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Remembering 'Mr. Moms' on Father's Day

Published: 6/19/2011
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, including the following, who died in recent months:

Lee Buechel (Sheboygan Press)The family-prepared obituary for Lee Buechel, published in the Sheboygan Press, says: He was known to most as "Mr. Mom" because of the countless number of things he did for his children.

Buechel, who died as the result of a motorcycle-pickup truck accident at age 46, 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 from the Marion Star.

The 46-year-old father of five 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)In 2001, 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, Fla. 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 that ran in the Logan (Utah) Herald Journal.

The 48-year-old bachelor was a surrogate father figure to Betty's sons. . . He went on to be "Mr. Mom" to (their) seven beautiful and wonderful children from the time they were newborn babies.

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This post was contributed by Alana Baranick, a freelance obituary writer who lives in Northeast Ohio. She is director of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers and chief author of Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers.

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