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Remembering 'Mr. Moms' on Father's Day

Dina Uretski /

A Father’s Day tribute to stay-at-home dads and father figures who devoted themselves to nurturing children.

I first heard the term “Mr. Mom” in the early 1980s in ads about the movie of the same name, starring Michael Keaton as a man who loses his job and becomes a stay-at-home parent to three young children, while his wife becomes the breadwinner of the family.

Since then, I’ve met and heard about many “Mr. Moms” as more and more men embrace a role that traditionally was the domain of women. Far from the accidental “Mr. Mom” of movie fame, stay-at-home fathers today are often dads who have chosen to be primary caregivers, dads who have opted to spend their time nurturing and rearing their children.

Hats off to the stay-at-home dads and the so-called “Mr. Moms” of the world. Here are a few who died in recent months.

Lee Buechel (Sheboygan Press)Lee Buechel "was known to most as 'Mr. Mom' because of the countless number of things he did for his children," according to his obituary published in the Sheboygan Press.

Before his death in a traffic accident at age 46, Buechel helped his girls however he could:

"[He] braided the girls hair before sending them off to school, get them dressed for prom, paint their nails and take them with him where ever he went even if was just to go put gas in the car."

Russell B. Trimbur "worked as a homemaker," according to his obituary in the Marion Star.

The 46-year-old father clearly loved his five girls:

"[He] enjoyed decorating, refurbishing antiques, spending time on vacation at the beach, but his passion in life was being the best Dad and 'Mr. Mom' to his girls."

Barton Jackson (Idaho Statesman)Barton Lee Jackson "was a problem solver; the bigger the problem, the happier he was," according to a lengthy obituary published in the Idaho Statesman.

"Eventually Bart came to realize that the pursuit of triple-digit salaries and professional challenges paled in comparison to the time spent with his family."

He moved his family to Eagle, Idaho, "so that they could experience the same quality of life" he had had growing up in rural Odessa, Florida. He later "retired from the corporate world and became 'Mr. Mom' while his wife, Carrie, pursued a teaching career."

Steven Carl Veatch did not have children of his own, but the offspring of his best friend, Betty Clark, were listed as survivors in his obituary in the Logan (Utah) Herald Journal.

The 48-year-old bachelor "was a surrogate father figure to Betty's sons," and later was "Mr. Mom" (or "Mr. Grandma" perhaps?) to their "seven beautiful and wonderful children."

This post was contributed by Alana Baranick, a freelance obituary writer. She was the director of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers and chief author of Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers before she passed away in 2015.