Illinois country father of the year.

Clark Mortensen

Nominated by Clark Mortensen Jr. his Son

Clark Mortensen is from Rock Energy Cooperative

My dad, Clark Mortensen deserves the title of Father of the Year because he is always willing to help, not only my sister and me, but also my mom, my kids, my niece and nephew, aunts, uncles, neighbors and people in general.
Last summer he spent nearly every day building a garage for my house. I couldn’t afford to hire it to be built so he just dug in and did it even though he had never built anything of that magnitude before. At seventy-two his arms and shoulders suffered because of it.
In the past he has wallpapered and tiled my sister’s bathroom, layed carpet and moved her at least twice. When my niece moved back home from Florida, he drove to Clearwater and almost single-handedly loaded her furniture and belongings into a van, drove to Tampa and reloaded it all into a semi.
A couple of years ago I remarried and needed to expand my home for my new family. Dad built two bedrooms in my basement for my two step-daughters. when my aunt needed a swing set built he did so in record time. The widow down the street needed her lawn mower fixed so Dad did it and trimmed her trees while he was at it.
Dad is a proud member of Legion Post #582 and is proud to fire guns at funerals or march in parades. When he first joined the M-1 weapons were in bad need of attention. Dad had been company armor in the Army so he brought them home and went right to work cleaning and repairing them. He even sanded and refinished the stocks.
One of the things my dad has done that I’m most proud of is his work at Smack Cemetery, just outside of Erie. It is said to be the oldest cemetery in Whiteside County and is the final resting place of thirteen Civil War veterans, among others. It was going to waste and ruins. Neglect had taken a toll on it with little trees sprouting up, weeds everywhere and tombstones toppled. That just wouldn’t do for Clark Mortensen so he went to work reclaiming it. He had help from fiends, Legionaires and Boy Scouts, but he mad it his personal goal to see it restored and spent countless hours achieving that goal. To this day he’s still recruiting help and equipment towards making it once again something to be proud of. Today the weeds are gone, trees removed, tombstones back up and a flag is flying over that once abandoned place. Dad would be the first to say that it was a joint effort by many but I know for sure that no one spent as much time or took as much pride in it as Dad did.
My father is totally committed to his grandchildren and is willing to babysit whenever he’s asked. They all adore him and love staying with “Papa.” That includes his great-granddaughter who loves helping him in the garden or riding on the tractor when he mows the pasture or barnyard.
Dad is simply our go-to person when someone needs a car or a ride somewhere or an errand run of any kind. He’s adjusted his schedule many times to come to our rescue and he’s the first one we call in an emergency. He helps my mom around the house and is the first one up from the table at family dinners, clearing the table. Every present under the Christmas tree this past year was wrapped by him (and there were alot of presents)!
My dad is simply the best father possible and we all look up to him. He’s set a good example by attending church every Sunday and always being there for his family.