Dads are awesome, especially in St. Johns Florida. We chose a few good Dads to get to know. They live here in St. Johns and may even be your neighbor. They are teachers, pilots, coaches and business-owners and although they may seem humble, their accomplishments and their dedication to their families, their spouses and their community speaks for itself.
Darren has been History Teacher for nearly 20 years and taught ESOL in South Korea from 1995 to 1998. In 2012, he and his family moved to the First Coast where he’s been a dual enrollment teacher for Duval County Public Schools. He married his wife Debbie in 1996 and they have 4 children; Josh, 15, and 12 year old triplets, Jake, Shainna and Lexi. He loves historical travel and has a special interest in visiting the battlefields of the First World War.
Best Memory about being a Dad? One of my best memories about being a dad was also one of my first. It happened when my oldest son Josh was born. He arrived about a month early and, at just over 5 lbs., was a few pounds underweight. When we left the hospital, I was tasked with the enormous responsibility of putting him into the car seat for the first time. I remember trying to properly adjust the 5 point harness so that he’d be secure, but couldn’t. He was too small! True to form, men fix things. In the end, I asked the nurses for a few extra swaddling clothes and proceeded to wrap him like the
Michelin Man for his first ride home! Now, nearly 15 years later, he’s only a few inches from looking at me eye to eye. Where’d all the time go?
Hanging with the Kids... Aside from the occasional movie or afternoon at the beach, tween and teen activities during the school year generally keep us close to home. However, when school is over, travel season begins! This year my daughters will be visiting their aunt in New York, we’ll all travel to Virginia to visit relatives and take side trip to visit Washington DC. After that, there’s surf camp, days at the beach, afternoons as the community pool, summer blockbusters, etc...
Now that our son is older, we’re able to get out more easily for dinner and a movie. We recently had sushi before seeing ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ and laughing hysterically for a few hours.
The perfect day... Even though I’ve been teaching for nearly 20 years, the job is time consuming. When I have a break, I go to the library, find a good mystery / thriller, and disappear into a book. Recent favorites were the Tom Robb Smith trilogy, David Baldacci, Lee Childs and my old standby, John Grisham. Great reads!
Being a Dad is... While I can’t imagine it any differently, being a Dad is awesome, terrifying, exciting, aggravating, wonderful and exhausting, all at the same time!
CDR Chris Easterling has served in the United States Navy as a Naval Aviation Reservist for the last 8 years which followed his 9 years of Active duty service. Currently, Chris is an Airline Captain on the A-320 aircraft with JetBlue Airways and is based at JFK in NY, NY. He holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of South Florida. When Chris isn’t working his “2” jobs, he enjoys his eclectic taste of rare whiskey’s, classic military aviation and coaching football. He has spent the last few years coaching with the Swiss Point Raider Middle School Football team and will continue to do so as his son Connor moves on to Bartram Trail High School. Chris and his wife Jacci of 17 years have 2 children, Connor 14, Devyn 11.
Best Memory about being a Dad? Returning home to Hawaii after a 6 month deployment and meeting my son for the first time. He was born 2 weeks after I left for the Persian Gulf.
Hanging with the Kids... Both my son and my daughter have a strong interest in fishing and since Spring has returned I’ve found the three of us spending more and more time chasing bass in the ponds around our neighborhood.
Date night? Does car shopping for new family vehicles count? We’ve spent several days over the last week roaming the internet and car lots of Jacksonville for replacements to our aging vehicles.
The perfect day... As an airline pilot, my job keeps me away from my family 18 days a month. When I am home I find myself stealing any free moments between school, coaching and volunteering to spend time with my wife and kids. The last “perfect day” I can remember was a sunrise hike of Makapu Point on the windward side of Oahu with my family followed by some quality beach time in Waikiki doing nothing more than being with one another.
Being a Dad is… A little like what I would imagine it would be like to be in The Peace Corps: The hours are long, the work is arduous, the pay is nonexistent but it’s the best thing I’ve ever done with my life. Its what I consider to be my most significant accomplishment and what I would want to be remembered for.
Rob is a Logistics Manager at a national sign manufacturer with 30 years of logistics experience. He’s also a veteran Army officer, husband, and dad. He loves the outdoors riding his motorcycle, and shooting sports. As a member of a blended family, he is blessed with 5 amazing kids! Kalien age 24, Kimm age 20, Matthew age 15, Dallas age 14, and Morgan age 13. I am also lucky to be married to my beautiful and wonderful wife Shelley for 7 years now.
Best Memory about being a Dad?
My kids have given me years of great memories. Too many to count. Ranging from that first time you hear your daughter say I love you daddy, to watching your son score the winning touchdown to being blessed with a Granddaughter.
Hanging with the Kids... This year’s spring break took us on a trip to Universal Studios that was filled with fun and laughter. Lots of great memories. I also recently took the best motorcycle ride of my life with my oldest daughter. My cheeks hurt from smiling the whole way
Date Night? Most recent was a whole date, day and night. We spent the day in St Augustine playing tourist and sampling awesome food and drinks. Topped it off with a steak dinner and a movie.
The Perfect Day... I’ll either jump on my motorcycle and ride some back roads or head to the range and do some shooting.
Being a Dad is… The reason I have grey hair. Seriously though, it is the hardest and most challenging thing I have done in my life (and I have done a lot). It is also though, the first thing that I would sign up to do all over again if I were given a chance. I know that I can’t always be there for each and every moment of their lives but I’ll never stop teaching my children and setting examples for them to fall back on. I want them to know how to be ladies and gentlemen, how to treat others, and how to love and respect themselves
Geoff is a Regional Vice President for a company called MSC and is responsible for sales in Southeastern US with a team of 120+ employees. He grew up in Syracuse, NY and then went to college at Fresno State in California, where he met his wife Cheryl. Geoff has two children that are now 12 and 10 years old and he’ll be celebrating 15 years of marriage to Cheryl in October 2015. From 2001-2014, the family lived in Virginia but moved here in June of 2014, where both of their extended families have settled.
Best Memory about being a Dad? My best memories when it comes to being a Dad has to be our annual family vacations. Every year we go to the beach for 1 week and spend quality time together. We always mix it up every year with something we have never done as a family before, whether its zip lining, a helicopter ride, or ocean fishing, we are committed to doing something we have never done before every year.
Hanging with the Kids... We have a boat and just moved to Florida from Virginia last June. The kids have grown up boating, but with alligators coming into play here in Florida, there has been a real hesitation in getting on a tube. Last weekend the kids got on the tube, and had a great time, and we all swim a lot faster to the boat now.
Date Night? My wife and I have traditionally set aside time for date night over the last 15 years. However, over the past 3 months, I have been coaching softball and things have been a bit chaotic on the weekends. However, we had a night off from softball last Friday and enjoyed dinner and a stroll on Jax beach. We love that we are on 30 minutes from the ocean!
The Perfect Day... I enjoy boating and sports, so for me the perfect day will be the 2nd week of the NFL season this year when the Jaguars play the Dolphins (my favorite team), and I drive my boat to the game...... Oh how I love Florida.
Being a Dad is... Being a Dad is about being a godly role model, being a best friend, being fun, yet responsible, but most of all spending time with my children and building a legacy with them.
Mini bio: Born in Detroit, MI. Grew up in Orlando met my wife while at FSU. Graduated with a degree in Physics from FSU, Graduated with Masters in Prosthetics from Northwestern University in Chicago. I am a certified and licensed Prosthetist for 20 years. I make artificial limbs for Hanger Clinic where I also manage 3 facilities. I have been married to my beautiful wife Pamela for 19 years, I have a daughter (Sarah 15) and two sons (Chris 14 and Nolan 11). I have been a coach on my son's baseball teams for 10 years. My daughter plays volleyball and runs track at Bartram Trail HS.
My first and best memory of being a dad was when I reached in to pick up my daughter for the first time and she opened her eyes and grabbed my finger. I thought to myself, "you can have whatever you want". I have been wrapped around her finger ever since.
Hanging with the Kids... A week long family trip to Key West. We also went SCUBA diving with Sarah and Chris on Chris's birthday and swam with tiger, lemon and hammerhead sharks.
The most recent date with my wife was to celebrate our 19th anniversary on Monday May 11. We try to go out at least once a week to get some quality time together.
The perfect day... would be a trip to the beach with my family riding in my surprise 40th Birthday present from my wife. A Jeep Wrangler.
Being a Dad is... being a math tutor, a comedian, a best friend, a confidant, an ATM, a disciplinarian, and a role model.
Day to all
St Johns Dads!!!
by Jennifer Yarbrough
St. Johns Magazine blog features articles written by & about the people, places and events of St. Johns and the surrounding communities.