Celebrating fathers

Bob Fultz taught his eight children many things. His son, Tim Fultz, learned the value of hard work while the family tended 10 acres of land, complete with gardens and livestock.

“We had pigs for many years,” he recalls. “We raised and sold them. It’s a 24-hour-a-day job.”

Bob Fultz is one of many dads whose accomplishments as fathers, inspirations, and friends were recognized by Homeland for Father’s Day. Working amid COVID-19 restrictions, the Homeland staff still made sure that Bob and 25 other dads received special recognition for their remarkable achievements in raising healthy families.

On the Friday before Father’s Day, Homeland held socially distanced socials for the dads in Homeland’s Personal Care and Skilled Care units. They enjoyed favorite treats like shrimp, old-fashioned root beer, cheese and crackers, pretzels, chips, and if approved, beer.
Activities staff led them in reminiscing about their families and answering trivia questions about dads and grandfathers.

In advance of Father’s Day, the Homeland staff decorated mugs with “Happy Father’s Day” messages and fun, manly images of bow ties, hats, and mustaches. On Father’s Day, they decorated a cart and pushed it around the rooms, delivering a mug filled with a few personal items, such as shaving cream and snacks, to each father in residence.

The two events helped Homeland’s corps of fathers celebrate Father’s Day, even without their families coming to visit in person, due to coronavirus restrictions. Some families held window visits. Bob Fultz’s family came for their window visit just before Father’s Day, with big smiles all around.

Bob Fultz and his wife, Shirley, were childhood sweethearts who would have been married 67 years before Shirley’s death earlier this year. Together, they raised eight children, teaching them to be independent, responsible, and entrepreneurial.

At home, the family did their farming and gardening. As the owner of his own electrical and construction businesses, Tim says his father taught all the kids, both boys and girls, the full range of building arts: “Hands-on, everything from the ground up. Putting footers in. Doing block work. Framing, plumbing, electrical, roofing.”

Their mother taught all the kids to cook, and through all of this the couple ran their own restaurant, named Bob & Shirley’s.

Sometimes, the kids were not happy to be pulling weeds, picking vegetables, or raising rabbits on their summer vacation days. Still, they watched their dad set a shining example of integrity and diligence. Inspired by his dad’s entrepreneurial example, Tim started his own construction business, restaurants, and lunch wagon.

“He just loved working for himself, even though he didn’t get rich on it,” says Tim, of West Hanover Twp. “One of his good friends told him, ‘You’re never going to get big in this business because you’re too honest.’ At least he could sleep at night.”

Bob, a Boy Scouts troop leader like his father, instilled his lifelong love of the outdoors in his kids. He took them camping, hunting, fishing and clamming in the Chesapeake Bay. They had fun, despite the occasional jellyfish sting.

“He’d always tell us, ‘Watch those things floating in the water,’” Tim remembers. “He had us out there when we were little.”

Tim passed that love of nature to his son, who is doing the same for his own boy.
“It brings closeness and camaraderie,” Tim says. “Helping each other as well as a sense of loyalty to our generations before us.”

Through it all, Tim’s parents weren’t shy about showing their kids their love for each other, holding hands or sharing a kiss. Even today, Bob tells Tim, “We had our ups and downs. We made it through. You just have to be able to work your problems out.”
Of all the values Tim learned from his dad, he cannot pick one that was the most important.

“I appreciate all of them,” he says. “I tell him every time I see him that he was a good dad. I could not have done it without him, all this stuff that I know. It makes him feel good. He always has a smile on his face and says, ‘Thanks.’”

 
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