had lived. It hadn’t been an easy one …. but you would never know it by the optimistic attitude he carries with him.

Living the farming life he loved, at the age of 25 his life was changed forever when he lost his young wife to a brain aneurism in just minutes.

Unable to continue his love of farming and raise two small girls who were lost without their mommy, he made the hard decision to leave the farm and return to school where he eventually earned a PhD.

During this journey he met and married his beloved Eloise, and together they raised my sister and me, each of them demonstrating strong values of faith, family and love for others in their daily lives.

When I became a single mother, dad became the “father” in my daughter’s life, helping with school projects, attending her functions, and being an example of what a man should be.

After years away from the farm life, dad was able to once again enjoy his love of farming when he took on the task of helping my grandmother run the farm after the death of my grandfather. He filled his days with his love of tilling the ground, planting the seeds and harvesting the crops.

After 46 years of marriage, my dad was once again faced with the heartbreak of losing a wife when my “second” mother was taken from this earth after a six week battle with leukemia. I watched as dad traveled this road again, not questioning God’s plan but instead clinging to his promises.

Dad’s life lessons became even more real to me last October when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. As I fight this battle, I have become even more grateful to my father as I grasp on to the determination he has demonstrated to others throughout his life in the face of adversity. The faith in God I obtained as my parents took me to church each Sunday has helped me set a strong foundation on which I stand.

As I listened to the words the young man spoke that Sunday in church, I realized …. not only had my dad set the example for my sister and me …. but to the people he touched in his everyday life. And the gift of Fred Caspall’s life will last forever. He deserves not only “Father of the Year” – but of a lifetime.