Happy Birthday Dad!

Happy Birthday Dad! Today, my father turns 70 – and celebrating in a very quiet way. He’s going out with my mother for dinner somewhere in suburban Chicago where they live. While I haven’t seen much of my father over the last 20 years since I left home for college, he is still the biggest influence on my life and still the model for the way I want to live my life. Let me tell you about him.

Wilson Stockey grew up in Chicago and was raised by his grandparents. From a very early age, my dad learned to be independent, self-reliant and driven. He was smart and intelligent – and managed to become a certified public account with International Harvester and later, the Internal Revenue Service.
He married the former Elizabeth Bey, and went onto have two children: myself and my brother, Brian. His work took us from Chicago to California to Missouri to Washington Dc before finally settling in Simsbury Connecticut. My dad always put his family first – and would do whatever he could to be there for us. In essence, be the father he never had. That meant getting home in time to watch us play sports or even being our coach when he didn’t think the coaches on hand weren’t looking out for our best interest.

He’s my biggest fan and cheerleader … and as my career moved forward, he put together scrapbooks with pictures and articles about what I had done. He has also overcome personal challenges and hardships, including heart surgery. He remains in good health and takes care of himself, watching his diet and exercising as much as his knees will allow.

He has given me many gifts – none greater than the skills he used to be a successful father and executive. His knack for public speaking, his ability to analyze situations with a critical eye and his thirst for knowledge.

He turns 70 today – but I will always look at him as I did in the above picture” A little kid who wants his father to hold him when things get scary and love him when the going gets rough. My only regret is that I will not get to hug my father today, but I will as soon as I see him during the holidays. I will tell him that not only do I love him, but also thank him for giving me so many gifts. Gifts that someday perhaps I will pass onto my children.

Happy Birthday Dad!

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